Greater Manchester Chamber Wins Chamber of the Year

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is celebrating after winning the Chamber of the Year award, sponsored by Qdos Consulting, at the British Chambers of Commerce’s annual Chamber Business Awards 2017.

The Chamber Business Awards, now in its 14th year, is one of the showpiece events in the business calendar, highlighting the role of business in delivering growth and prosperity for the UK and local communities.

The Chamber impressed judges with its membership growth of 11% over the last three years, through support for local firms and those further afield, by working with other chambers in the region to share best practice and offer a wider range of member services.

In addition, the Chamber has grown its sales team, allowing it to offer a more personalised service, as well as embedding international trade into its offering, supporting members to begin and expand their exporting journeys.

The judges were also impressed by the Chamber’s work in the area of skills development, with the Chamber brokering over 1000 apprenticeships and having helped secure over £9m in funding for skills and employment programmes.

Francis Martin, President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Greater Manchester Chamber has shown impressive growth in recent years, and embodies the mission of Chambers of Commerce everywhere, through their work in improving the business environment, supporting firms to trade and providing a voice to local business. Their efforts to engage with other chambers is a testament to their dedication to the network. Congratulations to the Greater Manchester team, truly worthy recipients of this prestigious award.”

Greater Manchester Chamber member, Manchester and Cheshire Construction Company is also celebrating after winning the Commitment to People Development award at the Chamber Business Awards.

The judges were impressed by the company’s commitment to training and staff development. Each year employees are given a training plan, built on the training needs of the company based on forthcoming contracts, and the learning and development needs identified by the employee or line manager.

Last year, the company participated in 252 training days, an average of five training days per employee.

Fellow Chamber member Stockport Homes, which delivers affordable housing and accommodation solutions to people within the Stockport area, won the Excellence in Customer Service award.

Since its foundation in 2006, the company has expanded to over 600 employees, and seen year-on-year growth. The business manages sheltered complexes for older people and delivers the Council’s adaptation service across all tenures.

The company’s Continuous Improvement Framework shows how service improvement is driven by a directive set by its board and customers. Stockport Homes has clear objectives and regular reporting of customer service, using the national benchmark, arms-length management organisation. Between 2015 and 2017 customer satisfaction increased from 90% to 97%, ranking it the second-highest performing organisation in the UK using this metric.

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About Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, providing business support to approximately 4,500 members who collectively employ 446,000 people, around one-third of Greater Manchester’s workforce. Recognised as a leader in its field, Greater Manchester Chamber’s reputation in government circles has grown locally and nationally. At the heart of the area of greatest economic intensity outside London and the South East, the Chamber is the primary body for business support, policy, representation and networking. The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit private company and its aim is to support businesses and help create the best climate for the region to prosper. This is achieved by ensuring that those taking decisions on key issues such as transport, taxation and business regulation hear the voice of our members. The representation of our members’ views is central to the work of the policy team at the Chamber; these views are gathered in a range of ways including our local councils, policy committees, sector councils, the main Chamber council, focus groups, meetings with politicians and consultations. The Chamber also offers a range of networking forums across Greater Manchester, free as part of membership, plus a variety of other events and services designed to benefit specific sectors or individuals and help businesses to grow.