Posted on 5.1.12 by Christian Mancier
Over Christmas my Uncle asked me what exactly a Chamber President does…which made me think. There are so many things it’s difficult to come up with a succinct answer. So I thought this first article of the New Year would be a good opportunity to explain a bit more about the Chamber and my role.
The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK with over 5,500 members. Most members join primarily for the seminars and networking events, which offer a great opportunity to meet other local business people, but the Chamber does so much more than that.
The Chamber offers a wide range of membership services and benefits, from discounts and preferential rates on business services to providing support, advice and training to help you grow your business. These discounts and services can save a business more than the Chamber membership fee itself – in one case the cost reduction consultancy service offered by Chamber Plus identified that one of our members had been overcharged for water, leading to a refund of £69,000!
The other key area that the Chamber of Commerce is involved in is policy development. Through its regional network of Chamber groups the Chamber is able to identify local business issues and feed these into the national agenda, helping to ensure that business policy (both at a national and local level) takes into account the issues that really matter to business like yours.
That’s where the local Chamber Councils come in. Each of the 10 boroughs in Greater Manchester has a local Chamber Council, and I am President of the Stockport Chamber Council. With a Chamber as big as Greater Manchester the local Chamber Councils are a vital link between local businesses, the Chamber and the local borough councils.
The Stockport Chamber Council is a group of around 15 Chamber members who meet regularly to discuss the business issues that are affecting Stockport. The members are usually joined by representatives from the Chamber, Stockport Council, Stockport College and Stockport Primary Care Trust, who collectively assist the Chamber Council addressing the issues discussed.
We’re really fortunate in Stockport to have a broad range of businesses and this is reflected in the Chamber Council membership. Our Council members include representatives from property and construction, marketing and public relations, telecoms and communications, professional services, recruitment and business consultancy – as well as Stockport County and Robinsons Brewery.
So, if you have a business issue you would like the Chamber Council to look at, or you have a specific business question to put to a member of the Council, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter @mancier.