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Entrepreneurs Panel

David Pollock
Tony Caldeira
Debbie Pierce
Richard O'Sullivan
Brian Hay
Charlie Mullins
Steve Purdham
Laura Tenison
Julie Meyer
Michael Oliver
Jennie Johnson
Jeremy Roberts

Christmas celebrations

Brian Hay

Co-founded freight forwarding company Cardinal Maritime in 1998 using a £5,000 loan. The firm has offices in South Africa, Ireland and Holland, as well as its headquarters in Eccles and aims to open six more in Europe by 2012. It made a profit before interest and tax of over £1 million on a turnover of £38 million to March 2009.


For the last couple of years we haven’t bothered with a big Christmas party but have just paid for a few drinks for staff down the pub.

This year we’re in a financial position to push the boat out once again but now that staff are used
to more austere celebrations, might I not be better off spending the money on something else? The missus keeps leaving holiday brochures for Barbados knocking around...


A motivated and rewarded team is one of the greatest assets of any business. Any opportunity to further integrate the team and to celebrate the results of their contribution should be fully exploited.

Christmas provides an excellent platform for such an occasion and, given your improving trading conditions, it seems fair to show some goodwill.

It will be an excellent investment, not least in avoiding the trip to Barbados with your wife...

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