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Opinion: We need the private and public sector collaborating and delivering for our city


By Calum MacLeod

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Written by Stewart Nicol, chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce

Inverness Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stewart Nicol.
Inverness Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stewart Nicol.

Happy new year to each and every one of you from the team and board of directors at Inverness Chamber of Commerce.

We wish you a successful and prosperous 2021 as we rededicate ourselves to actively connecting and representing businesses across the Highlands to support their growth.

I guess all of us will be glad to see the back of 2020.

It was a year which turned out as no one predicted and one which has caused so much hardship and even distress for each of us; our businesses, staff and every community in which we live and work. And yet, the many rhythms of life continued to work through all of the last year.

Many of us would have had the joy of welcoming new birth of children and grandchildren and no doubt the pain of the passing of loved ones.

I know from close colleagues that long-planned-for weddings have had to be rescheduled. The ever-present ‘Covid restrictions’ that have added distress to these life events and also weighed down oppressively on all of our business activity, no more so than now as you read this in the midst of the near-lockdown announced in the last few days before Christmas.

A new year traditionally gives all of us the chance to reassess, refresh our thinking and inevitably gives the hope of a new start. While we have been given the hope of a number of vaccines, we clearly have a long way to go before anything approaching ‘normality’ can return to our lives, businesses and communities.

Given this context, I believe it is imperative that those of us leading organisations discharge our responsibility with diligence, compassion and resilience. As a business community, we also need to collaborate and work in partnership as never before.

We need the private and public sector collaborating and delivering for our city and region and we need to see the same from our politicians at a local, national and UK level.

At this new year in particular, I trust all of us will pause and reflect deeply on what matters most to us, our loved ones and ultimately how we wish our lives to be defined.



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