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Spotlight On: Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Somerset Chamber of Commerce is a business membership organisation which represents members and the wider business community, acting as the voice of business to ensure a vibrant economy across the county.

As a not-for-dividend organisation, the Chamber focuses on supporting members and acting as a hub for the business community – promoting and lobbying on behalf of its members. The Chamber is the only truly independent UK business support organisation and is recognised at all levels of Government.

The Chamber is proud to have a particularly close working relationship with Somerset County Cricket Club, which has been a Chamber Business Partner for several years.

As a Business Partner, the Club benefits from a unique working relationship at the heart of the business community, with unrivalled opportunities to engage with businesses and to promote the club’s own services and facilities.

The Chamber’s Business Partners are all leading examples of their industry sectors and are positioned as the authoritative voice within their areas of operation. Only a handful of businesses are accredited as Chamber Business Partners.

Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber, said: “The Chamber and Somerset County Cricket Club work together to promote local businesses and the opportunities and facilities offered by the Club to the business community.”

Over the last year, Somerset CCC has hosted the Chamber’s annual summer barbecue on the Thatchers Roof Terrace, a ladies’ cricket day for Chamber businesswomen and the Chamber’s AGM. The Chamber has also been able to attend meetings with local businesses at the Club and enjoyed hosting guests at cricket matches throughout the season, including T20 games, Western Storm matches and the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Mr Henagulph said: “Somerset County Cricket Club has fantastic conference and meeting room facilities and the Chamber has found the Club’s services and support invaluable this year, from attending cricket Club-organised meetings in the Long Room to hosting our own events on the terrace and in the private boxes.

“The food is always superb and it goes without saying that the standard of cricket has been second-to-none!”

Somerset Chamber itself was established in 1994 and is one of only 53 Chambers accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce, which represents over 100,000 businesses in the UK.

The Chamber network is consulted at all levels by Government and has credibility in the eyes of the media as an independent voice for business.

Locally, the Chamber works alongside Somerset’s many Town Chambers and together represent over 2,000 businesses across the county.

The Chamber’s aims are to help people and businesses to connect, to provide opportunities for Somerset businesses to grow and to represent their views and influence the key decision-makers locally, regionally and nationally.

The Chamber organises more than 80 events each year to support members businesses and strengthen supply chains, as well as offering expert representation on issues that affect the whole business community.

Somerset Chamber also organises the county’s largest and most prestigious business awards – the Somerset Business Awards – which this year celebrated their 15th anniversary and were held at the Winter Gardens Pavilion, in Weston-super-Mare.

As well as amplifying and promoting member businesses, the Chamber also actively campaigns for infrastructure improvements and developments which support the business community.

The Chamber is lobbying for better broadband connectivity and is championing the South West as a great place to do business – with superb conference and meeting facilities such as those offered by Somerset County Cricket Club.

Mr Henagulph added: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working alongside the Somerset County Cricket Club as a Business Partner and I’m looking forward to continuing our already strong partnership for many years to come.”

More information about Somerset Chamber is available on the website www.somerset-chamber.co.uk or by telephoning 01823 444924.

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