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Thoughts of a CEO | Investing in People

Thoughts of a CEO | Investing In People


As the CEO of The Giftware Association, I find myself in a unique position at the nexus of policy-making and the everyday realities of running giftware and retail businesses. Later this month, I am honoured to represent our vibrant industry at both the Parliamentary breakfast and the Bank of England meeting. These platforms are not just ceremonial; they are critical opportunities to voice the specific challenges and opportunities our sector faces, especially considering the upcoming Spring Budget and the looming general election.


The current economic climate, with its unprecedented challenges, underscores the importance of our collective voice. The Spring Budget, set to be delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday is poised to be a pivotal moment for SMEs across the UK. Amidst speculation of a general election in May, this budget could significantly shape the landscape in which we operate. After the Autumn Statement unveiled reforms in National Insurance and investment opportunities for the self-employed, anticipation is building around potential measures that could further impact our industry.


Our members are particularly attuned to the possibility of changes in income tax thresholds, VAT regulations, fuel duty, and the Apprenticeship Levy—each of which directly influences our operational costs and growth prospects. The prospect of business rate reforms and continued energy bill support are also of paramount concern, as these factors significantly affect our bottom line and sustainability.


However, to effectively advocate for our needs and interests, it is crucial that I carry with me not just my perspective but the collective insights and experiences of our members. This is where the true power of engagement with The Giftware Association becomes evident. By participating in our forthcoming survey, each member can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of our industry's current state. Your responses will inform my discussions at both the Parliamentary breakfast and the Bank of England meeting, ensuring that the voice of the giftware and retail sector is heard loud and clear.


As we navigate these uncertain times, the importance of unity and collective action cannot be overstated. Our association is a powerful conduit for change, but our influence is directly proportional to the engagement and input of our members. The challenges we face are multifaceted, but so are the opportunities that lie ahead. By coming together to share our experiences, concerns, and suggestions, we can shape a future that not only addresses our immediate challenges but also positions our industry for long-term success.


I urge every member to take the time to complete the upcoming survey. Your insights are invaluable, providing the evidence and narratives needed to advocate effectively on your behalf. As we approach these critical engagements with policymakers, let us seize this opportunity to ensure that our industry's voice is not just heard, but is influential in shaping the policies that will define our path forward.


Together, we can navigate the complexities of the current economic landscape, advocate for meaningful change, and secure a prosperous future for the giftware and retail sector. Your voice matters—let it be heard.


Sarah x

Keywords: CEO, Business, Thought

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