Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce has been in existence for over 200 years – the first association was established in 1813 and became incorporated in 1949. It was born out of a desire from businesses to meet and trade together. This organisations intention was to represent the interest of commerce and industry and to ensure that there was a voice for business. There has also been a need for an organisation to deliver services to help businesses to start, grow and succeed.
Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce continue to deliver this role and have also developed a wider role with the recognition of the contribution that the business community makes to economic and social success.
Members of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce have a dedicated point of contact whose role it is to help them make the most of their investment in membership, both for their business needs currently and also those of the future. All membership support contacts are accredited by the UK Sector Skills Body for Enterprise (SFEDI) and receive regular training in business support and advice. Chamber membership is designed to benefit the whole business and, where applicable, encourage a wide range of engagement from a cross section of their employees. Member businesses are encouraged to participate in quarterly economic surveys (QES), attend networking and sectorial events. From policy and HR forums to International Trade events and updates.
What the judges said:
Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce have a focus on sectoral support, with forums for the manufacturing and ceramics sector as well as schools, and with their special interest groups too, it means members benefit from a tailored membership package. They run an One2Three club for businesses up to three years old, a Mentoring for Growth Programme and a 20/20 club for high growth businesses.
Membership has grown by 12% over the last two years and an impressive 20% of Staffordshire’s workforce are in Chamber membership. They have increased their number of Patron members from 17 to 23, substantially increasing membership income.
Judges recognised that they continually gather feedback from their members, and this feedback has influenced the activity undertaken by the Chamber. They have introduced a new CRM system, a new membership offering for high growth companies, a range of focus groups, and they collaborate with other organisations to deliver successful events.