Over 100 leading business people attended the latest Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors’ event hosted by Ipswich Town Football Club, to celebrate local business achievements over the past year and to outline their plans for the future.
Invest in Suffolk was launched by Suffolk County Council in 2014 to promote the county as a business location and to respond to inward investment enquiries and opportunities.
Invest in Suffolk’s key message is that “Suffolk is the bright choice for your business.”
Working together with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Invest in Suffolk has recruited over 100 high profile business leaders and professionals to become Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors who are willing to use their skills and expertise to champion our county as a top business location.
The Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors events programme brings together people who are passionate about living and working in Suffolk and willing to use their skills and expertise to champion our county as a top business location, whilst ensuring a balance with the county’s attractive countryside, towns and villages.
Guests heard from Antony Sloan, HR director of Ashtons Legal and Andy Smith, director of StrategiQ Marketing, the winner of 2019 EADT Employer of the Year awards, on the importance of constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to grow businesses, whatever sector they might be in.
Both speakers emphasised that the need for business leaders and managers to consistently build trust with their workforces such, that staff felt able to act swiftly to adopt new working practices and opportunities ahead of the competition.
Antony and Andy said that there was a clear correlation between creating a positive work culture and strategies that support staff and the benefits to businesses through cost savings, improved employee relations and increased customer satisfaction. Staff retention increases as employees feel valued and take pride in their role, and many cost savings may be identified through shared decision making.
Vimmi Hayes, economic development manager at Suffolk County Council added: “our county’s business shared best practice on what they are doing to empower their staff to achieve success and help improve the bottom line. Suffolk has tremendous depth to its economy, and enormous potential to grow and create more quality jobs.
However, we must also be aware of the challenges so that we can co-operate and collaborate to achieve the best for everyone who live, works or visits Suffolk. We must continue to have these conversations.”
Amanda Ankin, operations director of Suffolk Chamber said: “At Suffolk Chamber we believe that the potential future for the county is one characterised by an innovative, internationally successful and diverse economy, high value and high waged jobs and a strong education sector delivering a skills base that is as good as any in the country.
“Antony and Andy’s experiences in ‘Doing it differently’ really resonated both with us and all of the Ambassadors and business leaders present at this very successful event.”
Suffolk County Council will continue to work with Suffolk Chamber to deliver the programme. Both organisations will ensure that the programme continues to play an active part in shaping their response to key strategic issues such as the Local Industrial Strategy and more generally developing opportunities for business to grow and promoting Suffolk as a place to do business.
Picture shows L2R Jai Raithatha – Suffolk County Council, Antony Sloan – Ashtons Legal, Sarah Howard MBE – British Chambers of Commerce, Andy Smith – StrategiQ Marketing. Please credit Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.