Once again members and guests of the of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce attended a full house at their meeting which this month was at the St Aldhelm’s Church Centre. An excellent breakfast was served after time for chatting and networking with old and new business contacts.
All attendees were kept fully occupied with presentations by Sue Nicholson from the meeting sponsors Battens Solicitors, also Dr Peter Down of the Dorset County Museum, Nina Hanger from the Charity Hangers Heroes and representation from the Weymouth BID.
President of the Chamber Andrew Knowles welcomed everyone and told of his meeting later in the week when he will be attending a Jurassic Coast Highway Transport Conference, organised by Portland Port to discuss the Western Relief Road. Andrew pointed out that he would be seeking opinions from those present.
The meeting sponsors Battens were thanked and their representative Sue Nicholson took the microphone to explain why businesses small and large needed to make plans if the you the boss were unable to do the day to day running. Sue stressed the importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney with someone you trust being able to continue activities in your absence. At this stage everyone became depressed as Sue gave the statistics for heart attacks and other severe illnesses that could happen. Bank accounts may be frozen and contracts enforced even if you are not able to carry them out. Your business and your family could be seriously affected financially at what could be a difficult time. To finish on a happier note Sue did point out that any set up costs could go down as a business expense which went someway to cheering everyone up!
Peter Down was introduced and began by being delighted that so many present had been to the Dorset County museum. Peter, the Chairman of the museum told of the efforts to raise £15 million to double the size of the current building to tell the wonderful story of Dorset from 200,000 years ago to more recent times. Highlighting the ‘USP’ of Dorset – Thomas Hardy but also the Jurassic coast and more. The museum intend to able to display more than the very limited 1.5% currently shown of the forty million objects they hold. Peter said “We look forward to a wonderful new museum opening Easter 2020.”
Nina Hanger was next to step up and spoke of the Charity, Hangers Heroes, she and her husband Roger started in 2008. The aim is to raise money for the smaller charities that may not have the resources for their own funding. Trough events such as an annual Barn Dance, the South Dorset Walk Marathon and much business support they raise some £10-12,000 each year.
Nina and Roger were then delighted to receive a £1200 cheque from Charlotte Stevenson of Battens Solicitors. Charlotte said “This money was raised at Battens 10th Annual Charity Volleyball event on Weymouth sands and we thank the 32 business teams that took part, all in fancy dress! And special thanks to Cormac Lineham from Pet Experience, our main sponsors”
Steve Newstead, Chairman of Weymouth BID then stepped forward and spoke of the “We need input from every business within the BID area as the approaching re-ballot grows nearer next year”.
Julie Cleaver encouraged those that were members of the BID to get involved with the Christmas extravaganza. She announced ” Great news – Asda have agreed to be the main sponsor for Weymouth’s BIG Christmas and we look forward to more local businesses signing up for sponsorship deals.”
President Andrew finished by thanking everyone and going back to the beginning! With a show of hands it appeared the majority in favour of the proposed ‘Western Relief road to Portland’