The Diamond Chamber of Commerce

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  • 8 Feb 2021 10:56 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)
    Dear Business Friend,

     

    Many of us have experienced extremely tough economic conditions (mildly put) during 2020 and most of us are reeling from the windstorm and everchanging business environment we now live in. Our hearts can only bleed for our colleagues in the tourism, accommodation, hospitality and liquor industries that are only now allowed to trade, albeit on a restricted basis.

    With so many of us looking at our bank balances with trepidation and our businesses with anxiety a “new” term has started to cement itself in our daily conversations: “BUSINESS TURN AROUND”. As with many “new terms” we see many “experts”, as well as our family dog crawling out of its hole, offering turn around advice to all and sundry. As such I thought to dedicate this newsletter to 4 simple steps that I have used in several business growth and turn around plans. These simple tips can be implemented in your own business to turn it from a sinking ship to a ship that is starting to move in its original intended direction.


    Step 1 – LOOK TOWARDS YOUR CUSTOMERS

    If one listens to the world leader in innovation, Elon Musk, one must chuck away the spreadsheet and look at what it is that your customer genuinely wants and just as importantly how your product and/or service truly addresses their need. Importantly we must make use of this “investigation” to honestly rate how engaging with your business adds to your client’s total overall life experience. This exercise does not only allow you to re-invent your product/service offering but also allows one to really comprehend the correct price a customer is willing to pay.

    By utterly understanding the need of your current and intended customers one will have a true ability to investigate whether your product/service is addressing their needs, provide a positive experience and whether you are offering your customers real value at the correct price point. Customers are more than willing to engage with your if the price and value equation causes the client to return for another engagement willingly and happily. During this investigation you may find that you may be too expensive (for the perceived value received) or that you may be too “cheap” and cannot provide the product/service continuously. It may be that there is ample space to add additional value, at extremely low cost, that can generate additional revenue.

    Get your entire team onboard and consistently find additional value adding steps or processes to add value for your customer and work towards providing a more valuable experience in dealing with you.

    Step 2 – LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS FROM YOUR CUSTOMER EYES

    Look honestly at what your business strengths and weaknesses are from the eyes of your customers, specifically interrogate your strengths and weaknesses towards providing a superior and ever improving customer experience.  Direct your energy, passion and your efforts in a manner focused on leading your team to focus on working towards consistently increasing value adding experience for your customers. Invest in those things that you or your business naturally do to create better customer experiences and then look at what you may either outsource, recruit, work on or invest into to increase the customer experience.  The only way to ensure your businesses ability to survive and thrive in any economy is to consistently deliver a strong customer experience that is slightly higher than expected.

    Make the customer king again, start spending every working hour on making your product/service offering better and adding more and more value to your customer. True successes, in this area, are normally based on resourcefulness and not mere resources. One need not make massive expensive changes or vast investments, find simple interventions and actions that will contribute to putting a smile on your client’s face.  Sometimes the smallest gestures, like adding a short phone call after a delivery, sending a gentle reminder message or by adding additional product /services to your offering, can dramatically increase your customer experience and even the increase the actual order or value of the transaction. Ease of implementation and the ability to find simple solutions, focussed on your custumer, is usually were unbelievable growth can be achieved.

    Step 3 – RE-ALLOCATE YOUR SPENDING

    Interrogate your financials, by this I do not mean doing a strict budget only. Although a proper budget, with strict adherence to said budget, will make the world of difference, I would like to add another viewpoint to this exercise.  Categorising expenses into two simple categories. Money spent towards engaging with customers and increasing the customer experience and money spent towards dead expenses.

    Make sure that most of your spending remains focussed on increasing your ability to remain more and more competitive and add towards a more awe-inspiring customer experience.  Spent your hard-earned money towards becoming a better provider of your product/service and that spending will be earn you money consistently over a longer term. Do not be short sighted here, work towards your strategy bit by bit.

    With so many of us having a desperate need to cut on expenses, always remember to focus expenditure, your investment and energy towards positively impacting your customer experience. Cut on expenses that do not contribute towards a better customer experience. Regard your actions as a form of continuous investment, you must be pro-active and forward thinking towards creating a better customer experience, this I can guarantee, will lead to more orders, more referrals and a higher business income.

