It’s been a great year in which we grew in both number of committee members and activity…

Our new quarterly seminar programme was established. Each event included presentations from Chamber of Commerce members about their businesses and plenty of opportunities to network and meet each other in a relaxed, sociable atmosphere, with food and drink. This led to increased awareness and new members to the Chamber.

A strong and productive relationship with Persimmon Homes, developers of the Holy Cross site, was formed. This helped keep disruption to a minimum over the summer. It allowed us to keep members and other traders informed and was a way for us to influence the project building work. There have been many challenges which continue as I report…

We continued our stand-out work on street decorations, putting up flags and Christmas lights. The number of the new ‘globe’ lights was doubled. We persuaded Persimmon to make a donation to the Christmas lights fund. We received other donations and a grant from BCC. We supported and participated in Feast Day and Fun Night

Our website at was revamped and we posted regular updates and newsletters, showcased our members and added the option to join the Chamber online

We created new ways for businesses – not just members – to communicate via Facebook and ‘What’s App’; there was renewed focus on advertising member businesses on the ‘HSBC’ noticeboard

Regular work was carried out on promoting the village and its traders via specific initiatives, press releases in the local papers, social media and the Streetlife website. Village centre parking became an issue. The Precinct’s payment arrangements changed. As usual, new shops and other businesses were established and others closed. More multiples are apparently on the way.

Our links with important bodies such as the Parish, District and County Councils were maintained – and utilised. We held trader meetings and general assistance for the community was made available

We assisted with the work experience scheme and employability day at Chalfont Community College

We end the year with more committee members than ever during my Presidency, my thanks to everyone on the team. We have worked hard at establishing roles and responsibilities for the team; the number of businesses who belong to the Chamber is healthy, but many take time to renew.

The Future
As well building again on much of this activity, in 2017 we will launch a completely revised ‘Keep it Local’ online business directory exclusively for Chalfont St Peter and mount a publicity campaign to make it the ‘go-to’ resource for residents looking for products, services and trades, driving even more business into the village.

We will improve our joining process, initial communication and welcome.

We will collaborate with the Parish Council and others to bring a new hard-copy ‘Village Guide’ to fruition, helping to further showcase the trading community especially to the many new residents.

We will provide a Village Centre map in conjunction with Chalfont Community College to be displayed on the ‘HSBC’ noticeboard

Being a member of the Chamber of Commerce means you are often the first to hear of business-related news, you will become known by other businesses who can recommend you, have a knowledge of the local customer base, are a voice in the trading community, can contribute to the village and make it a great place to work, can use the joint influence of the Chamber to help your business, and feel part of a thriving community.

Membership costs only £40 for a full year and includes an entry on the Keep it Local site.

Andrew Welch

President, Chalfont St Peter Chamber of Commerce