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A reflection on 2023 from the Chamber of Commerce

A reflection on 2023 from the Chamber of Commerce

Friday 22 December 2023

A reflection on 2023 from the Chamber of Commerce

Friday 22 December 2023

For those of us fortunate enough to celebrate the festive season with loved ones, it is a time to reflect on 2023 and look forward with hope to the year ahead of us.

It is hard to believe that we are already one year on from the L'Ecume II and Haut du Mont tragedies that shook our community at the end of 2022.

As islanders stood together to commemorate those who were lost and those who were impacted by both tragedies, it was a time also to contemplate the events of the past year.

We are all disturbed by daily reports from the Israel-Gaza conflict and ongoing unrest as the troubles between Russia and the Ukraine continue. Much closer to home, islanders in Jersey and Guernsey were seriously impacted by Storm Ciarán in November and those who were forced from their homes are still trying to resume some sort of normality.

As ever, acts of human kindness and personal generosity from communities are evident regardless of where in the world tragedy besets us.

It is extremely disappointing however that there is still a disturbing lack of governmental stability in countries all over the world not least in the UK and locally. It defies belief that one of the first matters to be debated in the States Chamber in January will be to agree the order of the names of States Members for the roll call at future sittings.


Pictured: It "defies belief" that roll call will be one of the first matters on the States Assembly agenda next year. 

Chamber have repeatedly called for a solution to the ongoing NEU dispute to be found and have held talks with both Government and the SEB. Whilst one union (NASUWT) called off industrial action whilst considering what we believe they regarded as a good offer (which was eventually accepted), it was very disappointing to see the NEU continue with strikes, especially when the new offer was fairly close to what we understood they would agree to! We can only imagine the frustrations of negotiators, teachers, government, employers, parents and pupils, who have continually been affected.

We have been engaging with Condor and Government to better understand the issues and factors regarding the significant price increases and the consequences this will have on the wider supply chain. The price increases from Ports fees, stevedores and also minimum wage increases in both islands have contributed to Condor price rises.

That in turn will put up freight costs and once again the business community and the consumer will feel the effects.


Pictured: Chamber has been engaging with Condor.

Chamber have continuously liaised with the Chief Minister, Economic Development Minister and the Treasury Minister over the Government Plan, particularly in respect of fuel and alcohol duties and are pleased to see some our views have been taken into account, although the 4.5% increase will have a detrimental effect on the hospitality sector and we were disappointed to see this remain, under the guise of supporting 'health reasons'.

The largest of our hospitality chains wrote to Chamber highlighting that increasing prices in bars and restaurants in not the way to go, and they expressed their deep concerns, over the future of their employees, customers and the hospitality industry in 2024.


Pictured: Ministers' plans have left hospitality aching.

In addition, Chamber has continued its ongoing support in relation to the Les Sablons development at Broad Street. This development would bring more hotel beds and much needed housing to the island, from private funding.

It further highlights the need for a joined up plan from a consolidated Government, where we can see them all pulling in the same direction for the benefit of the community.

As ever, Chamber continues to be the independent voice of business and uses an ever-collaborative approach in persuading those in power to do the 'right thing' for our community.

Les Sablons Broad Street Pedestrianised.jpg

Pictured: Chamber are supportive of the Les Sablons development, which the Assistant Environment Minister unsuccessfully attempted to veto.

We must look forward positively and, as we wish you all the very best for the coming year, please rest assured that Chamber will continue to do whatever is necessary within our power to ensure that our members and the wider community are supported.


Chamber of Commerce is partnered with Connect Magazine, and you can read their latest contribution to the December 2023/January 2024 edition below...

Pictured top: Adam Budworth captured by Gary Grimshaw.

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