What is a Chamber of Commerce?
Chambers of Commerce perform several functions for their members. They’re networking forums – business clubs – facilitating the making of contacts and the sharing of knowledge and experience. They provide services for members such as training, mentor matching, events, learning opportunities and business support. Members can offer discounted professional services to fellow members. The Chamber also gathers a collective business view with a view to influencing decision making that will affect that local business community.
How things began for Moray Chamber of Commerce
Moray Chamber of Commerce is an organisation that’s here for every size of business, from those that export their products around the world, to national chains, to the smallest local enterprise. The organisation as it is today is focused on having a fresh outlook on business and delivering a dynamic, supportive, informative and professional service to every one of its members.
The story of Moray Chamber of Commerce began back in the late 90’s, when there was significant interest from local businesses in forming an organisation that would represent the interests of the Moray business community. Local business man Bill Robertson put his not inconsiderable clout behind the drive and eventually, in 2001 The Moray Chamber of Commerce was founded. At the outset, 32 businesses committed to funding the venture, and by the time of official launch the Chamber had 85 members.
In the early days the founding members had a sense that they had taken an important step, for a small area like Moray, to join an international club.
There was also great lobbying success in that early period. The Scottish Government proposed the introduction of a Small Business Bonus and Moray Chamber members were successful in spotting a serious flaw in the proposed legislation. Through its membership of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Moray Chamber was able to persuade the Scottish Government and the legislation was duly amended to the benefit of a wider business community.
Moray Chamber today
These days the core purpose of Moray Chamber is to energise the local economy by supporting, connecting, protecting and educating local businesses. We’re working hard to develop our reputation as the ‘go to’ networking organisation in Moray Speyside, by proactively connecting and supporting businesses across the region. We think that one of the best ways we can add value to the local business community is to enable effective business relationships between businesses of all sizes, types and at all stages of development.
As part of this, we’re committed to delivering training and events tailored perfectly to members’ needs. And after all these years, we’re still focused on making sure we continue to be ‘in the know’ regarding national and local business issues, so that we can champion Moray Speyside’s interests, lobby local and national government on relevant issues, and continue in the footsteps of the founding members.
As membership has grown, the office based team has also grown and we’re very proud of our professional, timely, can do attitude and approach! What’s more, we’re a friendly and welcoming team, so don’t hesitate to pop in and see us if you have any questions.
Collectively, members tell us that the most important things we offer them are:
- The opportunity to make meaningful connections through vibrant engagement and networking opportunities
- Consistent, professional advice and support leading to the confidence that we are always there for them
- A membership fee which is very good value for money
- A ‘sense of belonging’
What our members say
Don’t just take our word for it! Here are some things individual members have told us about what their Moray Chamber membership means to them:
“We saw Chamber as an opportunity to engage locally with the business community and also to demonstrate a local commitment. Networking and understanding how the local business Community works allows us to specifically tailor some of our bids and also look at new supply chain and other opportunities.” Alex Johnston, Morrison Construction
“Moray Chamber is more professionally run now than it’s ever been, with a lot more staff and more events. With regular newsletters and updates, it communicates more and more effectively. The networking is good and also the support from other businesses, courses on offer and information relevant to business in Moray eg new flights from Inverness airport.
I found the debates on subjects such as devolution helpful. Hearing from other businesses about the effect on their business was very helpful in forming an opinion on how to vote. The debates were well balanced presenting the case for each side allowing me to make up my own mind after hearing both arguments.” Dawn McNiven, DMdotPR
“I think that membership has given lots of members a greater knowledge of the wider business world locally, nationally and internationally. The Chamber has changed and developed into a better known body locally, which is looked up to and the success of the annual dinner is a testament to this. The Chamber has evolved to be an organisation that communicates well both on and off line with its members, and provides regular newsletters, information, updates and publicity opportunities.” Jim Johnston, The Home Bakery
“As a Bank we wished to show a commitment to the area and felt that this was an appropriate way to be part of the community. As an individual member of the Business Banking team, I was delighted to be asked as I felt that it would let me expand my knowledge and grow my network and at the same time be able to provide any relevant advice to members. From a personal perspective Chamber membership has indeed allowed me to grow my network and increase my personal profile, along with giving a number of opportunities for self-development.” Carol Stewart, RBS