Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce

Latest News

Chamber Dinner Dance - Dorney Lake - Saturday 1st March

The President, Sally Radford, welcomed 93 guests including the Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Andrew Jenner and Mrs Julia Jenner, and the Rt Hon. Theresa May, MP.

She said “Throughout the world, Chambers of Commerce have been a traditional way of supporting local businesses. Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce, at just over 100 years old, is a relative newcomer, but we are no less passionate about helping local businesses.  Our Executive comprises a team of people with a variety of skills and expertise, but with one thing in common.  They are totally dedicated to representing, informing, supporting and educating local businesses, big and small. A vital member of that team has always been Ena Quick, whose drive and passion have been immeasurable.

“I would like to thank the members of the Executive for their hard work this year, especially David Gordon-Smith and Peter Higley who were tested somewhat regarding our incorporation!  A big thank you also to Mike Walker.  As President he forged valuable relationships with the local council, and now as Chairman has worked tirelessly behind the scenes and continued to develop those relationships.”

“Maidenhead is now entering a very exciting phase.  There is a myth that Maidenhead is not doing so well. Well, let's dispel that myth. The waterways project and the Chapel Arches development are both under way, and I believe they are going to change the town dramatically, for the better. The future of Broadway Triangle is also now extremely positive. Business will come into Maidenhead, and now is the time to be part of the growing commercial sector of the town. Being a member of the Chamber is the perfect way to be involved.”

She then asked everyone attending for their help in attracting more members, saying “The greater our membership, the louder our voice”.

The evening was also to celebrate Ena Quick’s retirement from the Chamber Executive and her long service to the Chamber. She joined the Chamber about 40 years ago as a representative of A R Fabb Bros, makers of mayoral and masonic regalia where she worked for 65 years. Ena was President in 1992, following her son Adrian who was President in 1991. Famous for never taking No for an answer and her arm twisting tactics to get businesses to join the Chamber as well as being the fount of knowledge on Chamber history, she is already being missed by the Executive. A lover of her garden, she was presented with garden centre gift vouchers. Among the guests on the evening were members of Ena's family, who travelled from Dorset to be with her.

The proceeds of the raffle and auction raised £1000 for The Thames Valley Adventure Playground.

Many thanks to Simon Earle for taking photographs on the night - they can be viewed at http://www.simonearle.co.uk/client-galleries/gallery/mdcc-dinner-dance-2014/

Also to Mike Swift who took photos for Berkshire Media (Slough Observer) and Maureen McLean who took the Photos for Berkshire Life (April edition out now).

Grateful thanks also to all who donated raffle prizes:

Special Auction Prize from - Chris Craggs of McFarlane Telfer
Vouchers for the Hinds Head, Bray to value £150 with a framed menu signed by Heston Blumenthal

Raffle Prizes from
Frank Kompanik, Craft Electronics, Wine, electronics gifts
Mike Brown – Thameside Surveying Ltd - Bottle of Moët & Chandon
Sally Radford, www.theamberzone.co.uk - £50 Amber Zone voucher for treatment/s
Alison Sainsbury, www.looking-gooduk.co.uk– £40 Neals Yard gift voucher
Andrew Somerville, www.kazalia.co.uk - Skydog family friendly Wi-Fi router £105
Peter & Tina, Sands of Maidenhead, Queen Street, Maidenhead - Cushions
Jane Wright, Nicholsons Centre, Maidenhead – Photo Box
Matt Ralston – Bottle of Whiskey
Ena Quick – Bottle of champagne – box of chocolates
Claire Pearce, Moorhall Conference Centre - one night’s stay for two people in a new superior room at Moor Hall, Cookham with breakfast
Simon Earle, Professional Headshot Photo Session £75
Bird Hills Golf Centre, Hawthorne Hill, Maidenhead – Gift Voucher for 1 x 4 ball of 18 holes

Flooding in the Thames Valley - Maidenhead Chamber News Release

Rising water levels and flooding in the Thames Valley area is becoming a major concern for the Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce. Business is already tough in the current economic climate and the flooding is likely to have a major impact on some of the businesses in our area.

We are calling on Businesses to be aware of the issues and have plans in place for disruption, we would also ask residents and businesses to try and support businesses by continuing to trade or use local services.

Business Contingency planning is important, you should make sure you have a plan in place for flooding and be aware of the long term affect it could have on your business.

The local council and environment agency and providing assistance and advice to local residents and businesses, but please get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce if you need additional support and advice, we will pass this to the business community through our email service and LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

We would recommend businesses follow RBWM on Twitter as they are posting regular updates
https://twitter.com/RBWM

Below are some useful links

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) updates and useful information;
http://www.rbfrs.co.uk/

Business Planning – Preparing your business for flooding Environment Agency Website;
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/flooding/32358.aspx

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council Flood Update and Information on Road Closures
http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/news_flood_update.htm

Cookham Parish Council - have some useful information on their website;
http://www.cookhamparishcouncil.org.uk/Cookham_PC/Welcome.html

Marlow Town Council, also information on volunteering to help flood victims.
http://www.marlowtowncouncil.org.uk/default.aspx

Association of British Insurers offers advice on flood claims
https://www.abi.org.uk/Insurance-and-savings/Topics-and-issues/Flooding

MEMBER SURVEY – TRAINING & EVENTS

To: all members of the Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce
From: Training & Education and Events committees

Training Courses

The purpose of this communication is to ask the members of the Chamber for assistance in identifying how best the Chamber can support members through the provision of Support and Education.

