Councillor Chris Whitbread, Deputy Leader of Epping Forest District Council and newly appointed ` Business Champion ` addressed a packed business breakfast meeting hosted by Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday 21 July 2009 at the Bell Hotel in Epping.
The portfolio holder for Economic Development said I want to build a strong relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. We want to hear what you have to say and how we can help. Partnership may be a buzzword but we are keen to encourage you to partner us and work together.
Mr Whitbread knows all about being a local businessman, particularly in this poor economic climate, as he heads up Millers estate agents in Epping based in the High Road since 1974. Reference was made to the Council`s ambitious vision for the future of Debden Broadway and the consultation underway in partnership with Essex County Council in Epping.
He also set out some of what the Council is already doing to help in these difficult times. We have taken on board concerns about parking from local traders and we believe our decision to provide free Saturday parking in some of our car parks has been beneficial. This year we froze parking charges. We want to encourage residents to support their local shops. The Council has also acted by reducing payment terms on invoices and wants to use local suppliers wherever possible.`
We see the Epping Forest Chamber as an important partner and we look forward to working positively together in the future. On my part I will do all I can to make it easier to contact us and get information.
Sam Gooday, of chartered accountants Blitz Gooday, also gave a talk packed with topical tax tips providing details about recent tax developments and planning opportunities particularly relevant for small businesses.
Iggy Quazi, Chair of the Epping Forest Chamber said It was good to see the interest in this meeting. Contrary to the present economic climate, there is a positive vibrancy in small businesses in the district and this Chamber aims to play a key role in helping to facilitate vital communication and engage with SMEs to achieve joint goals.
The next event is a 60th Anniversary dinner being held at the Piano Lounge on Wednesday 23 September 2009.