“So another year almost over, soon to be a new one begun”… apologies for the slightly misquoted but seasonal musical reference.

Of course sadly the horrific war in Ukraine that has influenced the economic challenges we face layered on top of the pandemic and has shaped much of our policy work during 2022, isn’t over.

It feels like the Chamber has been fighting on many fronts for its members over the last year. From workplace parking levy to Energy Profits Levy. From the region’s Green Freeport bid to regenerating our town and city centres. From championing improved rail connectivity for the region to a fairer business rates deal for the North-east. From instigating inward investment activity to playing a central role in the future skills agenda. And much more.

We are delighted that the work we do has been recognised over the last year with strong membership growth. Around 1,150 organisations collectively employing more than 100,000 people are currently members of AGCC.

Almost 16,000 people subscribe to the Morning Bulletin we launched in January and the feedback has been exceptional. (If you’re reading this, you’ll already be a convert!)

Appetite for in person events returned strongly during the last 12 months and our focus for 2023 is on a reinvention of our programme including the Ultimate Masterclass Festival. Get them in your calendar now: https://www.agcc.co.uk/events

And if staff retention, productivity and excellence are on your new year ‘To Do’ list, then let us support this through the Chamber's extensive portfolio of high-quality training courses. https://www.agcc.co.uk/training

We couldn’t do all of these things without the support of our you, our members and the wider business community of the North-east. From everyone at the Chamber, thank you.

Most of the Chamber team is off from today until 4th January recharging for another crack in 2023 at making a real difference. Providing a range of services to support our members to do better business.

And helping create the conditions for a buoyant and diversified regional economy that will enable our business community to succeed, enhancing quality of life for our residents.

Details of holiday opening times of our international trade documentation and customs services are here: https://www.agcc.co.uk/news-article/chambers-documentation-and-customs-services-announce-festive-opening-hours

One for the road: https://vimeo.com/779161653

In 1877 the Chamber brought business together.

And today technology connects us wherever.

A pandemic and lockdowns forced us apart.

But now we look forward, a new dawn, a new start.

From oil, gas and wind to the best drink and food.

We’re gathering once more to collaborate on good.

The teuchters, the charmers, the lawyers, the farmers

The clever folk fighting bugs that would harm us.

Reporters, exporters, barbers and harbours

A region fuelled by ambition, our mission, transition,

We’ve changed the world before and will do so again.

It’s not a case of if… it’s a matter of when.

So whether it’s over breakfast or dinner, coffee or beer

Let’s take Aberdeen to the world; and bring the world here.

Because in good times, in bad times, and all kinds of weather.

Nobody can touch us, when we all work together.

All the best to you and your families for a great festive period and successful and enjoyable new year.