Trevor Horne as new Chair opened the meeting with a brief address,
outlining the history of Commerce and the importance of the biz sector
in the economy.
He spoke about the shift of power from the West to East and the changes to the Worlds economy that this brings, he also highlighted how China buys 95% of the Earths metals with the growing middle class wanting ipads etc.
Gary Streeter than addressed the meeting and emphasisied the importance of small bizs to the economy. He said that there are aprox 3 mill sole traders and if each was able to take on 1 employee the unemployment figures would be zero. Legislation to make it less onerous for employers to do this was currently on the table inc the employment law burden easing.
We then had a question and answer session which topics included
- The increasing burden of business rates.
- Closer to home whether The Ridgeway car park would remain free to shoppers.
- What was happening with the empty bowling alley on Plymouth Road and the rumours of a supermarket moving there?
- The closure of the airport inevitable but talks over fast links to Exeter airport being renamed as South Devon Airport.
- Impact of Sherford town on the Plympton businesses.
- 550 houses per year starting Jan 2013, up to 4,500 new homes and until a shopping centre is built, Plympton and Plymstock could benefit from increased trade.
Gary then talked about the Chamber taking a more active role with Plymouth City Council and having an input on the development of Plympton retail and business sector.
The meeting concluded at 8pm and general feedback was positive.