Business Critical Forum - Finance - January 2023

Calling all Somerset businesses and organisations!

We invite you to join us for our business critical forum on finance – an informal discussion to support local businesses facing the challenges posed by the current financial crisis and an opportunity to find out how to tackle some of the challenges posed by the rising cost of doing business.

The discussion will provide an excellent platform to discuss ideas about how businesses can combat and address these issues with a panel of experts from the finance sector.

Forum panel will include:

Path: guest speaker Luke Sword is a Financial Planner at Path Financial Ltd. Luke has lived in the South West for most of his life and was brought up in the beautiful market town of Frome. He has over 15 years of financial services experience, is a diploma qualified member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and also holds a Diploma in Investment Management from his time as a stock broker. Luke is committed to providing clients with advice on how they can maximise opportunities and create robust financial plans to help them reach their financial goals; ensuring their money is working hard for them and having a positive impact. With a keen interest in helping the planet, Luke was drawn to Path Financial’s ethical approach and core values, as he is able to combine both passions of giving financial advice and helping the environment.

Award-winning Path Financial is the UK’s first and only independent financial advisory firm set up specifically to tackle climate change. They offer practical financial planning advice and offer ethical investment strategies that are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. From pensions, ISAs, general investing, full financial planning, wealth management and legacy planning, they can help provide tailored financial advice aligned to your values.

Albert Goodman: guest speaker Michael Cahill qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2003 and has since specialised in providing accounting, tax and commercial advice to incorporated and owner managed businesses. He works with clients in a wide range of sectors including construction and property, engineering, wholesale, retail and the services industry. Michael has also taken on the responsibility of judging the Albert Goodman Family Business award at the Somerset Business Awards and takes great enjoyment in getting to know the fantastic Somerset businesses that enter.

Outside of work, Michael has a keen interest in a number of sports and is busy spending time with his young family.

Begbies Traynor: guest speaker Neil Vinnicombe joined Begbies Traynor in 2003. Neil successfully sat the Joint Insolvency Examination Board exams in 2005 and is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner. He has more than 35 years' restructuring and insolvency expertise having previously worked at KPMG, Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton in Bristol. Neil has a broad range of experience in advising businesses and individuals with financial challenges and works from the Taunton, Bath and Bristol offices.

Outside of work he enjoys travelling with his wife and daughter, clay pigeon shooting and watching rugby and darts.

SWIG Finance Ltd: guest speaker Rachel Taylor has been Business Manager at SWIG since 2019, covering Devon and the South West. Before joining SWIG, Rachael was with Lloyds Bank for 21 years, including 10 years as SME Relationship Manager for Exeter and North Devon. Rachael is currently treasurer for Bideford Town Centre Partnership, an organisation working for the betterment of Bideford Town Centre and surrounding areas.

SWIG Finance is a non-profit company that supports viable South West businesses that cannot secure sufficient funding from their bank. By empowering underserved start-ups and SMEs to overcome their financial barriers, we are working to create a more balanced financial ecosystem.

Barclays: guest speaker Nick Porter is Barclays’ Regional Manager for business banking in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. He also leads Barclays Rebuilding Thriving Local Economies programme for Taunton Deane. Nick’s career working with businesses spans over 30 years, with the past decade focused on supporting Somerset businesses, which he is particularly proud about having grown up in the area. Nick is a SWITCH Ambassador for Somerset West and Taunton Council. Nick also sits on other boards and forums across Somerset to support wider initiatives. Nick is a season ticket holder at Exeter Chiefs, a keen gamer and loves all things tech.

Refreshments will be available, tea, coffee and pastries. Dietary requirements will be catered for – please do let us know these at time of booking.

Please note: If you are a non-member please get in touch if you would like to book this event on 01823 444 924 or alternatively email

Somerset Chamber of Commerce is following guidance from the Government and from each venue on COVID restrictions and risk assessments. If you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 or feeling generally unwell, please do not attend the event.

Somerset Chamber of Commerce is operating a cancellation policy in line with our terms and conditions which can be found here :

Book here 

Monks Yard
Horton Manor
Horton Cross
United Kingdom
TA19 9PY
Start Date:
26th Jan 2023 at 09:30
End Date:
26th Jan 2023 at 11:30
£5.75 Ex Tax (£5.75 Membership Price) Ex Tax
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Business Critical Forum - Finance - January 2023