Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce has been supporting and connecting businesses − large and small − across the district for 123 years. This year, with the coronavirus pandemic, its much-needed services have been called upon as never before.
Support for local businesses
“It’s been an intense time,” said Chamber Chief Executive Officer, Vicky Lofthouse. “During the lockdown our advice and help have been a vital lifeline for our members. We will continue to offer our full support in whatever way we can as businesses step out into what is going to be a rather different landscape for some time.”
She added, “Our members know that they can ring us at any time for a chat about any challenges they are facing or just for moral support.”
The work Chambers of Commerce do has been recognized by Her Majesty The Queen who has offered support to businesses as they reopen after lockdown through a letter. Her words have been seen as a huge boost to morale among businesses, including those across North Lancashire.
Praising the contribution Chambers of Commerce across the UK and around the world are making to help firms, she wrote:
“At a time of great difficulty for many, it is heart-warming to see the civic response and generosity of so many businesses, small and large, to the challenges posed, whether supporting the health sector or vulnerable communities.”
She continued: “As Patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, it gives me great pride to see the contribution you and your members are making to help firms, champion trade and rebuild communities.”
Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce itself is a not-for-profit organisation owned and directed by a membership of over 400 diverse businesses.
The benefits of Chamber Membership
Although the Chamber is best known as a networking organisation with regular networking events, both informal and formal, there is much more to membership than this.
The Chamber has a strong, unified voice that represents the views of businesses at national, regional and local levels. It also runs training and social events throughout the year. Members also benefit from packages of support in HR, employment law, health and safety and tax and VAT. This support is available to all Chamber members as part of their membership.
There is also a huge collection of web-based advice documents which are free to download for members. On top of this, members can promote their businesses through the Chamber’s regular e-newsletter and its comprehensive directory. Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce benefits from affiliation with the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce too.
Addressing the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Vicky said: “It is my belief that our business community here in North Lancashire will emerge as an even stronger, kinder and more cohesive force.”
She continued, “As many local businesses have been impacted by a fall in trade due to the coronavirus pandemic we are urging people across the district to use their services as they reopen.”
While the Chamber was disappointed to have to cancel its flagship event the North Lancs Expo this year it is determined to make next year’s event even bigger and better than before. The two day event, which the Chamber runs in association with Lancaster City Council, and which in 2019 saw 110 business exhibitors and 2500 visitors gather at Lancaster Brewery, has established itself as the must-attend business event across the district since its launch in 2017.
The introduction of the Expo is just one of the ways that Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce has adapted to an ever-changing business environment and is, in fact, considered a leader among business networking organizations.
Whether you are just starting out or an established business there has never been a better time to join. Their small, friendly team, based on the White Lund Trading Estate, are waiting to take your call and help your business grow and prosper.