Let's stick together
By Sandy Bell, President Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce.
One of the traditional principles of Chambers of Commerce is to encourage members to do business with one another. It makes sense to stick together at the best of times, never mind the circumstance we are facing at the moment.
We’ve also done what we can to promote the idea of buying locally, suggesting that people should at least give local suppliers a chance to show what they can do. Some traders in in Bath have been the first in the district to sign up to a ‘I love local’ campaign, with flags, signs and banners. I don’t know whether we’d want to link into a formal scheme like that but I do think we could urge people to think about using a local supplier before looking further afield or going online.
There’s an astonishing range of quality goods and services available within a few miles, so you can save yourself travel time and cost by shopping in the neighbourhood. I am not saying you should only buy locally, just give it some thought before automatically looking elsewhere. You’ll be helping the local economy and giving a boost to businesses who are providing people in the Valley with jobs and incomes.
Of course we also have members providing services which means they might have customers far afield, in fact anywhere in the world. It may be that will actually increase as working from home and video conferencing become much more the norm. If there’s no need to go into a physical office people could do jobs for companies across the globe. We’ve certainly got some great talent locally and there will be people who will no doubt expanding the reach of their businesses in the coming months.
I suppose you might say I want to have my cake and eat it, but I don’t think that’s too much to ask. On the one hand, we can do what we can to support local suppliers but at the same time, thanks to greater use of technology, we can be outward looking, attracting customers from around the country and internationally, giving us a balance to our economy which will look after the community for years to come.
If you’d like to join us in Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or have a look at our website – www.chewvalleychamber.co.uk