What's in store for 2023 ?
Let me wish you a Happy New Year and let’s hope that the next 12 months are a bit less eventful than last year. As I’ve said before, it’s a very uncertain time for business, but we are still hearing a resilient message from members, who are preparing to work through a difficult period.
It’s the time of year that we send out our invoices for the annual subscription for membership of Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce and it’s a moment for me that underlines the wide variety of businesses that operate locally, who choose to socialise, exchange information and do business together.
But we do more than that. For example our members recently sponsored the ‘Best Film’ in the Valley’s first Young Film Makers Awards, which we hope will encourage the participants to work towards exciting careers in the creative industry.
I can well remember Jim King, our first President, saying more than 20 years ago that our membership was much more than a sleepy group of rural businesses. He was right then and it is even more true today.
We are delighted to have members involved in traditional farming but we have seen how they have diversified, for example, creating employment space to allow other businesses in a wide range of sectors to develop and grow. We have had the arrival of a successful vineyard, which has added a new way in which we use our fertile land.
There is a wide range of all kinds of essential services such as shops and butchers. We have members in the hospitality sector but also a range of other services including professional skills, such as estate agency, recruitment, financial, legal, Information Technology, not to mention manufacturing, health, fitness and creatives.
What this means is that within a few miles there are people who can deliver most of the services you need, and if they can’t they’ll know someone who can. There is nothing like having local human contact and knowing the person with whom you are doing business and in rural areas this happens a lot.
Members join the Chamber of Commerce because they value the chance to gather information, to ensure their opinions are properly represented, but perhaps above all to meet others, talk about the things that matter to them and build friendships which underpin long term business relationships.
All that creates a strong foundation for a local economy, which is not only good for individual businesses but is vital for the community as a whole.
If you would like to find out more about Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce have a look at our website: www.chewvalleychamber.co.uk