    Step- 4 – FOCUS ON LEFT-OVERS.

    “Turn Over is Vanity, Profit is Sanity and cashflow is reality”, as the saying goes. Why then do most of us consistently chase turn over. In my life I have seen several high turn-over companies that are in a continuous battle to pay its expenses and find themselves fighting a battle to survive irrespective of a perceived high turnover. Change your mindset from Turn Over to Leftovers. What do I mean by this?  Look at the bottom line, the only real number that “buys the bacon” is the profit. Profit simply put is: The amount that is left over after you have provided your product/service upon which you can truly live on.
    Spent some time on properly re-costing your product/service. Look at the number you actually earn, after you have covered all the associated costs of rendering the product/service. Use this “left-over” amount re-budget your business accordingly. Business Owners that continuously look at improving their business from a “left-over” point of view, rather than falling into the proverbial rat race of turn-over chasing, tend to be significantly more profitable and successful over a longer term.

    Do not chase big numbers, chase real income.

    Over my career I had the privilege to assist just over 50 companies successfully launch or institute “Turn Around Strategies” across the continent. I have seen that by aligning the company and its staff to solely focus on customer and the customer experience one can guarantee your business future whilst the strategy has proven itself to unlock generous medium-term growth in cashflow and the business overall.

    With so many of us easily falling into the trap of despondency and negativity during the current “bad economy” we must never forget why we started our businesses. To core reason why any business exists is to serve its identified customers. Let us get back to basics and re-inspire ourselves and our staff that to serve our customer with a product/service they require and provide them with a customer experience worthy of remembering. Just always make sure you do this in a way that you can continuously make a profit and you will be guaranteed to navigate most stormy seas that may approach your business.

    Regards,


    Chamber President


    LOCAL BUSINESS NEWS
    Congratulations to As Greek as it Gets Restaurant

    One of our most loved establishments have been awarded with the Readers Choice 2020: Best of the Best Award, as publicized in the Pretoria News. We at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate the phenomenal team at As Greek As it Gets in Oak Ave, for being awarded this prestigious honour. 
    SUPPORT OUR 30 SECOND IMPORTANT SURVEY

    Kindly support our short survey on SMME's perceptions about their engagements with SARS. We were recently invited as a member of the SARS Focus Group for the SMME sector. Although we are proud that we can make use of this opportunity to play an active role on behalf our members, we would like to provide SARS with a true reflection of how SARS is perceived by small business in our area. 

    It will not take 30 seconds out of your busy schedule. 
    CONTRIBUTE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
     
    Let the DCC know of any news about your business and product. Also let us know of any achievements, interesting events and/or news that you believe our members will find value in. 

    Send your contributions to info@diamondchamber.co.za

  • 12 Jan 2021 11:25 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)


    Dear Business Friend,

    The above statement may feel quite far removed from your emotions. Many of us are still tired from attempting to navigate a year filled with relentless attacks. Attacks from storms (economically and emotionally), attacks from fake news and conspiracy theories and what many of us experienced, an attack on our ability to earn a living. I am positive that all of us are feeling a bit confused and emotionally drained. 

    What joy you may say? Well point one is you are able to read this letter, you still have the gift of life! Lets cherish this gift. COVID-19 deaths have morphed from a far away statistical figure to a monster that has taken someone we loved and cherished, at least for many of us. The far away virus has become a living room companion and it is very easy for all of us to fall into a trap of fear and desperation.

    As such I would like to challenge each and every one of us to ring in the New Year with joy in our hearts. Let us all be grateful for what we have and the privileges we enjoy. Let us be grateful for a health and as such our ability to still lead ourselves forward. 

    2021 will be a year of unbelievable turmoil and even faster change. As if this is not enough, we are also in an election year, which is guaranteed to be filled with headline hungry political glutens, short term thinking and the loved political strategy of division. Lets not fall for this.

    Lets embrace the changing tides as best we can, we as entrepreneurs by default regard change as an opportunity. Lets buckle down and see how we can leave our beloved country as a better place in 2022.

