A message from the Chamber President

A look back at 2022 from our President Petr Greenaway.

What an excellent end to 2022 for Dorchester Chamber!  It was great to see so many members at our last networking event for the year, the President’s Breakfast at Athelhampton House.  Over 50 people booked to come, and it was a lovely event – many thanks to all the staff for making it such a supermorning.  We had a small choir provided by The Storehouse Church and I am sure we all enjoyed joining in with a few favourite carols – many thanks to the Church!  We also had a raffle and raised £180 for the Community Share charity, a Chamber member who provide a food bank and support to local people in Dorchester. The Chamber added a donation as well and we have sent £250 to this excellent local charity.  It was also the first President’s Breakfast we have been able to have for 3 years due to Covid and the first since I became President – as this is my last year it was great to be able to be there for one at least as President!

Of course, just prior to the breakfast many Chamber members had been involved in helping at the Dorchester Christmas Cracker, a joint venture between the Chamber, The BID and the Town Council.  Very well done to Bice President and Cracker Committee Chair, Steve Bulley and his small team for organising such a good event – having the Cracker on a Sunday seems so much more popular than the Thursday evening and I understand there were over 3000 people attending.  All the stall holders seemed very positive about the event, and I know a number have already enquired about booking for 2023 already!

Over the year we have seen an increasing number of members returning to our networking events and our membership numbers have continued to increase with quite a few new members.  Not quite back up to pre Covid numbers but we are making good progress!  As always if there are things you would like to see us arranging, please do let an Executive Committee member know or email me at with any feedback – good or bad.  We did hold a lunch time event this year which proved popular and had a number of members attending who don’t usually come to a breakfast, so we will look to add a few more alternative timings to some of our events in 2023 so everyone has the opportunity to attend.

2022 has of course been a very difficult year again for local businesses and 2023 realistically doesn’t look as if it is going to be much easier.  There are some more positive signs in the economy over the last week or so with hopefully an indication that inflation may have reached it’s peak and that may offer some respite later in 2023 for interest rates and economic growth.  Having been speaking to a number of members I know that many are finding it difficult; we are here to try to offer support and advice to all so please don’t hesitate to contact me if we can be of help.  We will try to put you in touch with specialists who may be able to assist.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, may I wish you a very happy Christmas and a New Year which will see some relief from the economic troubles we have been going through over the last few years.  I look forward to seeing you at some of our events in 2023.  OF course, I would also like to thank all of the Executive Committee and our secretary, Hazel, for their support over the year.  We have said goodbye to a number ofExecutive members, and I am looking forward to working with the new line up for my last year as President.

Our next networking event will be at the Coach House Inn in Winterbourne Abbas on 10th January  and bookings are open and filling up; we are just awaiting confirmation from the venue for February, and we will then publish the events up to April 2023 as March and April have been confirmed!  Look forward to seeing you there at 7.45!

Book your January Breakfast here: