Working together, we can be stronger – that was the message to the local business community at Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting.
More than 80 businesspeople came together for the meeting at the Wroxeter Hotel today, which was followed by the Chamber’s Christmas lunch.
President Piran Littleton said: “I became a member of the Chamber seven years ago when I was new to Shropshire, and I don’t regret any second. It has been massively important to my growth, and to the growth of my business as well.
“The noise that we are making as a Chamber to be able to support each other is tremendous, and I am massively privileged to be the president.
“I am inspired constantly by the team members and what they do – this constant push they have to deliver events, which enable us to keep on coming together to share in our trials and tribulations.
“We have a continued desire to make sure the membership feels happier, healthier, wealthier, and wiser.
“It’s been a tough year, and it’s going to be a remarkable year next year as well. But with people like us working together, I think we can get through it easier.”
Richard Sheehan, the Chamber’s chief executive who will be retiring at the end of March, told members: “I think it is important for you to know that you are part of something very special.
“The Chamber has enormous aspirations for growth and is totally committed to doing that – not for our benefit, but for the benefit of everyone who gets involved and comes together.”
Keith Winter, Chamber director and past president, said the organisation remained in a healthy financial position, despite allocating extra resources to build a brand new website, and investing in extra staff to provide greater support to members.
Four new Chamber directors were also elected at the meeting. Ruth Ross, who will succeed Mr Sheehan as chief executive, joins the board alongside Matt Small from Aico in Oswestry, Shropshire Business magazine editor and director Carl Jones, and Kirsty Smallman, managing director of J&PR in Wellington.
The Chamber said a ‘real heart-felt thank you’ to two directors who have stood down – former president Mandy Thorn, and Chris Greenough from SDE Technology in Shrewsbury.
Two other serving directors, Chris Pallett of Bespoke Computing in Telford and Simon Macvicker, managing director of Bridgnorth Aluminium, were re-elected to the Chamber board.
A raffle which was held at the event raised £2,000 for The Movement Centre near Oswestry, which provides life-changing physiotherapy for children.
It is one of three charities which have been chosen by Chamber patrons to benefit from fundraising activities this year.