Weymouth and Portland Business Chamber members were welcomed into the Chesil Centre on the Portland Beach Road with tea and coffee and much conversation took place amongst the 60 attendees. Before sitting down to breakfast the meeting sponsors Wessex FM gave an excellent presentation utilising the first class audio visual equipment available at the centre.
Wessex FM Managing Director Rick Simmonds placed emphasis on the role of the radio station in the community, which is strongly back up by their website. “We are a local radio station covering Dorchester, Weymouth & Bridport playing Dorset’s favourite music. Based in Dorchester reaching an audience of over 50,000 which is nearly 50% of the audience covered”
Rick went on to announce the launch of Wessex 70’s a new station aimed at appealing to a specific listener.
New to his post at Wessex, Rick thanked all for listening proposing to members and guests that ” If there is anything we can do, do shout and we’re still happy to offer the free marketing checkup offer to chamber members, if they want to contact myself in the coming days.”
With the different approach of a presentation before breakfast all present enthusiastically moved through to Taste for an impressive breakfast, with staff and chef receiving much applause when thanked by Chamber President Andrew Knowles. Certificates were presented to all the new members present; Fiona Hansford from Diverse Abilities, Shaun Hennessy from Gunz Barbers, Claire MacDonald from Wyke Dorset Cottages, and David Simpson from Coles Miller Solicitors. Guests were welcomed and all were reminded of the next events coming up and to book on the website. The Chamber tour of TS Royalist and TS Jack Petchey is on the 12th October and the next breakfast meeting is November 7th.
Andrew then introduced our keynote speaker, Shelley Collins from Dorset Growth Hub who explained the role in offering help and support to all businesses in Dorset. Shelley said that her main role was for pre-Starts and Start-ups, “We offer the chance for new ideas to grow and we can make a real difference in offering workshops, courses, one to one meetings and network groups.”
The Hub also offers established businesses diagnostics, technical support, referrals to specialists and access to grants. “Grants being one aspect that does excite people in business with £500 available to pre-starts, £1500 to digital businesses and up to £50,000 as a business growth grant one can see why”.
Shelly finished by emphasising Dorset Growth Hub partnerships with the art and culture and other organisations such as Dorset Mentoring, Silicon South,and Local Authorities.
Finally Emily Brown was introduced and gave a brief but very informative insight into the workings of the Fine Foundation here at the Chesil Centre, all under the auspices of the Dorset Wildlife Trust. “We have 80,000 visitors annually to the centre” said Emily “with 800 attending paid for walks and talks and 800 children attending from schools”. Emily stressed the importance of focusing on the local community and working with local businesses, and their reliance on the wonderful 45 or so volunteers. “Chesil and the Fleet has such an amazing wildlife of rare seabirds and unique insects, flora and fauna” said Emily before throwing out her intriguing question to cause much wild guessing! “So how many pebbles are on the Chesil Beach?” If you there you would now know!
President Andrew thanked everyone for such a good turnout and such a fabulous meeting and hoped to see many at the next events, which as Andrew said are on the Chamber website.
Thanks to David Morphew Photography.