16 Jul 2014
I'm just back from annual leave in Germany (wow, were the Germans embracing the World Cup!) and we are now on the cusp of the Commonwealth Games.
The airport is looking fresh and the new international arrivals arrangements are much better with expanded baggage handling, increased border control support and a much better quality arrivals area at the front of the terminal. Oh yes and the toilets are excellent.
Purple road signs are appearing on lampposts directing the Games traffic and Games volunteers are finishing their final preparations. The banners and bunting are all making an impression and I've so far spotted three new Clyde mascots across the city including a splendid floral Clyde (see picture) outside the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
And yes I did see the rather curmudgeonly criticism from the Taxpayers Alliance about the expense involved, but frankly I'm one Council Tax payer that wants to see some investment in the look and feel of the city for the Games. I want visitors in Glasgow to remember what they saw fondly and the Clyde outside Kelvingrove genuinely made me smile.
We intend to make the most of the Games for our members, many of whom gave active and passionate support to the bidding process helping to win the bid away back in 2007.
We'll be running Warm Up breakfast sessions in Scotland House at the City Halls in the Merchant City every day of the Games - including the weekends. We'll be celebrating all that is good about Glasgow, its business community and its economy and we'll be making contacts with business delegations from across the Commonwealth including from Australia and Jamaica.
After the daily Warm Ups are over many of the Chamber directors will be taking members to events and we'll be supporting the 2014 Organising Committee in whatever ways we can to make sure the Games are the success Glasgow deserves.
As part of this we've been backing the OC's Gift of the Games encouraging businesses to support the allocation of tickets to disadvantaged youngsters that would otherwise have missed out on the experience.
Of course we'll be paying close attention to the legacy we get from the Games in the weeks, months and years ahead - but for the time being we want to enjoy the experience, make lots of new friends and celebrate our wonderful city.