Chamber AGM 2016

The Chamber’s AGM was held at The Crown Hotel, Old Amersham, on Wednesday May 18th. In addition to presenting the Chairman’s statement (below), Vee Bharakda made presentations to long-serving committee member Sandra White, who stood down as from the AGM, and to the Chamber’s Secretary Jean Pritchard. Tony Molesworth, Chairman of The Chesham Society, updated members and guests on the current situation with the Joint Local Plan.

Chiltern Chamber strategic prioritiesRobert Gibson also made a presentation, reviewing the past 12 months in pictures, breaking down activities into the Chamber’s main strategic priorities:

  • Small business support
  • Promoting a positive environment for local business development
  • Skills and Training initiatives – building tomorrow’s workforce
  • Growing Membership
  • Improving Communications.

Download a copy of Chamber Year in Review (PDF, 3MB)

Chairman’s AGM Statement:

Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the Chiltern Chamber AGM 2016. Gosh I seem to remember this time last year and the time seems to have gone so quickly BUT we have done so much in what seems like so little time.

Chiltern Chamber Chairman Vee Bharakda at AGM 2016presentation by Chiltern Chamber Chairman Vee Bharakda to Sandra Whitepresentation by Chiltern Chamber Chairman to sectetary Jean Pritchard, AGM 2016 Chesham Society Chairman Tony Molesworth addresses Chiltern Chamber AGM 2016It has been an honour to serve as the Chair of the Chiltern Chamber of Commerce over the last four years. I would like to start with the most important things first as I feel that these things often get left to the last few paragraphs of most AGM reports and thought that id change that.

It is ONLY because the Chamber has a fantastic team of Committee members who dedicate their time daily to the Chamber’s objectives and strategies. I will come to the latter a little later in this report but first want to THANK them all and name everyone for their loyalty and hard work during this period. It has been challenging in parts but great fun too! THIS is the reason for our success.

Our Chamber serves over 118 members and we serve a large and active business network; by being their voice in civic matters; and, by launching initiatives that promote business and enhance the quality of life in the Chilterns. Chesham and Amersham.

We help to promote economic vitality by creating a vibrant community to support business growth and by assisting individual businesses and civic organisations to grow their enterprise activities.

Although I live in Denham Village I spend most of time in Amersham, Chesham and the surrounding towns and villages. I have come to understand how tight the business community is with one another and that Chamber membership is valuable to those who choose to engage with us. Chamber members have come together to discuss important local topics that affect their businesses, and allow our team to be their voice on their behalf.

Our objectives for the future are shown very clearly on our website and Robert will go through with you all a show of all the great things we have done and achieved in the last year.

We want to continue our active leadership in supporting and promoting the growth of Young Enterprise, The Bucks Skills Hub and the Economic Development in the Chilterns area. I am excited about 2017 and looking forward to working with our Chamber Committee members, and really engaging with the members, to continue to help create loads of thriving businesses that create jobs which pay wages that enable our neighbour towns and villages to attain an outstanding standard of living.

A challenging and gratifying job gives people a purpose in life and helps each of us to achieve our individual potential. Meaningful work, with good pay, also contributes to the development of a caring community where people support charities and human services to assist those less fortunate. In other words, economic vitality and growth leads to individual opportunity which promotes a strong community.

I would like the Chamber to continue to make the Chilterns community the best place to live, work and raise a family!

New Ambitions

I hope that the last 12 months have been great for you and your businesses, and despite trading being challenging and competitive at times that you have managed to enjoy growth and celebrate success. We hope you will continue to support Chiltern Chamber’s objectives and initiatives, really participate in all the work we are planning to do in the future, and celebrate our achievements with us.

My plea to all the businesses is that you continue to connect with fellow Chamber members, to raise the value of our voice for the business community. I will let Tony Molesworth say a few words on this at the end of my report.

I feel that there is no room for complacency, as local growth has been largely reliant on consumer spending and asset transactions, which we can’t afford to rely on. With interest rate rises ahead and whether the EU referendum is going to leave us in or out, we have to work harder to continue to make changes, to strengthen our growth.

The AGM for me always brings with it the opportunity for businesses and organisations to really have a rethink and refresh their plans or introduce new products and services. If you’re a Chamber member with new things happening, business diversity taking place and new ideas to launch, or just have an interesting story to tell, we’d love to hear from you and help you with your own start by including your news item on our website – just contact Robert Gibson with your logo, image and news story.

2016/2017 will be very exciting! We will continue with our breakfast meetings in Amersham and Chesham on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the Month at Market Hall and at the office of IO42 respectively. Our evening events on the 1st Wednesday will continue. There is always room to do more and I am currently exploring ideas to start more industry based forums in new and diverse areas. We’ll be telling you more about these in the coming weeks. Watch this space.

I am really looking forward to working with you going forward, to help me and the Chamber deliver growth to your organisation.