We have built Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce on five pillars: growth, grants and funding, export, referrals and introductions, networking and connections, and voice. We believe in giving businesses the support they need, whether that’s through introductions or funding, to grow and expand.
For obvious reasons, growth has taken a back seat over the last couple of years with recovery, and even survival, taking its place. While businesses still face many challenges, for example the ongoing supply issues and increasing energy costs, we now feel the time is right to bring focus back to growth. After all, growing your business in a sustainable way will give you the roots to weather any future storms. There are numerous ways in which the Chamber are supporting local businesses to do just this.
Growing Your Network
Business growth invariably comes with new situations and challenges. You may find yourself needing services or facilities you’ve not needed before. Our members can benefit from our significant business network, getting access to what they need to continue growing.
Take Mary Vincent from Willow Tree Gin as an example. Mary was a solo female entrepreneur when there was an explosion in the gin industry. To keep up with demand, Mary knew she needed to expand. However, to do this, she required production support, legal guidance, and financial advice. However, not only is this kind of support hard to find, it’s also expensive. When Willow Tree Gin joined Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Mary was able to access our Productivity and Growth Programme. The expert panel on the programme were able to assess the business, identify gaps, and offer advice. Mary found access to the network and connections she needed to grow her business of particular value.
Through the networking, introductions, and referrals we offer, businesses can access the connections they need, when they need them. This removes barriers and obstacles that might otherwise hold them back. Our members have a full range of other businesses behind them, ready to work together. In other words, we build each other up.
However, this is not the only way in which we support our businesses. What many don’t realise is that Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce acts as a voice for local businesses, engaging with local and national government to ensure they hear what our businesses have to say.
Because of this, we are fully abreast of the grants and funding options available to our businesses. Sometimes, these funding options come from our own members. For example, David Sheridan from Europa Components in a long-standing member who also likes to give back. Each year, they offer an engineering student an education bursary of £5,000 per year for each year of university.
Access to the right finance can be one of the most significant obstacles a growing business can face. Most are unaware of what is available or are unsure how to apply. The Chamber not only has the knowledge of various funding routes but can also share advice on submitting successful applications.
If one of our businesses has a growth opportunity, we can help them find the finance they need to make it happen.
For many businesses, growth opportunities lie in the global market. However, export comes with many complexities to overcome, such as translation and paperwork. As one of our core pillars, the Chamber offers comprehensive support to businesses who are growing through export.
Our global services team provide a comprehensive package, providing businesses with everything they need to go global and grow their business. This includes market research services, practical advice, and export training. It is a valuable service for any business looking to export.
Grow your business with Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce
If you’re looking to grow your business, we can help. We support businesses of all sizes from those just looking to network and develop relationships with other business owners, to those wanting to navigate large expansions. We are focused on making 2022 a year of growth for our businesses. If you would like to join us, simply visit https://www.chamber-business.com/become-a-member-of-bedfordshire-chamber-of-commerce and complete the online form, or call us on 01582 522 448 and one of our team will be happy to help. We can’t wait to help you grow your business this year.