January 2019 breakfast

New Year, icy start and time to think about holidays!


A get well soon to Our Lovely Secretary, Keely Taylor, who was felled by the seasonal flu – not suggesting that the attraction of staying in a nice, warm bed rather than scraping ice off the windscreen had anything to do with it!

Plenty of breakfasters made it to the Mix – and their lovely breakfast – despite the winter freeze and it was lovely to see a couple of returnees, Bob Scott, of Niche Cocktails, and Venitia Billings, of Syrinx Systems.

Despite the uncertainty over the future, plenty of people were thinking positively about the future and mindful that change is a constant in business.

Owen Williams, of West View IT, has been planning a new service aimed at preventing customers’ potential future IT problems. Albert Peters, of Pegasus HR warned that yet more changes are being introduced to GDPR regulations.

Allan Scott, of Mill House Media, has seen many changes in his 37 years in the writing business and reminded everyone that one constant is the need to connect with customers and clients.

The month’s presentation was from Tracey Strand, of Tailor and Made Travel who has been an intrepid traveller since she left school and has so far visited 64 countries on six continents, with plenty more on her to-do list.


Tracey Strand, of Tailor and Made TravelTravel tips for stress-free globe-trotting

An indefatigable list-maker, Tracey’s lifetime of travel experience was distilled into a list of the essentials when you are preparing to travel anywhere.

  1. Research your destination: usually, the reason for a “bargain” holiday deal is because the offer is for a time of year when conditions are less than ideal – such as hurricane season!
  2. Check your travel agent is covered by ATOL and/or ABTA.
  3. Check your passport: how long is there left on it? Some countries impose a minimum remaining time on passports to allow you to visit. Many more countries are also requiring visas and arranging them can take anything from a few days with applications done online, to several weeks with the possibility of having to visit the country’s embassy in person.
  4. Check the Foreign Office website for current information on your destination and whether it is safe to go there.
  5. Check with your GP about inoculations, not only those you need for your own protection but also those that are required by your destination country as a condition of entry. Again, you should allow for plenty of time before departure to have them.
  6. Lists are crucial: one, for everything you might want to take, and the other for what you actually need to take.
  7. Take an international adaptor: on long haul holidays, so that you can use your electrical gadgets wherever you are, preferably with USB ports included.
  8. Health care: be prepared. In Europe, you should ensure your EHIC card is still valid as they now need to be renewed rather than lasting forever. Make sure you have it in your package of essential documents.
  9. Travel insurance: never travel without it and make sure the policy is relevant for your plans and destination location. It is essential to read the small print, especially for such issues as emergency cover, medical cover and flights back home if you should fall ill. Similarly, if you plan to take part in any activities the insurer would consider risky.
  10. If you need to take regular medication always carry it in hand luggage with a letter from your GP detailing the condition and medication required. Carry medication sealed. If open it has to go into the suitcase.
  11. Carry photocopies of your essential documents, such as passport, visas, ticket arrangements as well as spare passport-style photos. Carry it separately from your actual passport and leave a spare copy with someone at home along with your itinerary.
  12. Make sure you tell your credit card company and mobile phone provider that you are going abroad.
  13. Remember, delays are almost inevitable so make sure you have a supply of puzzles, books, spare medication and drinking water just in case.
  14. A useful tip is to pay for use of the airport lounge, where you get somewhere comfortable to sit, free food and drink.


MSBE2 – Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Stands are sold out for the second Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition at The Mix, though businesses can join the waiting list. Danny Cuff, exhibition co-ordinator, reported that bookings this year are a 50/50 mix of returnees and newcomers. You can find out more here www.msbe.biz


Tell us what you want

Allan is happy to receive any suggestions for what members want to see the Chamber doing in the future. Please send your ideas (and your want lists) to [email protected].


Dates for your diary:

February Coffee  February Breakfast
Needham Market Community Centre The Mix, Stowmarket
Friday, February 1 Friday, February 15
10.00am-12noon Starting at 6.45am

For more information contact Keely Taylor

phone: 01449 770965

e-mail: [email protected]


Anyone who has a story to publicise should contact marketing officer Alison Withers:

[email protected]

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