CEO's Review of the Year
19 October 2017
As this is my first annual review as CEO I would like to start with some facts and figures. I believe that we often punch above our weight with what is a small team and modest financial resource.
Hampshire Chamber has 26 staff split between our three office in Fareham, Basingstoke and Southampton.
In the past year we have welcomed 302 new members with a membership that currently stands at over 1700 who between them employ nearly 100,000 people.
We have issued over 11,300 international trade documents, run 99 events and 35 training workshops.
These have focussed on the sub jects that matter to business including digital marketing, cyber security, GDPR and dare I mention Brexit!
New online resource pages have been added to our website to help members to easily find the most recent and relevant information.
One of my priorities is to ensure that we communicate more effectively with our members and we are focussing on our social media and electronic communication platforms. If there is somewhere online that you would expect Hampshire Chamber to be and can’t find us then do let me know
If you are not already engaging with us then I would encourage you to follow us on Twitter ( 11400 followers and join our Linked In group 4112 members
During the past 9 months we have invested in and implemented a new CRM system , It has had its snagging issues but is now providing us with a much more effective tool for targeting services to you in a more relevant way. This will be expanded next year to include an online portal making online payments and bookings easier.
Our area committees have been working hard to raise the profile of Chamber activities in their areas
• By far the biggest piece of work was the response to The Industrial Strategy. This was Kristine’s last consultation for the Chamber before her retirement and she described it as the hardest she had ever had.
• Working with Winchester BID, we supported Winchester City Council in their implementation of Article 4, which prevents the automatic conversion of commercial property to residential. Conversion will still be possible only it will now require full planning permission protocols.
• We have written letters of support for Fawley Waterside, Southampton Conference Centre, Rapid Transport Systems and others and replied to consultations ranging from Air Quality Action Plans, Business Rates Relief and the changes to the A31 layout at Ringwood as well as others.
• We have also supported the formation of the BID’s in Basingstoke and Southampton and Andover
We have increased our profile across all media avenues and are delighted to have just confirmed a 3 way partnership with Eagle Radio and Surrey Chambers for the North East Hampshire area which will include radio slots and digital promotion.
We continue to work with the Portsmouth News and Newsquest and regularly provide comment for radio stations and television including a recent appearance on the BBC Sunday Politics Show
We also achieved some significant coverage for some of our members this year with appearances on Sky News and direct input to government on Brexit related issues with members put forward to share their views and expertise at national, round table discussions.
We have welcomed new affiliations and partnerships with the Chartered Institute of Logistics, Shaping Portsmouth and Salisbury Chamber, and worked with a number of partner organisations on joint events to expand networking opportunities
Everything that we do relies heavily on our staff and I would like to say a personal thank you to my team. They all have a real passion and belief in Hampshire Chamber and often go above and beyond their normal day to day responsibilities
I would also like to acknowledge our Non Executive Board members who provide their support and advice throughout the year bringing their individual expertise to help strengthen the chamber.
Another thank you it gives me great pleasure to mention is to our outgoing Chairman and President Andrew Finney.
Andrew has done a sterling job over the past 3 years in what is a voluntary role, keeping the board in order - sometimes as I am sure they would agree, likened to herding cats, providing support and advice to myself and my predecessor Stewart and giving a significant amount of time to attending events and meetings to help to raise our profile and increase our membership.
Business awards are a great way to showcase business success stories – Hampshire Chamber supports the South Coast Business Awards, Portsmouth News Business Excellence Awards, and Inspire Business Awards and is an organising partner for the Winchester Business Excellence Awards.
I strongly resist duplicating others efforts and the Chamber Awards being a regional competition is ideal as we can put the successful finalists from these awards straight through to the regional round for the South of England. This year I have great pleasure in recognising Utilita who have won the regional Chamber Award for Business growth.
Finally I would like to say how much I am looking forward to working with our new President David Joel and Ross McNally as our new Executive Chair to drive forward some exciting plans .