    We at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce look forward to serving our wonderful business community with vigour and passion in this new year and we thank each and every member that empowers us to do so.

    Warm Regards,

    John-Ernest Fogwell
    Chamber President

  • 23 Dec 2020 11:33 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)
    Dear Business Friend,

    We at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce would like to wish all our members and fellow entrepreneurs a blessed and festive Christmas season. 

    It is our utmost desire that each and everyone will experience the joy, love and togetherness the season brings and we look forward to traversing the new year with all of you.

    May you all be blessed !

    Regards,

    John-Ernest Fogwell
    Chamber President. 
  • 13 Dec 2020 11:32 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)

    Dear Friend and Business Colleague,

    The year 2020 is fast running to and end with most of us overly excited at the prospect to greet this tumultuous year goodbye. We survived a year filled with more uncertainty, anxiety, and disbeliefs than most of us have experienced in an entire lifetime. As we all start the process of bidding 2020 goodbye an alleged second wave and the knowledge that the economic fight is not over hampers our celebration and brings back the reality that 2021 is likely going to be one of the toughest economic years faced by our young economy.

    Most economist will tell you that our economy is in depression, with many saying it is actually a deep depression. With opinions ranging from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 jobs lost in an already battered economy. We are also being warned that business liquidation application is poised to rise towards the latter part of the first quarter and into the second quarter of 2021. This rise is expected by some to be estimated 180,000 entities it is not unfathomable that another 1,000,000 jobs may be lost in the first half of 2021. A dire situation for an economy that needs to create jobs at an incredible pace, not loose job opportunities like leaves on an autumn tree.

    A specific point that shows the terrifying impact of this disease is that more than 250,000 domestic workers have lost their jobs. As this is a sector predominantly employs woman, mothers, and is a steppingstone out of total poverty for many, I am deeply saddened by the impact on these important breadwinners and as such having on our poorest component of our nation.  

    That said, allow me to provide a different perspective. This is the time for us as small business owners and entrepreneurs to stand up. It is time for us to leverage our opportunities and aggressively focus on the health and wellbeing of our businesses. Responsible capitalism must now hear the call and approach their business with doubtless vigour, passion, and innovation. It is most likely the first time in the modern economy that smaller businesses have an advantage against its larger competitors.

    Our ability to adapt, innovate and grab opportunities is providing us with an ability to outperform our larger cousins. Our lower cost base and the rapid increase in technological advancement has closed the gap between what the big boys can do, and we can do. The playing field is fast becoming flatter. With technology like Teams and Zoom, we can also attack markets in what once was far flung lands, with marketing tools like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn we can market our products and services as far and wide, or as targeted as we want. With the fast fall in the cost of innovation we can see smaller companies making larger impacts more quickly.

    Yes, 2021 will not be all sunshine and rainbows, but for the adaptable this new environment is poised to provide new opportunities for business growth. Let your creative juices flow, adapt your business offering around your clients needs, not yours, and you will most likely be fantastically rewarded.

    The Diamond Chamber of Commerce looks forward to walking this gravel road with all of you. We are available to provide support and assistance where we can. Afford us the opportunity to join you in this new journey.

    Warm Regards,
     
    John-Ernest Fogwell
    Chamber President

    A SALUTE TO OUR MATRICULATNS OF 2020

    Before we continue, I think it is important for all of us to salute all the children and parents that survived academic calendar that was 2020. This year was surely one of the most disruptive ever experienced by mankind.

    We at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce would like to specifically salute our matriculants that have completed their school career this year. You were battered by uncertainty; you were surrounded by fear, you had new teaching methods and you had slightly confused parents that tried to fill the role of a teacher. You stood up to the challenge and we are extremely proud of you.

    Whatever you plan for your future, we wish you all the best of luck. You are entering a new world, not only proverbial but in a very real way. Hit it, you can definitely do it. If a father of a matriculant can be so forward as to offer a piece of advice: BE LIKE A RIVER– Keep your flow, environments will change and so will the speed at which you flow. Obstacles will be in your way, some even made by others, adapt but remain steadfast and remember, a river always finds its way to the sea. So, will you!!!
     
