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Chamber to expand networking opportunities following survey results

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Sheffield Chamber of Commerce is set to optimise the services it supplies, following the results of a city-wide business survey.

The survey of Sheffield companies found that networking and lobbying continue to be the high priorities for the Chamber, which represents businesses employing more than 106,000 people.

Key findings showed that businesses value the variety of events organised by Sheffield Chamber each year, allowing them to meet potential customers and suppliers.

More than 3,500 delegates attended a Chamber event during April 2013 to March 2014, an increase of 700 people on the previous year.

Also, 80 per cent of respondents to the survey believed that the Chamber’s lobbying was effective and focused, and allowed key issues faced by businesses to be raised with decisions makers regionally and nationally.

Distributed to members and non-members the survey was created to gauge opinion on what businesses in the city think of the Chamber and what support they need to help them grow.

It assessed the services required now and spotlighted key issues where assistance may be needed in the future.

Respondents included different sized companies from a variety of sectors across Sheffield, including manufacturing, education, professional services, engineering, construction and IT.

The survey has now allowed the Chamber to increase investment on key areas which will aid businesses, including growth through exports and helping to start long-term sustainable companies, as well as pushing more the financial benefits of being a Chamber member.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said:

“The business survey has allowed us to look at our offer and activities more closely.

“As a business support organisation it is important we constantly re-evaluate what we provide to make sure it continues to meet the needs of an ever-changing landscape.

“We are the biggest networking organisation in the city and based on the survey’s findings, we intend to grow this area even further.

“The results confirm that the Chamber is truly the city’s Voice of Business.

“Our Board, Member Council and Forums are excellent sounding boards for a variety of sectors across Sheffield and are making a real difference.

“As an independent business support network we are able to gain a good insight into the opinions of the ‘non-establishment’ – the businesses which are not the regular attendees at meetings but still carry a voice and opinion on the way our city’s economy should be shaped.

“Also, the Chamber’s business support service is designed to deliver value added assistance to small and medium sized enterprises in many different ways.

“It is now more important than ever that we get this message across to businesses so they can enjoy the financial benefits available to them.”

Sheffield Chamber offers a range of services to members, including business support, profile raising, money saving opportunities and representation. For more information visit www.scci.org.uk/membership.

Richard Wright1
Richard Wright

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