A Message from the Chairman – January 2021

Welcome to Newton Abbot  Chamber of Commerce

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be the toughest time for businesses that many of us have experienced, affecting both large and small businesses.

Since March 2020 your Chairman and Executive Committee have been busy working on your behalf.  We have continued to hold executive meetings via Zoom.  Your Chairman has been in regular contact with Teignbridge District Council, Anne Marie Morris MP and Devon Chamber of Commerce.

Your Chairman continues to attend a closed fortnightly Zoom meeting with Anne Marie Morris MP, The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Sally Henley, Newton Abbot Town Manager, along with Town/District Councillors and other Chambers from across Teignbridge. All parties continue chasing additional funding and highlighting scenarios where companies and people continue to fall through the gaps in current funding support. Many of the issues raised in these meetings have appeared in Anne Marie Morris’s weekly updates and have been sent to government ministers with some making it through to becoming policy and support packages. We also continue to campaign for an extension to the 100% Business Rates Relief beyond March 2021 as this would significantly assist in the recovery for everyone, especially the High Street. While the wider issues are not unique to Teignbridge it demonstrates that many people from many sources saying the same thing can affect change.

The Chamber will resume in-person networking events once it is safe to do so, although it is important to remember the Chamber is more than just another networking organisation. We are a strong local voice for businesses and can affect major change when we come together.

Now more than ever it is important for us to work together and support each other through these difficult times.  By becoming a new member or continuing your membership of the Chamber whilst encouraging more people to join will result in a louder voice for our business community.

The Executive Committee filed a detailed response with many suggestions for improvements on the Teignbridge District Council Future High Streets Fund application. Written by Jeremy Newcombe (LSN Architects) and David Austin (Austins Department Store).

If you have any issues you would like raised at the fortnightly Zoom meetings with Anne Marie Morris MP, please email them to myself: chairman@newtonabbotchamber.co.uk

Peter Newbery-Thornton

Chairman

Newton Abbot Chamber of Trade and Commerce

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