    SOME FEEDBACK FROM THE CHAMBER
    As the year draws to a close it is important to review the year that has passed and the impact that was made to the community your serve. We at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce is immensely proud of the support our members empowered us to provide.

    Allow us to provide some feedback:
    1. We proudly hosted two extremely successful events with incredible speakers that was attended by nearly 200 businesses.
    2. We were able to make membership and access to our events more affordable than ever, allowing membership figures to grow during this pandemic.
    3. Our Covid-19 Relief Team provided food parcel support that provided several member company's and their staff with food security for period of approximately 4 months and touched the lives of nearly 1000 community members.
    4. We provided business coaching to over 100 companies, equating to just over 500 hours of high impact coaching on different business needs.
    5. Our collaboration project has assisted 8 companies to collaborate with each other to not only survive the economic pandemic, but some even thrived from that base.
    6. Our sponsors empowered us to keep the post office gardens thriving.
    7. We played an active role, with our partners, to provide important assistance during the water crisis.
    8. Our Covid-19 Business Support plan was implemented by other Chambers in Gauteng. The Diamond Chamber of The Centurion Business Forum jointly run one of the largest business support initiatives. 
    All this was made possible not by any individual but by the joint effort of every member of the Diamond Chamber of Commerce and we are humbled by the fact that we could be the conduit through which so much good came during a tough year.

    We trust these achievements will become a foundation for greater future achievements within our community.

    We thank you all for your support during the year and we look forward to be your business representative in 2021.
    GOOD NEWS FROM THE COMMUNITY
    GREEN TECHNOLOGY HELPS LOCAL BUSINESS EMPOWER COMMUNITY MEMBERS

    Local agricultural group, The Cavalier Group of Companies that specializes in creating the shortest and most cost-effective route for red meat products from farm to fork, recently undertook a small scale expansion of their plant just outside Cullinan, expanding its biltong manufacturing abilities. Although the expansion project may be regarded as a relatively small project for this specialist group, the management, in line with its strategy to add value to the community engaged with specialist construction companies willing to go the extra mile towards community upliftment.

    “When engaging with specialist construction companies we did not merely request local participation in their labour hire process, but we also demanded local beneficiation to community members within Region 5. The team at CG Construction was up to the challenge” says Kabols le Riche (CEO Cavalier)
     
    From this dedication the “GreenCrete Training Plan” was born focused on training and accrediting local labourers as specialist bricklayers using the new GreenCrete technology. Apart from finishing the project as expert and accredited GreenCrete installers, the 3 local participants will also receive a file reflecting the on-the-job training they have received during the project cycle.

    “We are extremely proud of the 3 individuals that completed this rigorous accreditation process, and we are confident that they will be able to secure even better employment opportunities in the near future.” Said le Riche
     
    The success of any such project however lies in the day to day operations of the project and as such we at Cavalier would like to thank the excellent team of CG Construction, especially Coenraad Groenwald and Wikus Roelofse for the passion they injected into our strategy” continued le Riche.

    As if this achievement was not enough the team also appointed Mr. Thabo Ntlantlane as Intern Site Manager. This young and vibrant member of the local community grabbed this opportunity with vigour. As part of his development plan Thabo will not only receive his GreenCrete accreditation, but is also receiving further management training and accredited skills training as well, arming this young man with an envious CV to enter the construction management market as a trained, accredited and experienced professional.
     

  • 23 Sep 2020 11:41 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)

    Dear Business Owner,

    It is official, we are on Level 1 Lock-Down and most of our beloved economy is starting to wake up and slowly returning to the new normal. Most of us entrepreneurs are likely feeling anxious about what is exactly this new normal is going to be. 

    Staying positive in this tough climate is not only pivotal but for most of us more strenuous than ever. As your selective business chamber we definitely understand the very raw emotional battle that most of us is fighting at this time. 

    As such we are proud to have been a catalyst towards better business collaboration and networking as well as hosting a fantastic business breakfast in which we had the opportunity to engage with unbelievable speakers and gain important knowledge on how we can navigate the new, increasingly online, world.

