I recently met Ana Christie, Chief Executive Officer of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce based in the Victoria Business Centre in Victoria Road. Being one of the 53 accredited chambers across the country, as part of the British Chambers of Commerce, Ana and her team are an important channel for us as a local Business Association to lobby Central Government on ‘big ticket’ business issues.
At the moment, the hot topics being focused on by the British Chambers are:
- People & Skills
So whereas BHBPA will want to focus on our local issues, broader regional issues can be fed into the Sussex Chamber of Commerce and national issues into the central British Chambers. Of course, BHBPA is an affiliate member of the Sussex Chamber.
One of the regular activities Ana wants to see the BHBPA contribute to is the British Chambers Quarterly Economic Survey. A link will be sent when the survey opens on the 17th February until 9th March and only takes 5 minutes to complete. This is the largest and most representative independent business survey of its kind in the UK. Each quarter more than 6,000 businesses participate. It is the first economic indicator of the quarter, published in advance of official figures and other private surveys, and it consistently mirrors trends in official data. For this reason the survey is closely watched by policymakers such as the Treasury, the Bank of England, the Office of Budget Responsibility, the EU Commission and the IMF.
There are of course other important topics, some of which may be of particular interest to members, and specialists within member companies. These include Sustainability, Digital and Facilities. I will arrange for Ana to attend one of our upcoming events, perhaps in May, to explain in person what our county Chamber is working on and how we can both contribute and gain from our affiliate membership.
Suffice to say, Ana is keen to forge a stronger relationship with our Burgess Hill based business community.