Businesses in Sherborne have thrown their weight behind a countywide chamber network which fights Dorset’s corner.
The town’s Chamber of Trade of Commerce has signed up to the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s affiliation programme to give the county a more influential voice and greater strength in numbers.
It has become the ninth affiliated chamber, with each organisation retaining its independence and integrity while working more closely together.
With Sherborne’s 150-strong membership, the combined chambers have more than 2,000 members representing upwards of 40,000 employees countywide.
Ian Girling, Dorset Chamber chief executive, said: “A very warm welcome goes to the Sherborne chamber and all of its members.
“Our affiliation programme goes from strength to strength with Sherborne giving us an even more powerful voice.
“Together we present a united front to fight Dorset’s corner on the national stage but also work together more locally to support businesses and help drive economic growth across the county.”
Ian attended the Sherborne chamber’s recent annual meeting to hand over its affiliation certificate.
Sherborne joined the affiliation programme after members of its executive committee the Dorset Chamber’s Town Chambers conference in Dorchester in the Spring.
Treasurer Nick Hunt said: “Sherborne has many strong and vibrant businesses.
“Our members have the town’s interests at heart yet also consider themselves part of the wider Dorset business community so becoming affiliated to the Dorset Chamber gives us the opportunity to play our part in making the county an even greater place to live, work and do business.”
Dorset Chamber, the voice of business in Dorset, is the county’s leading business support organisation.
It is the only chamber in Dorset accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
Through DCCI, affiliated chambers have influence in the corridors of power and access to benefits and support from the BCC.
Affiliation also means that members will be involved in the BCC’s national Quarterly Economic Survey, join DCCI’s Chamber Forum and receive its newsletter and communications. They will also be able to access certain events and DCCI training at member rates.
The Sherborne Chamber’s president is Sue Smith. Its chairman is Jane Wood and Julia Bradburn is vice-chairman.
The other chambers in the affiliation network are Bournemouth, Broadstone, Dorchester, Ferndown, Poole, Shaftesbury, Swanage and District Chamber of Trade, and Weymouth and Portland.
The chamber movement is also strengthened through DCCI’s membership of the Dorset Business Alliance with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) to tackle issues at a strategic level.