July 8 saw us celebrate the second anniversary of Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce – and what an incredible two years we’ve had!
In 24 months we have supported 380 businesses through membership – nearly 15% of the ever-growing Milton Keynes workforce.
We became an accredited Chamber within just 18 months because of our relationship with Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce, giving our members valuable benefits of liaising with British Chambers of Commerce.
That relationship also helped MK Chamber to achieve Investors in People Bronze status and give members valuable benefits of liaising with British Chambers of Commerce.
In two years Milton Keynes Chamber has received 121 calls to our HR and legal support advice lines, helping firms to tackle operational problems with instantly accessible expert knowledge.
More than 250 people have used our Chamber training courses, both scheduled and bespoke, 170 of which were in the last 12 months.
And we have hosted 14 free 60 Minute Seminars –run exclusively for Chamber members, and delivered by Chamber members, enabling sharing of knowledge and best practice.
These topical seminars are a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable business information with the added bonus of time to network with fellow members.
We have helped 120 companies with documentation to export worldwide, aiding the shipping of goods with a total value of more than £34 million – which wouldn’t have been possible without the international trade service delivered by our sister chamber Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.
In December 2014 we launched inbusiness magazine to share member news and promote our training and events offering and we have been delighted with the input from our members.
We have supported two deserving charities – MK Gallery and Brain Tumour Research.
Since May 2014 the Chamber has delivered SEMLEP’s Velocity Growth Hub – supporting 240 local businesses, enabling £354,000 of investment into the Milton Keynes economy, and creating/safeguarding 147 jobs to date.
Links with local MPs and National Government enabled 20 Milton Keynes Chamber members to sit on a round table discussion with Lord Adonis when he visited Milton Keynes last year. Chamber members contributed to the discussion which led to Lord Adonis’s paper Mending the Fractured Economy.
Since launching in July 2013, Milton Keynes Chamber has run more than 50 events, including networking breakfasts, lunches and after hours which were attended by over 2,000 people – nearly 1,500 of which were in the past year.
Many events are fully booked weeks in advance, often with an extensive waiting list.
Members have also had the opportunity to interact with a further 436 contacts from outside of the area through our cross border networking events with other accredited chambers of commerce.
And February this year saw the inaugural Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Business Exhibition, which attracted over 300 visitors.
Local media relationships lead to amazing press opportunities for Chamber members - Milton Keynes Chamber member Carey Pensions UK appeared on BBC Newsnight in January following a report which ranked Milton Keynes number one in the country for jobs growth.
The Chamber has recently moved to bigger premises in the same central building in Avebury Boulevard, as we continue to expand, having gone from no staff to four locally-based staff in the past two years. These four are supported by 15 other staff at Northamptonshire Chamber.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported Milton Keynes Chamber so far – your confidence in the Chamber has definitely contributed to our tremendous success to date. I am very proud of all that we have achieved.
We are keen to continue to help local firms grow and thrive as much as possible through the services and support we offer and look forward to engaging with even more Milton Keynes businesses in the future.
Download an infographic - which shows how we’ve helped our members since our launch in July 2013 – by clicking here