Keep the faith

John GettyI was recently fortunate enough to escape to Florida, and my time there has partly been spent trying to ‘whip up’ some business in the world of boat engineering, something that my company has recently diversified into.

We recently, for instance, put a Rolls Royce helicopter engine into a Hydroplane that Julian Clegg took the British Gas Turbine Record with, on Lake Coniston in November.

So off I went to Miami Boatshow to try to sell our services to the builders of exotic and technically advanced craft.
The Boat Show itself was full of ‘glitz’ and glamorous young women in miniscule bikinis, and boats - some of which cost more than Manchester Town Hall - but if anyone thinks times are hard for business in the UK they should take a trip to Florida and they would soon learn that we have it a lot easier.

The housing market has collapsed completely and everywhere there are people offering foreclosed homes (that means families have been dispossessed onto the street in many cases) and everywhere there are people begging in the street FOR WORK.

Watching Jim Kramer on the “Mad Money” investment show, he summed it all up very succinctly by stating that corporate business is all about performance of capital employed and NOT about people.

In fact he told us that large companies do better in times of hardship (by way of making profits) than usual because they have no conscience about getting rid of surplus workers to keep their costs within acceptable boundaries so the shareholders get the returns they are looking for.

As Kramer said in times like these, you have to think with your head and not your heart.

Personally I feel saddened by this attitude although it may make sense in the short term,

I worry that in our case UK PLC will lose more and more of the skills and abilities we have invested heavily in, if this strategy prevails.

Our government, in my opinion, needs to stop over-legislating the SME community and spend more time watching the big boys to keep them decent.

If we all stick together and keep the faith we will come out the other end of the recession tunnel stronger and wiser.

John Getty, president, Chamber of Commerce East Lancashire.