Welcome to my first Blog post. It’s a regular chance for me to chat to members about what is happening at the Chamber, in the local business community and about some of the broader issues that businesses should be aware of engaging in. I hope my blog will promote responses from you, rather than just be dialogue from me and to get conversations, ideas and advice flowing we will also be inviting a wide variety of people to submit to our blog including all of you, our members. This forum will also be an opportunity for you to engage in some online networking.
I am delighted to say that 2015 was another successful year for the Chamber; our headline events, the Business Expo and the Business Excellence Awards were both sell-outs and widely recognised as great showcase opportunities for Kingston businesses, large and small. In February, with the help of a number of key partners, we launched the Kingston Young Entrepreneurs Club and by the end of the year over 50 individuals had registered to join this exciting new networking forum. I am also pleased to report that during the year we were able to increase our Chamber membership by 10%.
Whilst I believe 2016 will be challenging, looking ahead I also think there will be some good opportunities for the Chamber. We have a strong brand and an excellent reputation for delivering a high standard of service supporting businesses across the borough. This year we will be focusing hard on developing our enterprise services but to do this effectively, I do need you to tell us what you need to help your businesses grow and prosper.
On 19th January I will be meeting with our Executive Board to finalise the Action Plan to deliver this year’s business objectives and, later in the month I will be joining the borough’s Skills and Employment Group for a meeting with potential developers about apprenticeships and supply chain opportunities. On the 27th Jan I will hosting our second Key Employers Forum, chaired by the Leader of the Council, Kevin Davis when we will be discussing what council services our larger business believe are most important.
In the meantime, I hope that reading this has inspired you to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keys, to share with us any news, views or comments you have for our new Chamber Blog!