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East Midlands Chamber News

Celebrating success at Chamber President’s Summer Reception

Making sure we continue to celebrate success in difficult times was the key message from East Midlands Chamber* President Kevin Harris at his Summer Reception last night.

Talking to nearly 100 guests at the event at Makeney Hall Hotel, Belper, he said: “When we look at some of the political issues taking place around us – Brexit and the selection of a new Prime Minister, for example - some of you might ask what exactly is there to celebrate?”

Avoiding getting political, he used those two examples to show how forces beyond individual control could affect business on a daily basis and yet, at the same time, “offer opportunities to demonstrate how good we are at overcoming adversity”.

He said we should celebrate that:

The East Midlands continues to be one of the biggest contributors to the national economy – second only to London and the Southeast

  • we continue to create jobs at one of the highest rates in the country, according to the Office for National Statistics
  • we continue to lead innovation and growth
  • we continue to be a world-leader for advanced technologies and gaming
  • we continue to be very good at selling our wares around the world.

Other things to celebrate, he said, included the growth at and around East Midlands Airport and the promise of regeneration at Toton, through HS2, and of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar area when the coal-fired electricity generating station there is decommissioned in the near future.

He said: “The growth promised by the fulfilment of these opportunities can’t fail to boost the region’s economy. Counting chickens? I say let’s celebrate the promise and then secure fulfilment.”

Offering still further cause for celebration, the focus of the event was to announce the finalists for this year’s East Midlands Chamber Business Awards, many of whom were at the Summer Reception.

Kevin said: “That gives me an excuse to celebrate each of you. It’s your support that gives the Chamber the capacity and capability to speak on behalf of the East Midlands business community in the corridors of power, to work tirelessly to bring about conditions in which businesses in the East Midlands can thrive and achieve further success.”

Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles then talked about how the Chamber has added “two small words and huge significance” to its vision of ‘enhancing East Midlands businesses’, making it ‘business and communities’

“Those two little words have added a massive remit to the role of the Chamber but are vital to our overall ethos – after all, there is an inevitable and unbreakable link between thriving communities and thriving businesses,” Scott said.

Scott said that nowadays one of the measures used by younger workers to evaluate a company’s worth was its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“Only two days ago, I compered the Chamber’s second annual CSR Summit – where delegates learned from successful organisations and multinationals that have implemented and participated in some great CSR activities.

“We are keen to create more opportunities for businesses to engage in CSR and see ourselves as having a role to play in linking businesses and communities,” he said.

Scott added: “As a Chamber, we want to create more opportunities for businesses to engage in CSR activity and want the Chamber to be a conduit to link successful business with thriving local communities.”

Kevin and Scott then announced the finalists for the Chambers Business Awards 2019 and thanked all the sponsors, in particular principal sponsor Mazars.

Scott said: “Competing for awards makes organisations focus on what they do, how they do it and how they can set aside those parts of their daily activities that do not contribute to their longer-term aspirations or essential operations.”

The Chamber’s awards are the only ones locally to offer winners a chance to compete in regional and national heats of the British Chambers of Commerce Awards.

The winners of the East Midlands Chamber Business Awards are announced at gala dinners held in each of the three counties in September.

Winners of specific awards and the overall Business of the Year award winner for each county will automatically go through to the regional heats of the British Chambers of Commerce awards and could go on to represent the region at the BCC national awards.

Last year, four local companies - Dalycom, Shirebrook Academy, Tidyco and trentbarton - each a regional BCC Awards winner and shortlisted finalist in the national awards, joined the Chamber at the BCC gala dinner in London in November. The Chamber won the BCC Chamber of the Year accolade on the night.