Representation: it’s a word which I often repeat when use when describing the role of Northamptonshire Chamber.
It’s also an area which many people underestimate in terms of the influence it has in supporting businesses.
Well what does it mean? Here’s a definition: the privilege of having someone speak with authority on your behalf.
‘the privilege of having someone speak with authority on your behalf’
An integral part of our mission as a local chamber of commerce is to build and nurture a respected, influential business community.
That entails representing the interests of our members, pushing for legislation to make business life easier and challenging legislation that holds companies back.
One popular channel of voicing the concerns of businesses is through our Quarterly Economic Survey(QES) which is used to gain a picture of the local economy.
‘However you be forgiven for thinking that representation purely centres on our QES reports’
These results are fed to our national organisation: the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) along with the other 52 accredited chambers and passed onto the Government and the Monetary Policy Committee(MPC), to provide a more accurate national economic overview.
However you be forgiven for thinking that representation purely centres on our QES reports.
Actually our position as a recognised body enables us to have a network of contacts to cover all the local authorities in Northamptonshire, large regional organisations in the East Midlands, and central government.
We have campaigned with BCC for changes to national policy and our members have had many opportunities to meet decision makers at the heart of central government.
‘The Chamber was also privileged to welcome BCC Director General John Longworth’
Our links with BCC has enabled acs Office Solutions to be among a delegation of 12 chambers of commerce businesses nationwide that met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to discuss exports.
We have supported the Brackmills BID Investment Event at the House of Commons hosted by Northampton North Conservative MP Michael Ellis.
The Chamber was also privileged to welcome BCC Director General John Longworth in October last year.
Admittedly, there are a lot of meetings but it is crucial for us to ensure we as a Chamber do all we can to be represented at strategic forums and discussions to support the economy locally and nationally.
That has meant participating in high level discussions with organisations such as Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership(SEMLEP) which share the same aim and vision of supporting businesses by driving growth and helping job creation.
‘Representation is the Chamber’s best kept secret’
The result of the partnership with SEMLEP has enabled the creation of Velocity designed to help companies to maximise their potential.
Representation may appear to be a low profile component of the Chamber however representation is the Chamber’s best kept secret.
As you can see, we have achieved a great number of initiatives and fantastic opportunities for businesses in Northamptonshire and we need to secure many more if we are to create an environment for companies to grow and flourish.