North West Business Insider January 2022

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Problems and solutions

Twenty-five years ago, when I was a fresh-faced journalist, the gaffer said to me a little harshly: “Don’t give me problems, give me solutions. This is not a bad policy and I see it throughout this issue.

In the month outgoing Manchester City Council chairman Sir Richard Leese tells us that ‘the rise is dead,’ former TalkTalk boss Neil McArthur explains why he chose Salford for the base. Freedom Fiber (p8) and why he thinks broadband should and can level the playing field for everyone, starting with Leigh. McArthur’s former company, TalkTalk, is one of the companies featured in this month’s Top 500 Companies.

I looked at solutions for moving this month. As anyone who has ever been stung by the costs of decay will know, it can be a minefield. But there is also an opportunity. I have found out how in some cases you can get your landlord to pay you to leave early.

And while many businesses want to move, shipping containers are one thing that doesn’t move fast enough. If you curse Brexit for port delays, your rage might be better placed elsewhere. I sat down with Cardinal Maritime who painted a picture of the global disarray – every major port in the world faces the same kind of hardships as ours and pays ten times more than before the lockdown for a sea container. Here, we look beyond the horizon and what importers and exporters need to know to move their goods.

One of the biggest challenges any business faces is closing the skills gap. We discuss this in War for Talent and as part of our PME Roundtable where Dr Natalie Kenny discusses how BioGrad takes college graduates and turns them into employable scientists. And during lockdown when students were not sent for training, his lab became one of the largest Covid testing facilities in the country, turning a problem into a solution.

Simon Keegan, Editor-in-Chief, North West Business Insider
@SimonKInsider

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