    Notwithstanding the above we would like to urge our member to tell us about how they are experiencing their current business journey .Inform us of your successes and your obstacles. You are not alone, let us share the great successes within our community and let work together to build our community into a strong business community.

    Regards,

    John-Ernest Fogwell
    Chamber President
    john@fogwell.co.za 

    OUR BUSINESS BREAKFAST
    HOSTED AT CULLINAN GOLF CLUB
    ON THE 18TH OF SEPTEMBER 2020
    The Diamond Chamber of Commerce hosted is first Post-Covid Business Breakfast on the 18th of September 2020 at the Cullinan Golf Club.

    Not only are we proud to have provided more information to our members about the important topic of Digitalising your Business, we are even more blessed by the fantastic speakers of our event. All in attendance will agree that the morning was informative, challenging and energetic. 

    We would like to thank each and every DCC family member that attended this SOLD-OUT event and afforded us and our speakers the opportunity to engage with you on this all important topic. 
     



    EVENT SPONSOR
    PROVIDING COVID SAFETY TO OUR COMMUNITY
    The Diamond Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Mr. Riaan van Niekerk of
    APL Protect (Pty) Ltd
    for keeping our delegates safe.
    To order the disinfectant that kills the Corona Virus for up to 10 days 
    Contact APL Today
     A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR HOSTS
    TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
    TELL US ABOUT SPECIALS, EVENTS AND OTHER NEWS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, SO WE CAN SHARE IT WITH THE ENTIRE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
    info@diamondchamber.co.za

    All Events and Business related announcement will be shared accross our platforms, subject to approval
    UPCOMING MEMBER EVENT
    ARE YOUR DETAILS ON OUR WEBSITE

  • 3 Sep 2020 15:13 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)

    You are invited to our next business breakfast


    Dear Business Friend,

    We at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce are very excited to announce that we will be hosting our next Business Breakfast on the 18th of September 2020 at the Cullinan Golf Club.

    The Topic of this event will be
    UNDERSTANDING DIGITAL BUSINESS
    and will aim at answering the many questions we all have about implementing digital marketing, remote working, social media management and online product selling. In our survey over 18% of the participants mentioned the need to move more aggressively towards embracing the digital world.

    Notwithstanding every business owner has to investigate new online tools available to manage their own businesses. 

    To RSVP for the event please click here and for more information please feel free to contact info@diamondchamber.co.za 

    Look forward to seeing you there

    John-Ernest Fogwell

    Chamber President

    john@fogwell.co.za







    Mr. Juan Quinn - JQ Digital

    Juan is a specialist in DIGITAL Communication, Social Media and Online Marketing with his well respected agency based in Pretoria & Polokwane, South Africa and client over the continent. Some of his services includes lead generation, customer communication and online credibility solutions.

    Topic: Understanding the Digital Marketing Journey

    More info: www.juanq.co.za 


    Ms. Marie-Thérèse Le Roux - YaziMedia

    Marie-Thérèse Le Roux empowers entrepreneurs, creatives and professionals to communicate for impact, fun and profit. Online and off.  Marie is the founder of YaziMedia, a communication agency with a vision to equip SMMEs in South Africa with the knowledge and skills to thrive through an effective web presence, online publishing and overall communication strategy.  Marie's role is to distill and share the principles through online and offline materials, training and coaching. 

    Topic: Standing out in a noisy world

    More info: https://www.yazimedia.co.za/

    Mr. Jan Harmsgat - #ILOVECULLINAN

    Jan is one of our local celebrity entrepreneurs. He is well known for his #ILOVECULLINAN brand that has engagements of over 250,000 people on a monthly basis. As a both a traditional "brick and mortar" and digital entrepreneur his unique, plain language and street wise hints and tips will provide great value to any business person wishing to leverage the power of social media. 

