President's Blog - February

26th February, 2015

 Coming up to a month in my presidency, I'm heartened by the very many best wishes I have received from people both from Penrith and further afield. I've also had really useful feedback about how the chamber can do an even better job of helping, supporting and promoting local businesses.

Let me start straightaway with telling you about at least two fantastic events going on this weekend. The Cumbria Homes and Garden Show at the Rheged (28th February-1st March) sounds fabulous with inspirational talks and exciting exhibitors. It will be well worth a visit and while you are there, you can also visit the fabulous Ian Lawson photography exhibition entitled "Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland" which goes on until 19th April.

Also happening on the same dates this weekend is the 10th Anniversary Dalemain Marmalade Awards and Festival 2015. I know that visitors will be pouring to both events. It's definitely going to be destination Penrith this weekend and I would encourage our members to support both events. I can't wait to find out if my entry has won in its entered category!

And on that note, great to see Paddington watch Penrith go Totally Orange yesterday. The colour went well with the wonderful spring display of flowers in St Andrew's churchyard and the Discover Penrith Facebook page had a great photo heralding that spring is just around the corner!

Earlier this week, I met with my new Chamber executive and we put together our focus areas for 2015 so that we can concentrate our energies on what matters most to you the businesses of Penrith. Please do come along to our general business meeting (it should really be called business networking gathering) where I will take on the speakers slot to outline what those focus areas are. Incidentally, the speaker booked for the April networking meeting is the effervescent Nicola Meredith and a colleague from the CN group. Put the date in your diary now, it will be great I assure you. Nicola will talk about her experience working in Disney Florida where apart from meeting Mickey Mouse, she learned a huge amount about how  passionately pursuing a customer service agenda pays massive dividends for businesses. I know that we all pride ourselves in providing great customer service but we can always improve.

Coming back to "What the chamber can do to help all the businesses of Penrith", well it's all about providing the means for businesses to work for the common good. The total is greater than the sum of its parts and all that! One thing is very clear though-we do need to celebrate what we have more. Positive places are attractive places and attractive places attract more people-Fact.
Two things we can do straightaway-first, please send in to me things that you would like me to mention in this blog in the future. It could be a business idea, an event or just a pleasurable experience you had in the town. It's always happening and is happening right now as we speak. We live in a great place and are the envy of many. Have a great weekend.

PS Check out the Discover Penrith, Eden Arts and this website, twitter and facebook pages for other events going on in the town over the coming weekend and week ahead.


Amyn Fazal
Penrith Chamber


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