Your Chamber provides services in four key areas.

Representation – Identifying key challenges faced by members in dealing with local or central government and representing members’ views in order to overcome the challenges.

Information – Providing information to members on the on-going status of projects and key issues locally; helping members to take full advantage of constantly changing trading conditions and/or to protect themselves against impending challenges.

Support – Providing support to members when they are faced with challenges that they have difficulty in dealing with, particularly where such challenges have been dealt with successfully by other members.

Education - Identifying the specific educational and training needs of members and then providing a range of educational opportunities to members that enable them to learn new skills or update existing ones. Building the skill base of members in order to make them more skilled and more effective in their various roles.

There are a range of services that the Chamber can provide in the areas of Support and Education, and we seek feedback from members as to which options would be most beneficial.

What skills would you like help in acquiring? Please let us know the sorts of Support and Education that would be of sufficient interest for you to commit some of your resources to obtaining them. Below we have listed some possible examples, but feel free to let us know any other skills of interest:-

  • “how do I use Twitter to attract customers?”
  • “how do I get more customers to my website?”
  • “how do I manage the performance of my staff?”
  • “how do I improve the communications skills of my team so they sell better to my customers?”
  • “how do I get PR articles published about my business?”
  • “how do I improve my financial management skills?”
  • “how do I use a webcast?”
  • “how do I protect my idea?”
  • “how do I get Merchandising right?”
  • “how do I ensure I comply with Employment Legislation?”

What topics are relevant to your business that you would like to find out more about? (for example Pensions Auto Enrolment,  Company Branding and Re-Branding, Employment Law, Health & Safety Law and best practice, Apprenticeships, Mentoring, Leadership and Management, Crowd Funding, Business Insurance requirements, Corporation Tax, Exporting, Importing).

Once we have identified the skills you want, we want to understand how you would want to obtain them. There is a range of options; from informal presentations through to accredited formal training courses delivered as a one-off or as a series. We recognise that some members will prefer one, others the other.

The educational opportunities that can be offered by the Chamber cover three broad areas:

Panel Workshops – Where the Chamber hosts a panel of experts in a particular discipline who present their own stories of how they have dealt with particular challenges that they have faced. Following this an interactive session for members to ask questions or provide details of their own experiences and challenges. This promotes the spreading of “best practice” in a fairly informal setting.

An Audience With – Where the Chamber interviews an expert in a particular field who presents solutions to typical problems that have been faced. Following this an interactive session for members to ask questions or provide details of their own experiences and challenges. This promotes the spreading of specialist expertise in a fairly informal setting.

Formal Courses – Courses of various lengths over several weeks, possibly preceded by short “taster sessions”. Examples of what could be provided include:

  • Finance for non-financial managers
  • Marketing for the non-marketer
  • Choosing the right suppliers
  • Closing the sale
  • Profitable merchandising
  • How to use advertising material
  • Effective recruitment
  • Training the workforce
  • How to use Social Media effectively
  • How to use Print media effectively
  • How to use Electronic media effectively
  • How to be a more effective retailer
  • How to sell online
  • The importance of effective branding
  • Good practice in customer service
  • Managing change effectively
  • Communications skills

The examples above are just a few ideas. Please let us have any suggestions you have by sending an email to lynda@maidenhead.org.uk by the 14 September 2013.

Chamber members have a lot of skills already. What skills could you help other members to acquire and how could you do this? (e.g. with a formal training course as a one-off or as a series, with an informal presentation, with an article, with a webcast, or with a practical “sitting with Nelly” demonstration). Let us know how you could help your fellow chamber members by emailing lynda@maidenhead.org.uk by the 14 September 2013.

We have deliberately structured this communication to allow you to respond in free form, unconstrained by the limitations of, for example, a structured questionnaire. It is our hope that this will enable Chamber members to express what they want in terms of Support and Education. There is a lot that could be provided; please tell us what you value.

New proposed business waste collection service for Chamber members

Friday, 26th April

The Maidenhead Chamber of Commerce has been working closely with RBWM on a new business waste collection service with a view to reducing the cost of business waste collection for Chamber members. This enables us to utilise the buying power offered by RBWM working with the large shopping centres in the Borough to negotiate extremely favourable rates with waste collection service providers for all participants. In order to commence negotiations with the service providers, our partners in this venture require as much information as possible regarding the amount and type of waste being produced by businesses in the Borough. With this in mind we will be grateful if you could follow this survey link and complete the survey. This will also indicate your interest in taking advantage of this new Chamber motivated initiative. The more information that we gather, the easier it will be to negotiate much more favourable waste collection rates than you are currently paying.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact either the Chamber lead member on this project, Mike Miller at mike.miller@sapro.co.uk or Terry Penhaligon at RBWM on Terry.Penhaligon@RBWM.gov.uk.