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April - May 2011

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This first edition of Connect is published at a time when I think Jersey faces more significant challenges than it has done for many years. The Island’s economic heart may now have been jolted back to life after the recent recession, but my view is that our economy remains very much in intensive care. 

And at such a vulnerable time, it still carries the crippling burden of massive States spending (including a growing social security bill), with the requirement for major investment in vital areas such as the Airport, the roads and the Hospital, at a time when support sectors such as fulfilment have been given a 12-month stay of execution. If that’s not a time for us to pull together in order to get the economy back to prime health, I don’t know what is. Those two words “the economy” sound dangerously bland, and hardly likely to inspire the commitment and unity of purpose which may be needed in the future. Of course, we are actually talking about people’s jobs, air links, restaurants, shops, beautiful buildings, cafés and the many other things which combine together to make our daily lives. When you look at it like that, you realise how misleading the frequent portrayal of business, as the domain only of suits, regulations and balance sheets, can be. The membership of The Jersey Chamber of Commerce proves the point – together we employ more than 26,000 people covering all walks of Island life. And that’s where we get to this new magazine, Connect, which I am proud to launch with this first edition. Yes it is ostensibly a ‘business’ magazine, whatever that means. But Chamber has endorsed it as a way of bringing together the diverse stories of those many thousands of people who make working in Jersey the pleasure we all, at times, know it can be. We hope it will add real depth to our understanding of what it means to ‘do business’ in Jersey. Why? Because by looking closely in a balanced and measured way at what we do now, we may well understand the way the Island needs to go forward. Connect is here to entertain, to stimulate, to challenge and to inform. We won’t always get it right, so if you have ideas, suggestions or comments, please join Chamber, and then let us know.  I hope you enjoy it.

Ray Shead
President, Jersey Chamber of Commerce

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