Business owners in Wilton and surrounding villages are being urged to support Wilton District Business Chamber.

Current forecasts for the outcome of Brexit could have a knock-on effect on the local economy. Chamber membership would help owners and give them a strong voice.

The monthly breakfast, hosted by the new Business Manager Corinne Roberts, was attended by only nine people, at The Swan, Stoford.

Chamber members discussed ways to attract more members, especially  to networking events, but some members said less people resulted in more voices being heard.

The chamber had to continue to fund itself, and a merger with neighbouring chambers to create a South Wiltshire Chamber of Commerce, was suggested.

Moore Stephens partner Ann Mathias pointed out that travelling early in the morning could be too much for some, and suggested venues in or closer to Wilton could increase attendance.

The consensus was that the Chamber should try to secure bigger and more accessible venues, present a set schedule well in advance, and invite prominent speakers to help attract new members.

Mayor of Wilton and chamber chairman Peter Edge talked about the Wilton Enterprise Hub scheduled to open in May, 2019.  The workplace  could be the source of new members, as the small businesses moving in would benefit from networking, he said.

The Hub was due to open later this year, but the lack of funding halted construction. The project, which offers business space and training facilities for service veterans and local entrepreneurs could provide £7,500 subscription income to the chamber each year.

A Men’s Shed, open to women and men, is also planned, and the Chamber, working with Wilton Community Land Trust, wants to encourage community projects. Men’s Sheds are being set up nationwide as community spaces for people to connect and counter loneliness and isolation.

Member’s thanked The Swan for its hospitality and a good breakfast.

Pictured: The Swan at Stoford.

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