Town’s ‘pos­i­tive vibes’ im­press boss

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - by Mike Ben­nett mben­nett@thek­m­group.co.uk

AS ONE of the peo­ple ad­vis­ing the Gov­ern­ment on how to tackle the chal­lenges of the UK econ­omy, David Frost, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce, is a key fig­ure.

De­spite a full di­ary of meet­ings with min­is­ters he took time out to ad­dress a packed Kent In­victa Cham­ber of Com­merce an­nual meet­ing on Fri­day and brought with him en­cour­ag­ing news for Kent and Ash­ford in par­tic­u­lar.

Rep­re­sent­ing more than 100,000 UK busi­nesses, White­hall takes his opin­ions se­ri­ously al­though he ad­mit­ted he had no idea what would hap­pen over the com­ing weeks.

He said: “I have been sur­prised by the level of busi­ness con­fi­dence shown in our re­cent sur­vey which ap­pears to be buck­ing the trend. The worry is the global fi­nan­cial tur­moil is putting off in­vest­ment and that causes a spi­ral down the chain.”

Arriving by train at Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional he said he was im­pressed with what he saw.

“I see a 21st cen­tury town in the premier league county of Kent with good road net­works. Clearly the new high speed trains will have a pro­found im­pact on busi­ness and I only get pos­i­tive vibes.”

Stand­ing down as Kent In­victa chair­man af­ter two years in of­fice, Gra­ham Galpin paid trib­ute to for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Capron who re­signed through ill health, and his suc­ces­sor Jo James for lead­ing the cham­ber’s 1,200 plus mem­bers through dif­fi­cult times.

He said: “Our mem­bers are feel­ing the pinch but take heart, Kent is bet­ter placed to weather the tur­bu­lence of the busi­ness cli­mate that has af­fected other ar­eas.”

He handed over the chair of of­fice to dig­i­tal strate­gist Daniel Ghinn, at 35 the youngest ever cham­ber chair­man, who is manag­ing di­rec­tor of the Cre­ation In­ter­ac­tive Agency and di­rec­tor of The Won­der­ful Creative Agency, based in Maid­stone.

New chief ex­ec­u­tive Jo James said: “It is im­per­a­tive dur­ing th­ese tur­bu­lent times to en­sure that what you of­fer clients is what they want and that you com­mu­ni­cate your mes­sage ef­fec­tively.”

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1494390

Jo James, new chair­man Daniel Ghinn and David Frost

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