Perthshire Chamber of Commerce has an extremely active, dedicated and passionate Board and this is instrumental in the success of Chamber lobbying on behalf of its members. Issues tackled in recent years include business rates, the need for improved district-wide Broadband connections, road and rail connections, youth unemployment and skills gaps, city centre protection, peripheral city trading, the local planning process, infrastructure, housing needs and retail development.
The Chamber President, Chief Executive or Directors work closely with the local authority andgovernment and sit on a variety of influential groups including the City Development Group, Perth and Kinross Green Technology Business Accelerator Group, Community Planning Partnership, Invest in Perth, Career Ready, Economy and Lifelong Learning to name but a few. The Chamber is also part of the Perth and Kinross Business Month in partnership with Elevator/Business Gateway, Perth College UHI, FSB, Scottish Enterprise and Perth and Kinross Council.
Regular meetings with these bodies – and also round-the-table discussions with Councillors, MPs, MEPs and MSPs – are necessary for the voice of local businesses to be heard and for influencing to be possible and effective.
During the lobbying process, the Chamber does its best to communicate developments to its members.This could be by having a relevant speaker at a lunch, holding a tailored event or cascading information through its extremely busy website or local media. The Chamber is always able and keen to be contacted regarding issues the membership wishes to raise.
An excellent working relationship with both local and national media allows the Chamber Voice to be heard by the business & investment public as well as influencers, decision makers and stakeholders. And the organisation is constantly approached for opinion on key issues and asked to be part of local steering groups and working parties covering many aspects of public and business interest.
Single issue seminars continue to bring key people to the table and foster healthy debate and flows of communication to inform and educate all those involved with – or affected by – the issues under discussion.