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Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping Incorporated successfully conducted its 139th Annual General Meeting (AGM) today [Thursday 29 June] at Hintlesham Hall Golf Club, with a strong attendance and participation from its members.

The AGM opened with a welcome note from Chief Executive Officer, John Dugmore, who highlighted that “the Chamber’s focus remains fully on the needs of the members and the local business community.

“Our members are only too aware that the fundamentals of our economy and wider society have seen immense changes in the past year, but Suffolk Chamber remains in place to support you, our members, and to ensure the voice of Suffolk business is heard at both a local and national level.”

John Dugmore went on to acknowledge the presence of members and board of directors, and took the opportunity to welcome the newly appointed board member, Jo Kreckler, director of corporate affairs and external communications at Greene King, who commented: “This is an exciting time for business in Suffolk with many challenges and opportunities ahead, from how we lead on sustainability, to investing in the skills of the brilliant people who work here. As a proud Suffolk resident, I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the Suffolk Chamber board to support the county’s economic development and help businesses of all sizes to compete on the national stage – there is much to celebrate and promote about the diversity and achievements of business in Suffolk.”

In her annual address, Suffolk Chamber President, Catherine Johnson, Partner at Birketts LLP, commented that “the importance of mental and physical health and wellbeing remains at the forefront of many local businesses, and Suffolk Chamber continues to deliver and support countywide initiatives on a variety of vital topics, including awareness of the menopause and the transition of ex-offenders into work, as well as the importance of developing a skilled labour pipeline.

“The economic impact of the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine have resulted in a severe tightening in Government investment in major infrastructure projects, and Suffolk Chamber’s response has been to relaunch its Transport & Infrastructure Group to lobby for overdue funding, not only for the A14 and east:west rail but also for 5G and alternative fuel infrastructure that will both increase business competitiveness and ensure the county reaches Net Zero by 2030.”

Catherine welcomed the newly-launched Suffolk Chamber Economy group, which has highlighted to the Bank of England and government departments the impact on business of continuous price rises, as well as successfully advocating for changes to aspects of fiscal policy.

Speculating on the future, Catherine added “these remain undeniably challenging times for many businesses” but, despite economic challenges, “Suffolk remains in a better position than most to withstand future shocks and take swift advantage of new opportunities. Whatever the next 12 months holds for business, your local Chamber of Commerce remains well-positioned to make the best contribution possible to help deliver sustainable and enduring prosperity for us all.”

Treasurer, Matt Moss, was then invited to present the financial report for the year ending 31 December 2022, with the financial performance being healthy, and the Chamber remaining robust and confident to continue to serve the members in the years ahead.

CEO, John, shared the company and board's optimism for the forthcoming year, and took the opportunity in closing the AGM to remind members that Suffolk Chamber “remains at full pace to support you, our members, in good times and bad.”

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is proud to have held its 139th AGM successfully and looks forward to another year of success in serving the Suffolk business community.

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Suffolk Chamber

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