Doing the business for business

WAT-ER EVENT: From left, Ian Girling, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Tony Beales of Beales Gourmet and Ian Jones of Bournemouth University.

More than 50 business leaders and owners attended a special annual event held by Dorset’s voice of business.

The Business Partner Dinner celebrates close links with the Dorset Chamber of Industry & Commerce (DCCI), now in its 70th year.

It is the second consecutive year that the DCCI, with 720 members, marked a record level of partnerships.

There are two Premier Business Partners – Premier League club AFC Bournemouth and events specialist Brighter Productions – and 29 Platinum Business Partners.

The scheme is for ambitious firms looking to develop their own businesses, as well as playing a role in helping DCCI shape economic growth in the county.

According to latest figures, Dorset is home to 56,307 registered companies – an increase of 7.4% from two years ago, with a record 8,314 springing into life last year.

Ian Girling, Chief Executive of the DCCI, said: “Our annual Business Partner Dinner is always well attended and provides a great opportunity for networking.

“We are regularly told how much these events are valued, with conversations leading to business being done and, equally important, members benefiting from sage advice from fellow business leaders who have been around the block.

“This is the second consecutive year of record level partnerships for the DCCI and is testament to the superb work being done to ensure partners get maximum value from the scheme.

“There is a fantastic support structure and it is those companies which consistently come along to events and seminars that derive the most benefit.

“We’re also listening all the time to what members tell us – this helps inform economic policy at a county, regional and national level, including with the influential British Chambers of Commerce.”

Ian added: “Latest figures regarding the record number of company formations last year in Dorset, a rise of nearly 15% on 2017, show that the entrepreneurial spirit grows ever stronger in our county – it is a great place to do business and live in.”

Beales Gourmet at the Italian Villa, Compton Acres, Poole, played host to the event, with ingredients for a gourmet dinner sourced from within 25 miles.

Business Partners attending the dinner included AFC Bournemouth, A-One Insurance Group, Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa, Blue Sky Financial Planning, Bournemouth University (BU), Deep South Media, ESET, Field International, Global, Greendale Construction, HSBC, JP Morgan, Lester Aldridge, Purple HR, Ouch Training Team, PKF Francis Clark, Savills, Sunseeker, TeamJobs, Travel Counsellors for Business and Westover Group.

Latest joiners are Crystal Clear Telecom and More Excelsior, with a third to be unveiled shortly.

BU’s Ian Jones was guest speaker, showing how BU forges partnerships with local companies and organisations to effect positive change, from medical innovations to tackling homelessness and campaigning on now-outlawed coercive behaviour.