ASK not what your chamber can do for you, but what you can do for your chamber, traders have been told.
Newly appointed Chairman of the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade George Williams has set out plans to develop the group during his year at the helm.
And chief among them is to try to encourage more members to get involved in the chamber’s activities.
“I want anybody who has got ideas or information to put them forward — I want you to be involved,” he said.
“I want all of you to tell us what your strengths are, what you can do for the chamber, not what the chamber can do for you.
“If you are a member of this chamber you have to be prepared to put something into it, not just £50 a year. If people say the chamber does nothing for them, I would ask what do you do for the chamber? The short answer is nothing.
“People will find that the committee this year is extremely active and full of bright ideas, but you have got to contribute to that.”
Mr Williams spoke out at a meeting of the chamber last week.
He also announced plans to shake-up meetings to make them more efficient.
There will be less time spent on reports by cutting out repetition, which will make time for the group to hear from specially invited speakers on subjects requested by members, or to introduce sessions on topics of interest to businesses. For example, Secretary Nic Best will give a presentation at a future meeting on the value and use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
The Chairman also intends to pen a regular blog to update members on what is going on between meetings and enable traders who may not like speaking at meetings to contact him by email.
He said that those wishing to speak should stand and introduce themselves so that other members know who they are and to keep the meeting in order.
And he called for a more friendly approach to be adopted.
He said: “People come in here and the Chairman knows who they are, but nobody else does and nobody finds out.
“I would like to introduce a refreshing friendliness in the chamber. Let’s make sure that we welcome people and actually introduce them to each other, but also get them involved.”