Sub section: Business networking Edit

Q 7.What regular events are there to bring the business community together; for example, breakfast clubs and trade fairs?

Find out: what they are how often they are held

There are no trade fairs

Local Chamber of Commerce is main focal point for business community

No membership of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

Q 8. What arrangements are there for local suppliers to be able to network? Examples may include a Business Directory or website for the town.

There is a local traders directory – the Chamber is discussing developing a wider web site for business, the Parish Council have a web site that could also provide publicity information for visitors to the town.

Q 9, What business meeting and business conference venues are available?

a)Are these venues available when needed?

b)Are these venues big enough?

c)Are these venues available at reasonable rates?

Only small conference facilities in the town, larger facilities are available in the local hotels – some scope for using local restaurant premises.

Much larger facilities also in Kings Hill

Sub section: IT and e-business Edit

Q 10. Is there a published strategy relating to the use of information and communication technology (ICT)?

Is the strategy readily available?

Is the strategy easily understood?

Broadband is available across the area. No strategy for local WiFi connection.

Q 11. What local training and support is there to help companies address ICT problems and to develop their ICT capability?

There is access to training at the University of Greenwich at Kings Hill, also local FE Colleges – Mid Kent College in Maidstone and West Kent College at Tonbridge.

Many local ICT training companies operating in the area

Q 12. What is/will be the availability of high-speed Internet access (at 512 kbits/second and at 2Mbit/ second):


In 6 months’ time

In 12 months’ time

High speed broadband available now.

Q 13 What proportion of all businesses use broadband? 

What local businesses are considering using broadband in the near future?

Chamber of Commerce businesses reported that they all use a link to the West Malling web site to promote their businesses and would like more opportunities to promote and gain business through the Internet.

Chamber consultation meeting April 2008

Q 14. What do local businesses see as the key benefits of using broadband?

Examples could be: speed, convenience, cost savings, access to wider markets, increased customer contact, faster response, access to wider resources, business innovation.

Potential to promote the business – Broadband is the basic requirements these days.

Chamber consultation meeting April 2008

Q 15. Why do some local businesses not use broadband?

Reasons may include

Difficulty with availability Financial cost Too time consuming No business advantage No ICT support available

Lack of knowledge

Q 16. How many local businesses

a.Use e-mail?

b.Have a website?

c.Make purchases or sales over the Internet?

d.Gain access to key business resources over the Internet?

Majority use the internet for promoting their businesses, use email.

Q 17. How many local businesses collaborate over the Internet with partner firms?

Look here at cluster or supply chain relationships

Larger businesses have supply chain links, smaller retailers are members of a promotional web site for West Malling

Q 18. Which public sector offices and sites currently have broadband communication facilities for external access?

What proportion is this of all public sector office locations? 

(Worksheets S2 Q5; S4; S5 Q10; S7 Q6; T2 Q11,12; T3 Q16 also refer to local government services)

County, Borough Council & Parish Council have good broadband communication and web sites. LSC and Business Link also offer good web sites.