This is my first column as the new President of Burton and District Chamber. I am delighted and most honoured to hold this important position within our business community.
I really want to help our Chamber to grow and become a more powerful voice for all businesses in this locality.
My three key objectives as Chamber President are to retain the existing membership by ensuring we offer products and services that assist local businesses; gain members in sectors that are either not represented, or where there is currently very little representation; and, finally, to work with the Institute of Asian Businesses to encourage more of their businesses to join our Chamber and increase the proportion of them in our membership.
I would like to record my thanks and appreciation to Chris Else of Else Solicitors, who took this Chamber through its successful integration into the Birmingham Chamber Group, and where we now play a key role. Burton businesses have gained a strong reputation across the West Midlands and continue to win major Annual Awards, showing growing evidence of our competitive strength in The Midlands.
Growing the ‘voice of Burton’ across the region is clearly exemplified by the success of this Chamber’s second ‘Let’s Do Business’ exhibition at Uttoxeter Racecourse on Thursday 25 June. All the exhibition space has already been sold making it a fantastic showcase for every business. More than 2,000 visitors attended last year; and the exhibition is well-on-the-road to becoming a ‘must-attend’ event in our business calendars.
Much of the continued success of this Chamber can be placed fair and squarely on the foundations laid by our regular series of events that continue to attract growing numbers of members and their guests.
Chris Plant, our Executive Director, and his team, have been instrumental in establishing our event programme with invited speakers and workshops. The keynote presenters have broadened our knowledge and understanding. At the same time, our networking events continue to thrive.
Looking ahead, my plans during my two-year Presidency include developing a Patronage offering that will help to further expand our Chamber and offer new, additional services to members. This initiative is still being fully formulated, but I will keep you up-to-date on its roll out through this Column.
These are exciting times for our Chamber and for Burton and District; and the next few years will present many new opportunities. The continued achievements of Burton’s SME business community, reflects the growing awareness by many of the quality and skills of ‘local entrepreneurs’. The new developments in Burton, on the A38, and across the district, all point to the growing vibrancy of East Staffordshire.
The recent re-election of Andrew Griffiths as our MP for the next five years is also an important part of this mix of success and achievement. It is another part of the jigsaw of the continued growth and importance of Burton on the national scene.
I want to further develop the Chamber’s role and influence in all areas of activity, where it can support and improve commercial opportunities for the wider business community in the changing circumstances that affect commerce, trade and industry.
These are exciting times for Burton; our successes have gained us a strong reputation across the region. Burton has and continues to display its commercial viability and competitive strength which assists our businesses to win major national and international contracts.
Burton Chamber is here to assist all businesses, large or small. I look forward to welcoming all our existing and all new members to our next events which can be found on the Birmingham Chamber Group website – http://bit.ly/1tWOIKW
I welcome feedback and comment on this column and the work and activities of the Chamber. You can contact me at [email protected]