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Keeping in touch is good for you

From Sandy Bell, President of Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce

For hundreds of years Chambers of Commerce have existed to help people get to know one another and do business together. That has usually involved social gatherings which have sadly been put on ice for the time being.

Like many others we have resorted to Zoom meetings to keep people in touch. Whilst it’s not as good as a face to face meeting it still provides an opportunity for people to build up friendships and to understand the different challenges we are all facing. This time, to cheer us up, we made it a social, starting at 6pm with a drink and nibbles to hand.

These get togethers are not just about talking business, though it’s always interesting to hear about the amazingly wide variety of activities going on across the Valley. For example, most recently we found out something about the vital role of milk testing for the dairy industry.

Our gatherings are a chance to hear about how people are living their lives and coping with the current stresses. Some have families who are working from home and children at school or university. It can be a problem to find space for everyone and to make sure they have peace and quiet. Young people also have the pressure of deciding whether or not to take up their places at university, defer them to next year, or start their studies whilst still living at home.

Others are struggling with other, non Covid related illnesses, or are living alone, carrying on with their jobs as best they can and finding different ways of having some form of social contact. Chamber conversations help members of all kinds and provide a platform so we can all support one another, sometimes making suggestions or passing on some helpful tips, sharing information and know how.

At the same time we are also in close contact with Bath and North East Somerset Council, so we have been able quickly to provide members with information about the latest tranche of business support funding. As Rod Podger explained last month, that’s no easy matter because guidelines are being changed regularly.

One of the things that came out of our latest Zoom social was that we wanted to encourage more people to join us in Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce. If you’d like to know more please email me at or have a look at our website –


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