A FRESH line-up of leading business people has been announced for the new board of Gloucestershire Chamber of Commerce.
The board will provide a voice for local businesses on matters of concern at regional and national level.
The county chamber is part of Business West Chambers of Commerce, which represents more than 6,000 businesses across Bath, Bristol and Gloucestershire
County Chamber director Suzanne Hall-Gibbins said: "It is about supporting businesses to grow and develop. With services, training, development, networking and connecting people with local supply chains to help businesses to achieve this.
"The local chambers look after what is happening locally around Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cirencester.
"We take a much broader, regional view and the services we can provide and the connections we can make are regional and national.
"We can make sure that our voice can be heard by a wider audience.
"We are really lucky and pleased with the calibre of businesses that have come on board and we have tried to have a reasonable geographical spread. I think growth, export and business development is where we will be concentrating."
The county chamber board includes Peter Bungard (chief executive, Gloucestershire County Council), Eilis Cope (PR director, Howard Tenens), Chris Creed (MD, Creed Foodservice), Paul Fong (MD, Hunter Page Planning), Mike Mellor (MD, Space Catering Equipment), Sarah Pullen (MD, Gloucestershire Media, publisher of The Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and Stroud Life); Martin Quantock (manager, Cheltenham Business Partnership) and Darren Stevens (director, Prestbury Marketing and Consulting).
Darren Stevens has only been running his business for two years, but he says through the chamber he has found new clients and suppliers.
He was keen to support the important work it did for business.
And Chris Creed said the voice of the county business community needed to be heard.
"I think it is important for us to come together and work together," he said.
Peter Bungard welcomed the private and public sectors working together.
"You weaken economic thinking as soon as you go into sectors. A lot of the tools to influence Government still remain in the public sector," he said.
"One of our priorities is growth and the main element of that is job creation and the refined point of that is young people.
"We have got a very strong track record of keeping the NEETS (young people not in employment, education or training) numbers down. we are determined to maintain that position."
PUBLICATION: This is Gloucestershire - 7 June 2012