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Mattia Group are performance management consultants in education, business and sport. With a particular interest in

cricket, we work with professional cricketers, before, during and after their careers in areas including elite performance, mental health and career management. In addition, we work with

educational providers, businesses and sporting organisations to develop and implement performance and business strategies. Finally, we continue to give our time, free of charge, to help young disadvantaged people from all cultural backgrounds improve their lives through sport. Chairman Roger Newman is

a recognised expert in performance management in education, business and sport. He turned down the opportunity to play professional cricket to pursue a career in education and then business. Having sold his businesses in

1997, he returned to cricket as director of cricket at Oxford University and then academy director at Warwickshire. During that time players like Jim Troughton, Ian Bell, Kabir Ali, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali all progressed into the professional game and Andy Flower, the England coach, once said: “When we worked together at Warwickshire and Oxford, Roger’s cricket knowledge and man-management skills ensured our success and enjoyment. These qualities are founded on openness and honesty not often seen in any walk of life and will, in my view, always guarantee a positive influence on individuals and teams he is working with.” We are pleased to discuss

our range of services with potential clients and can always assure them of a positive return on any investment they make with us. Whether you are involved in education, business or sport, Mattia has the expertise and experience to help you.

Contact: Roger J Newman, chairman, Mattia ltd. Email: Call: 07399 887503

14 CHAMBERLINK June 2021

Language skills vital as SMEs seek export success

New research from Aston University has found language capabilities are a key driver for boosting exports for UK SMEs. The results, presented in the LO-C 30 Report published by the Association of Translation Companies, reveal that SMEs making use of language capabilities are 30 per cent more successful in exporting than those who do not.

‘SMEs can significantly increase their export sales, growth and profits by hiring people with language skills’

Aston Business School researcher Ankita Tibrewal’s

quantitative research on 415 UK SMEs across different sectors examines their organisational-level language capacity and its drivers through statistical analysis and modelling. The research analyses the impact of language

capacity (LO-C) on companies’ export performance and identifies key drivers that facilitate LO-C within an SME. LO-C, a key concept within the research, indicates the company’s motivation, preparedness and attitudes

towards developing language-related capabilities, as well as the actual use of available language capabilities. SMEs play a critical role in the UK economy, and their

contribution increases year on year. SME companies represent 99.9 per cent of the business population with six million businesses and around half of all turnover in the UK’s private sector. SMEs employ 16.8 million people, 61 per cent of the total workforce. The LO-C 30 Report is the first comprehensive,

country-wide quantitative research study investigating how language capabilities at an organisational level can facilitate the internationalisation of UK SMEs. Dr Geoff Parkes, senior lecturer at Aston Business

School, said: “Previous academic research on UK companies has shown a strong link between exporting and growth and, for SMEs, a key way to generate growth is through exporting products and services to international markets. “The results of the research strongly indicate that

SMEs can significantly increase their export sales, growth and profits by hiring people with language skills and high cultural intelligence, providing language training to existing staff and investing in professional translation services using sophisticated language technology.”

Government tries to stem rates appeals

Latest Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) business rates appeals figures to end March 2021 show that since 1 April, 2020, 409,430 checks (the first stage of the appeals process) have been registered by businesses, most of whom had been impacted by Covid-19. This figure dwarfs the 158,910 number of

checks registered in the previous three years - since the start of the list in April 2017 to end of March 2020 - and shows the total disruption to hundreds and thousands of businesses caused by Covid-19. The Government has taken the

unprecedented step of announcing it would legislate that Material Change of Circumstance (MCC) appeals for businesses impacted by Covid-19 would not be valid for the appeal system - a move that was lambasted by the rating profession at the time. John Webber (pictured), head of business rates at Colliers, said: “These

latest figures explain why the Government acted as it did and why its Valuation Office Agency (VOA) was allowed to change the law - to prevent 400,000 business rate payers who felt their bills were unfair - from contesting them. It’s a disgrace. The Government ripped up the rule book retrospectively, purely because the numbers were too high. Over 400,000 businesses had gone to the trouble of registering through the tortuous CCA appeals system in good faith, to find the goal posts moved before their very eyes. “The Government offered a £1.5bn business rates relief fund instead - but

this comes nowhere near compensating what businesses have lost through the pandemic. Given both the smoking ban and foot and mouth were accepted as grounds for MCC appeals, it’s shocking that Covid-19 has been rejected, despite earlier assurances from the VOA. This is pure and simply retrospective legislation, amounting to a retrospective tax increase - and created because dealing with the true problem is just too difficult.” Other figures of note revealed by the latest figures further illustrated how

appallingly slow the appeals system remains in resolving those rate payers who had managed to get past the Check system. Of 101,260 challenges to the list to date, there are still 66,370 outstanding, four years into the list. And of the 29,340 resolved, only 50 per cent have been “agreed”.

Sponsors back Chamber festival

Businesses across Greater Birmingham have backed Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s five-week Festival of Business campaign. Digital Innovators, Leap IT

and Utility Works have signed up as sponsors of the campaign, taking place throughout June. The campaign aims to

celebrate the business communities in Greater Birmingham that are a part of the Chamber group. Leap IT are headline

sponsors of the second week of the campaign, starting from 7 June.

During that week, several

events will focus on key Solihull-based issues including a webinar on how to support the town’s future generation, being sponsored by Digital Innovators and taking place on 9 June. Utility Works are sponsoring

a webinar taking place on 10 June, focusing on how to reduce net zero carbon emissions by 2041.

For more information visit greaterbirminghamchambers. com

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