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Gloucestershire Business News

Punchline Talks! With Simon Ford, David Jackson, Neill Ricketts and Wendy Walker

Each Friday, Punchline-Gloucester.com editor Mark Owen is joined by leading Gloucestershire business figures from a range of backgrounds to review Fridays national & regional newspapers, discuss what is happening in their own business sector and in their own individual businesses.

Finally, they round off by picking the stories that have caught their eye in this week's Punchline-Gloucester.com.

Taking their places on the business briefing panel this week were:

  • Simon Ford - CEO at Allstone & Speedy Skips.
  • David Jackson, managing director at Marketing Cheltenham.
  • Neill Ricketts, CEO of innovation and graphene firm - Versarien.
  • Wendy Walker, director of Wotton Travel.

It is a lively informative chat with the panel working their way through the national papers before getting behind the nitty gritty of their own businesses and market place.

Wendy explains the impact of the governments pandemic travel 'responses/direction' on her customers and the industry and the devastation and disruption it has caused. The company based in Wotton-Under-Edge is a subsidiary of engineering giant Renishaw and Wendy explains how the business got started.

Simon as the boss of Speedy Skips has had an incredibly busy 18 months with skips flying out the door as people did up their houses during lockdown. The problem now is dealing with catch-up of staff holidays, the lack of drivers available and slow delivery of new lorries and skips ordered months ago - waiting times never seen before. Plus, news of a new washing plant as the business goes from strength to strength.

David is really glad to see the government at long last offering insurance cover for live events and festivals but feels for many firms it is too little and too late. He's also concerned for the smaller events that may not be able to afford the premiums as they operate on much smaller margins. He's concerned what the impact of a billion-pound industry not being able to operate is going to have on the county. He's also got a big problem with the rise of empty stores on Cheltenham's high street and the numbers or lack of them - overseas tourists coming to stay. The UK's staycations aren't making up the short fall and its going to be tough to get the numbers back.

Neill is still bouncing from the success of the company's involvement with HS2 and graphene being used in cement - the company is also making great gains and Neill is as optimistic as ever.

The panel fire through lots of subjects, with news and views and there is something to learn for everyone who is interested in business from the people who are at the sharp end of running their companies. It is well worth the investment of time to listen to four top experts - in business you never stop learning.

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