by Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce
I had a very useful meeting with officials from the Scottish Government last week where we explored how ministers and businesses in the Highlands could better engage with the range of opportunities offered by the Chamber of Commerce of Inverness as the main business membership organization in the region.
As the strong business voice for the city and the wider Highlands and Islands, I recognize that we have a vital role to play in advocating for the betterment of our region through, for example, improved transport links transport ; providing state-of-the-art digital infrastructure, increasing housing supply and transforming cities and town centers to make them the beating heart of our working lives.
However, in having this type of dialogue, I am aware that there is an inevitable degree of tension around the idea of giving politicians of any party a platform and the need for us, as a community of business, to articulate strongly, even forcefully, our needs and our aspirations.
However, I am confident that members of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce and businesses in the Highlands have a powerful mechanism to ensure their voice is clearly heard by members of government at all levels in our country. The Quarterly Economic Indicator (QI) is the longest data series of its kind. It provides a regular and respected overview of the fortunes of major Scottish sectors.
Our QEI focuses on the key sectors that matter to our city and region – manufacturing, construction, finance and business services, tourism and retail, measuring a number of indicators including business optimism, investment and performance to provide a comprehensive understanding of the business landscape.
A highly respected and influential publication, the QEI clearly plays a vital role in setting the corporate agenda and in informing the highest levels of government and policy-making about the needs of local chambers and their members. As the Inverness Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to connecting and actively representing Highland businesses to support their growth, I believe the QEI provides a unique opportunity for our businesses to have their voices heard. Email [email protected] to find out how to contribute.