Message from the Chair, Anita Black:
2021 saw local business face new challenges as the country adapted to living within the COVID restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, the Eden Valley Chamber of Commerce have been coming up with ways to support the local business community.
During the first part of 2021, we organised a series of Lunch ‘n’ Learn sessions which were held on Zoom while we were still in lockdown. We wanted to deliver the business education applicable and relevant for our members. Topics covered included: The power of PR, Empowering your workplace performance, How to make money with great contracts. We are looking at re-establishing these sessions in 2022 and are looking for more topics that local businesses would like to see covered.
During the second half of the year, once COVID restrictions were eased, we launched the Supper Club, an informal networking group, largely targeted to solopreneurs, to enjoy relaxed company with some business talk over a meal at a local venue. We have many members who are self employed and for whom, the recent face-to-face meetings have been very welcome.
With much of our focus on supporting our business members, we also enjoy to give back to the community. The 7th Edenbridge Motor Show, held in September 2021, was a major success with more visitors and exhibitors than we have ever seen. Not only does this event support the local community but also allows the Chamber to raise funds which we can then pass back to local community groups and charities. Our current charities are:
- Edenbridge Community First Responders
- Edenbridge Voluntary Transport Service
- Eden Valley Museum
- Edenbridge & Westerham Citizens Advice
In 2022 there will be opportunities for local businesses to sponsor the 2022 Motor Show. If you’d like to register your interest now, please email email@example.com.
Our Loyalty Card scheme has also proved popular with local businesses and residents over the last several years. We will be encouraging even more local businesses to get involved so local customers have even more opportunity to fill their cards and be entered into the regular draws to win £50 of vouchers to spend at participating businesses.
Towards the end of last year we also held our first face-to-face networking event at the BRIDGES Centre and we will be building on this in the New Year.
If you know anybody who is in business in and around Edenbridge who could benefit from joining the chamber, please pass on our details.