MEET OUR PRESIDENT

John Dunning

JOHN DUNNING

PRESIDENT OF SOUTH CHESHIRE CHAMBER

John is President of South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and a Director of Nantwich Town Football Club. John also Chairs the South Cheshire Chamber Business Council.

As a key stakeholder in the area, the Chamber works in partnership with many organisations and John is therefore often involved in discussions with other key stakeholders such as Bentley Motors, MMU, Cheshire East Council, The LEP, Crewe and Nantwich Town Councils and of course other Chambers as well as maintaining regular contact with our Patrons and MP .Together we are committed to helping this area achieve its maximum potential while ensuring our members benefit from the resulting economic growth.

A message from our president

Little did I realise after writing an upbeat article in the last edition of the magazine, as we were preparing to come out of Covid, that the country would now be facing a raft of major new challenges including energy supplies, the cost of living, and the war in Ukraine, most of which are unfortunately outside of our control.

There were some early warning signs, but the scale and pace at which these have unravelled has taken everyone by surprise and significant state intervention will once again have to be part of the solution.

While the recent measures taken by the Government are to be welcomed, the issues for business are the flip-side of those facing consumers and the toxic mix of inflation, raw material costs, and supply chain disruption, coupled with on-going recruitment difficulties, threaten to feed into the inflationary pressure on the economy and it is therefore essential that steps are also taken to ease business costs.

The Chamber is taking soundings from its members which are being fed into the British Chambers of Commerce who in turn are lobbying the Government for action. These issues were also discussed at a recent meeting of the Chamber’s Bank of England Panel.

Locally, things are moving forward on a number of fronts. The Crewe Town Board is continuing its excellent work to develop projects that will draw down millions of pounds of Government resources to reinvigorate the town, but it does need more marketing resources from Cheshire East Council and local businesses if it is to capture the imagination and support of the local community.

The campaign for Crewe to be the location for the national headquarters of the Great British Railways is nearing its climax and a shortlist is to be announced in June 2022. The Chamber has been lending its voice to the campaign and hopefully there will be a successful outcome which would be a great coup for the area.

Chamber events continue to be extremely popular and the most recent Final Friday event which was jointly sponsored by Atherton Associates and Nantwich Town Football Club was no exception and attracted a record attendance.

It was a great privilege and pleasure for me wearing both my hats as Chamber President and vice-Chairman of Nantwich Town to open the event and to meet and chat with our members.

It will soon be time for the next meeting of the South Cheshire Chamber Business Council and an opportunity to receive a timely update on progress with HS2 developments, regeneration of the town centre and other matters of importance to our members.

There is no doubt that the economy is facing some tough times ahead but as I have said many times before, I am confident that the resilience, resolve, and determination of the South Cheshire business community will once again pull through and succeed in meeting these challenges head on.

Please remember that the Chamber is here to help and to make sure that the business voice is always heard.

Extract from South Cheshire Chamber Business magazine June 2022

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