Chamber of Trade supports business
This is the first in a series of regular articles giving readers and insight into what the Dunmow and District Chamber of Trade is all about. Members belonging to the chamber provide a pivotal role for a number of businesses in Great Dunmow and surroundin
This is the first in a series of regular articles giving readers and insight into what the Dunmow and District Chamber of Trade is all about.
Members belonging to the chamber provide a pivotal role for a number of businesses in Great Dunmow and surrounding areas.
The Dunmow Chamber is currently the only one in Uttlesford and has been running since it was started by a group of businessmen in the 1950s.
It gives lone businessmen and woman a chance to have their voices heard, and in a group, with a shared interest - of promoting the town and its traders - they are much more powerful.
Mike Perry, chairman of the Dunmow chamber of commerce, said: "As a single voice, it is difficult to achieve anything, but as a group we can achieve things within the town. If it [the Chamber] didn't exist we wouldn't have a say in anything that goes on."
"We look at all sorts of issues, anything that has an effect on the trade within the town. At the moment, we are keeping a close eye on the car parking in the town: spaces available and the prices that are being charged.
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"These have a direct effect on the number of people who come into the town to use the shops. Last year we successfully campaigned against a rise in car parking charges.
"We are also watching what regulations the government is coming up with that may affect the town. For example, there is the Area Plan that involves 8000 houses built on our doorsteps," said Mr Perry.
The chamber also promotes the town further afield by way of the Dunmow and District Town Guide, promotional leaflets and the website www.dayoutindunmow.co.uk The website has recently been launched and holds information of what's on and what is available in terms of facilities and businesses in the town and its surrounding area.
The service is available FREE to members as part of their annual subscription, which costs £50 per year and includes free entry, a 50 word submission on the site, and links available to their own website.
Chamber meetings are held on the second Monday in the month and it is not compulsory for members to attend, but it is a way of meeting fellow business people and discussing local issues.
The Dunmow and District Chamber of Trade is now the only functioning chamber in Uttlesford and often talks to chambers in other parts of the country.
Members also have regular meetings with Uttlesford District Council, Great Dunmow Town Council, Essex County Council, the Town Strategy Group, and Town Design Group, regarding issues on car parking, traffic movement and local development.
The Late Night Shopping event in December is also organised by the Chamber and members assist in some aspects of the carnival.
The chamber has been actively involved in other projects in the town, namely the town map, the iron railing and street furniture, the brown signs on the entry roads, the CCTV and shopwatch schemes, and promotional carrier bags.
Meetings are also frequently held with Stansted Airport and the Tesco supermarket in Dunmow.
The Chamber currently has 75 members, but would ideally like about 100 members as they have had in the past but families come and go and sadly they take their businesses with them.
All of the work that members carry out is done on a voluntary basis and Mr Perry says that people may criticise it, but without it many things would be steamrollered through without virtually any opposition or say from the community.
- TO FIND out more or to join call Mike Perry on 01371 872129 or Carol Hoffmann on 01371 875125.