    Topic: Streetwise Tips to build a Social Media Following

    More info: www.janharmsgat.co.za

    BASIC INFORMATION OF EVENT

    DATE: 18 SEPTEMBER 2020
    ARRIVAL:
    07:30 FOR 08:00 TO 11:00
      

    FINGER BREAKFAST SNACKS
    3 QUALITY SPEAKERS (20 MINUTES EACH)
    1 HOUR PANEL DISCUSSION WITH PARTICIPANT PARTICIPATION 
    NETWORK WITH LIKE MINDED ENTREPRENEURS

    RSVP ESSENTIAL


    We at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce want to protect our members. As such we are incredibly proud to announce that APL PROTECT, brand owners in South Africa, of Bacoban has generously offered to sponsor hand sanitizers and area disinfectant to keep the attendees safe during our Business Breakfast. 

    We ask all delegates to kindly remember NO MASK - NO ACCESS

    BOOK YOUR SEAT

    Our New Website - www.diamondchamber.co.za

    As you should be aware we have launched the new Diamond Chamber of Commerce website. As such we are asking each any every member to kindly update their membership details and send us comments, suggestions and news to help us grow our online community.

    As with any new project some frustrations and errors may occur. Please let us know how you experienced our new online home. 


  • 2 Aug 2020 18:30 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)

    Dear Mr. President,

    In May, on a day that I had the painful task of informing approximately 200 people that their immediate future was decimated, I wrote my first ever OPEN LETTER to you. Up to date I had to manage this task for over 500 people. In said letter I begged you to re-open the economy, for those wanting to work, for fear that our sunny country was going to be visited by a rider on a biblical white horse, the white horse was named “Financial Death”.

    As with so many cries from economic experts, medical experts, educational experts, and lay business-people  you elected to ignore our calls. You chose to rather create a narrative of life vs money and your PR spin doctors rather went into a campaign to malign any person warning of the impending doom that is directly attributable to your overbearing lock down regulations. It is now August and the desperate pleas of your people are still being ignored.

    But let us not be unfair, your extreme and somewhat ridiculous sanctions have caused some major successes. It has successfully decimated the South African Tourism industry, it successfully decimated the South Africa Wine industry, among others. It has successfully decimated the conferencing and entertainment industry and more over it was extremely successful in directly causing the hardship of millions of families directly and indirectly dependent on these and several other industries.

    On the other hand, your overbearing, ill-conceived and draconian regulations had an incredible creationist effect as well. Your approach has created an unprecedented growth surge in illegal trade in the cigarette and liquor industry, it has created a fast-growing underground trading market that is accessible to anyone that wishes to participate. It has created millionaires by empowering the corrupt to swallow tenders faster than a “Chicken Licken Fly-Thru”.

    Imagine if the same energy was invested into stimulating economic growth, job creation and transformation. Most of our country’s problems would have been addressed.

    In my last letter I presaged that our country is going to turn into a lawless moral desert. Sadly, we are not turning into said moral desert, we are there. Millions of citizens have turned to criminal behaviour to feed legal needs, thousands have turned into illegal traders, merely to survive, directly caused by regulations that is borderline insane. South Africa has become a nation that is finding ways of surviving despite of your government. The worst thing is that most of the nation now applauded (or started to emulate) the actions of rogue industries and organised crime syndicates.

    People want out! Not just of the lock-down, but out from under your imperial rule. A rule of utter devastation that your government has pro-actively worked to put in place.

    History has shown that all despots and tyrants created a common enemy. In your attempt to amplify the Virus into the nation’s enemy or rather the enemy of the people, you have successfully bolstered and proved one singular enemy of the people: THE ANC! Your government has created a legacy of lies, deception, corruption, and theft. Not just theft of money, but the theft of millions of people’s future.

    You will most likely not read this letter and you will ridicule same to the trash folder. Justifying your action by identifying me as another colonial commentator, hell bend on creating division. No sir, I am an active community member, an active taxpayer, and an active lover of this country. Finally, I am a lover of life and a keen activist for the right of live.

    I beg of you, bring back the sanity. Let the people work and earn a living in their selected career! Please stop the madness.

    Regards,

    John-Ernest Fogwell

  • 28 Jul 2020 17:18 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)

    Dear Business Owner,

    In this extremely uncertain time we at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce have kept ourselves busy engaging with communities and our members. As your representative business voice we are truly privileged to be an active participant in so many business owner's daily life. We thank you for the allowing us into your mailboxes, your time and your businesses. 

    In this jam-packed newsletter you will see our activities ranged from forming new business committees to spreading hope to employees and businesses effected by the Lock-Down to engaging with members directly. Not only have I been surprised by so many member entrepreneurs, I have personally been in awe with our nations ability to step up in crisis. 

    Lets put our focus on supporting each other, backing our back-yard and buying from small business. Even doing small acts of support by sharing business activities with us, the Diamond Chamber of Commerce, and your friends via your social media platforms can make an incredible difference in a business owners life. 

    Remember to add #ilovecullinan when posting your beautiful pictures in our region, who knows they may make your post famous. 

    With the utmost respect and awe,

    John-Ernest Fogwell
    Chamber President
    john@fogwell.co.za




  • 6 Jul 2020 16:17 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)

    Dear Business Owner,

    Since our last Newsletter the Diamond Chamber of Commerce team has been busy finding ways to better support our member businesses, with the aim at being a real place of support for local business owners in navigating the current and future economic environment. 

    As part of our efforts, we are extremely proud of our Council of Trustees and their Relief Project aimed at being a supportive hand for financially decimated business owners and their employees during this unprecedented time. This project currently provides food vouchers redeemable at the local Spar. As the Diamond Chamber of Commerce we would like to grow the impact and reach of this plan and as such we ask any businesses or individuals that can financially support this endeavour to contact us to make a donation.

    We are also proud of the work done so far by our Business Support Team that has also been busy  providing legal, financial and marketing advice and collaboration advice and support. The fruits of this team labour may not be seen right now, but this investment into our community future will bear fruits for time to come. We also welcome any business owner to contact us for support and/or if they can provide any sort of support. We all need to work together to survive and soon thrive!

    As a final point we can are also very pleased to have seen the return of visitors to Cullinan and the Dinokeng region and its establishments. The return is undoubtedly thanks to each and every person that markets their businesses but also invest their time and resources towards marketing our area. Each business is benefiting from these unsung hero's and we thank them sincerely. 

    Let us all do our bit to support local businesses online. Let’s like and join as many local business groups on social media, lets comment, mention and share messages from local businesses, let’s start brag about our unique community. 

    Regards,

    John-Ernest Fogwell
    Chamber President

    john@fogwell.co.za


  • 19 Jun 2020 07:00 | John-Ernest Fogwell (Administrator)

    Dear Business Owner,

    As you may be aware the Diamond Chamber of Commerce have recently run a survey amongst our members and newsletter subscribers. We would like to thank the several business owners that invested their time in completing the survey.

    We are now completed with the survey and collating the results. Using the results, throughout the collating process we at the Diamond Chamber of Commerce worked incredibly hard towards customising our value contribution towards our members. We are looking forward to communicating these benefits as and when we get them online.

    Below you will find the results of the survey for your perusal and we ask any member that would like to comment to send said comment to us.

    Stay safe, stay healthy and protect yourself against the cold. Our economy and community needs you!

    Regards,

    John-Ernest Fogwell
    Chamber President
    john@fogwell.co.za


     

    Commencement of our Food Support and Relief Plan.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the requests from our members the Diamond Chamber of Commerce have enlisted to support and expertise of our Council of Trustees to commence with our Food Support and Relief Plan.

    As of today the team have commenced in providing food vouchers, redeemable at Spar Cullinan, to acquire much needed relief during this tough economic climate for both the business owenrs, forced to close and their employees that have lost their employment. 

    We thank the team at the DCC's Council of Trustees and we also thank the several businesses that has supported this initiative. 

    Businesses can contact the Diamond Chamber of Commerce at (012) 305 2501 and/or info@diamondchamber.co.za if you require any assistance and/or you can provide any support to these efforts. 

    HIGH LIGHTS FROM MUCH ANTICIPATED SURVEY RESULTS

    Whilst compiling the Survey Results I was amazed about the quality and varying comments and suggestions made by our subscribers. We again would like to thank each and every business owner that completed the survey and help us to become a more active and successful role players in the local economy. 

    The first interesting statistic was that 48% of the participants were not current members of the Diamond Chamber of Commerce, with approximately 21% clearly showing an interest in joining the Chamber. Participants have also indicated that their businesses currently employ 2,300 people showing that approximately 9,500 individuals receive economic benefit from these members. 

    It also became evident that most of the participants are experiencing financial pressure and feel despondent about their business future. With only 79,1% to able to access any government support and with only 20,1% stating that they received some form of support, one has to interpret the findings as a clear indication of the dismal failure from government to role out effective relief programs geared towards business. We have to ask, with only 20,1% of business being able to access how will the R 500 Billion relief spend will be repaid with 79,1% receiving now benefit. 

    Another reality became evident is that many participants mentioned uncertain regulations, growth negative legislative and unreliable infrastructure as their largest inhibitors towards business success and growth trying to survive the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and its lock down. With as many a 69,7% of participants ranking their business survival odds at less than 50% and only 13,9% feeling confident of survival most can agree that we our community is begging for growth stunting legislation and regulations to be lifted and for a more pro-business environment. 

    With a only 14% of the participants supporting the Lock-Down and 23% feeling that it should have been handled in a different way the clear cry from business to lift the current Lock-Down regulations should be listened to. 

    When asked what interventions can be provided by the Diamond Chamber of Commerce the message was clear:

    1. Providing exposure towards a larger client pool.
    2. Assistance in finding Cashflow supportive tools and methods.
    3. Assistance in bringing more tourists to Cullinan and Dinokeng
    4. Seek assistance in obtaining access to finance, soft loans and capital injections

    We have listened and will be working to build programs geared towards these needs. 

    When asked how the government can assist small business the following points was top of the list:

    1. Remove uncertainty about regulations and stop restrictive legislation
    2. Work towards a more business growth focuses tax regime
    3. Stimulate a more capital/investor friendly environment
    4. Show leadership and focus towards creating a pro business growth environment
    5. Stop changing rules and political views at a whim
    6. Focus infrastructure spending towards economic growth projects

    It also became clear that many of our participants feel that the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis will negatively impact their client's ability to spend money on their products and services in the immediate future, whilst a fear for civil unrest has also been visible in comments made increasing the fear that businesses will not survive in the upcoming months. 

    Another worrying fact that became evident was that 77% of our participants have seen an increase in illegal trade with 48,8% of respondents believing that the trade will continue. This does not bode well for economic growth nor tax revenue towards the future that will in all likelihood placed increased pressures on legitimate operators and our economy. 

    With 18,4% stating they require urgent financial, tax, legal and business rescue advice and 16,3% asking for assistance in going online, our offices will be contacting those specific requests and is also working towards training and accessibility interventions to assist these entrepreneurs.  

    I trust that you found value in reading the highlights from our survey.  Please feel free to contact our offices if you would like to receive the comprehensive report once review by our legal team. 

    The launch of the DCC Business Support Plan

    At the Diamond Chamber of Commerce we invest out passion towards assisting our members and the business community to grow the economy in Region 5. Said passion is directed towards stimulating collaboration between businesses, educating businesses on critical skills required for growth and to promoting businesses in our community. 

    Taking the results and comments in our recent survey into consideration, we are developing our Business Support Plan with vigour towards providing the above services and support along with the heightened need in our community. 

    Our upcoming plan will include, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, the following:

    • The development of an Enterprise Development Campus
    • Bespoke training and seminars towards addressing key needs (Digitization, Online Marketing, Remote Working and more...)
    • Micro Business Leadership Course aimed at micro traders and informal businesses
    • The launching of the DCC Online Store, to assist members to sell their products/services on an online platform.
    • Building partnerships with capital/finance providers to make capital more accesible

    We will shortly be launching our new Business Support Plan and ask each an every interested party to contact our office for more information and to receive updates on the progress. 


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ABOUT ASSOCIATION

The Diamond Chamber of Commerce (DCC) ia a business chamber for Region 5 including Tshwane, Dinokeng, Cullinan, Rayton, Refilwe, Onverwacht and surrounding areas.

CONTACTS

info@diamondchamber.co.za
+27 (012) 305 2501
Address: 89A Oak Avenue, Cullinan, Pretoria, 1000

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