Some of you will have read this on the members’ closed Facebook page already but I thought it might prove useful to repeat them here for the wider world to see the approach the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade is going to take over the next two years and to have the opportunity to grab our coat tails!

The chamber is just as much about the retail sector as it is the non-retail sector and my approach for the next couple of years will be all encompassing. It will help having as diverse a committee as possible to ensure this.

Although you may feel the chamber is not directly relevant to you what is relevant to us all, directly and indirectly, is a thriving business community in Haslemere both retail and non retail. Without either the town dies and becomes a less attractive place for people to come to live and work and that would have a detrimental effect on all our businesses in the end. A thriving business community is what the chamber will continue to try to achieve and maintain. I will ensure that committee is focused on that aim in whatever it does and in the decisions it takes on your behalf.

  1. The chamber has already embarked on a programme of events aimed at helping business of all types to grow and improve their performance. This is being done via a series of talks and lectures given by experts in various fields from social media to design to corporate governance. I want to see businesses in Haslemere and the surrounding district continue to grow and develop. I will endeavour to ensure that the Chamber provides the support to enable local businesses to achieve.
  2. The chamber will continue to organise events so that members get to meet each other on a regular basis to their mutual benefit and help each other out in solving problems or issues they may have in their business. In this way you get to meet other businesses that could be of use to your own operation – solicitors, estate agents, contractors, insurance brokers to name but a few. These and many others are also people that could be interested in what you do either in becoming prospective clients/purchasers/shoppers or introducing prospective purchasers. The Chamber should be the ‘business exchange’ or ‘B2B’ (forgive me Adrian) facility for Haslemere. Where businesses can sell and buy to each other and grow with each other. I hope, under my presidency, that aspect of the Chamber continues to develops and I will do my utmost to ensure it does.
  3. Waverley can sometimes have a rather parochial view of the chamber and Haslemere in general though that has been improving over the last few years. However, the more members we have the more powerful our voice can be in helping to shape policy – planning, development, services and the like. It will be another area I and the new committee will be focusing on – increasing our strength so we are better able to represent the commercial sector of Haslemere.
  4. I would like to see more members involved in the operation of the chamber. Each member of the committee should be responsible for an area of operation – membership, communications, IT, Events and Fundraising. In each of those areas the committee member should be assisted by several members who are directly involved and provide a wider input into what the committee does and how it arrives at its decisions and actions.
  5. It is a fundamental aim of the Chamber to promote the town outside of its confines. The projects we take up will all be designed to help sell the town to the outside world.

I believe it should be the members that influence the chamber in the way it operates and the direction it takes, not the other way round. The Chamber can only ever be whatever the membership wants it to be hence the input from you, the members, is vitally important.

That is the type of Chamber I want and will seek to deliver with the help of you, the members, and the committee you elect. And when you come to elect committee members or want to stand for a committee post yourself ask yourself the following:

“Is this what I want”

“Can this person help the town and its businesses to grow?”

“Can I help?”