Business leader cautiously upbeat at Dorset Chamber lunch event

A NATIONAL business leader has predicted a ‘choppy’ yet positive year ahead.

Shevaun Haviland, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), was speaking at Dorset Chamber’s annual president’s lunch.

Delivering the keynote speech, she said: “It’s probably going to be a choppy year ahead but the indicators are looking positive.

“Confidence is heading in the right direction and we look forward to supporting and helping you in the coming months.

“Please do seize the opportunities afforded to you by the chamber and its team.

“Together we are stronger and we can really make a difference to the community and society.”

The event, attended by more than 150 guests, also saw the official launch of the Dorset Business Festival.

Bookings for the festival in October – including entries for the Dorset Business Festival Awards – opened this month.

Dorset Chamber president Caron Khan thanked the BCC director general for attending the event at The Italian Villa in Poole.

She also hailed the ‘outstanding and incredible contribution’ of former Dorset Chamber president Liz Willingham who was presented with a long service award.

Ian Girling, chamber chief executive, launched the Dorset Business Festival with Grant Esterhuizen from Premier Festival Partner Lester Aldridge solicitors.

The three-day celebration of business will include a conference, exhibition and awards from October 10 to 12 in Bournemouth.

The conference will have a ‘future of business’ focus with four main themes: technology, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG); place; and people.

The festival awards will be free to enter in 10 categories and open to all businesses in the county whether chamber members or not.

The Festival Partners are Dorset Council, Blue Sky Financial Planning, Bournemouth and Poole College, the Dolphin in Poole and YMCA Bournemouth.

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