On Wednesday 3 November the Dorchester Chamber for Business held its AGM in person for the first time in two years.
After networking and a delicious buffet at the Kings Arms Hotel in Dorchetser current President Peter Greenaway addressed the members present.
He said; “As we are all aware it has been another difficult year for businesses throughout the UK and the world with issues of Covid, the Climate Crisis, fuel prices increasing significantly and adding to the costs for businesses and individuals alike. Covid did seem to be under control and at least the number of hospitalisations and deaths seem to be fewer now although the number of infections are at a higher level again – although that may be because many more people are being tested now than they were last year. Very recently there has also been a spate of vandalism in the town centre at night with a number of shop windows being smashed – just what isn’t needed at any time but particularly when retailers are trying to recover from all the other difficulties they have had to endure.
“For the Chamber, of course the restrictions due to the pandemic continued until well into the year so we met virtually up until July 2021 which went well, and we had a number of members who regularly joined in, although towards the end the numbers did decline. We felt able to restart the face-to-face networking breakfasts again in August and had the first at Shire Hall who stepped in at the last minute as we didn’t have a huge take up with summer holidays and people’s reluctance to network again. However, we did have 30 people at the October breakfast which was great, and we are back at Shire Hall again for November, so we hope to see many of you there.
“The LoveDorch campaign was very successful last year and although the team are no longer active, the name has been retained for use in marketing and social media campaigns, but has really been superseded by the Discover Dorchester Phone App which is already in use and the new Discover Dorchester web site which will be going live very soon.
“Very many thanks to everyone on the Executive Committee for all of their hard work over the last 12 months and for putting up with so many Zoom meetings! Also to Hazel Serkis who started with us at the beginning of the year as Chamber Secretary and has settled into the role very well and it is great that she is now able to start meeting members at events face to face.
“We will of course be continuing with our monthly networking meetings and hope that more people will feel comfortable to return and join us again. We also will be continuing with the quarterly updates with our local MP, Chris Loder and dates for these will be circulated when they are available.
“Most of all, many thanks to all the members for bearing with us through the difficult times, although thy are not over hopefully things will become easier over the next 12 months and going into the future.
“It has been a pleasure to serve as President of the Chamber for the year and to work with the Exec members as well.
“Apologies for anyone I may have missed!”
A vote was taken to maintain membership rates at the 2019 levels for all renewing members this year as businesses return to full strength after the pandemic.
Three current Executive members have decided to stand down, Will Sparling, David Taylor and David Selves were thanked fort their contribution. New nominations were received from Robin Cole (Blanchards Bailey), Robert Kennedy (Albert Goodman) and Luke Rake (Kingston Mauward).
A vote was taken to vote the 12 members standing for the Executive committee for the coming year and it was unanimous.
The Executive committee will meet next week to chose a President and Vice President.
This years Executive committee are:
- Peter Greenaway
- Jon Edge
- Steve Farnham
- Caroline Paul
- Julia Cohen
- Steve Bulley
- Rick Simmonds
- Claire Southway
- Georgina Wakely
- Luke Rake
- Robin Cole
- Robert Kennedy
For membership details on how to join or renew your membership of Dorchester Chamber for Business see: https://www.dorchesterchamber.co.uk/join-us/