A strong partnership for strong local businesses

Posted on Friday 9th September, 2016 by

Ashford Borough Council is pleased to announce that it has extended its close-working relationship with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce into a 15th year.

The ongoing service level agreement between the two organisations strengthens further the coordinated approach to supporting businesses in the borough, which is vital to maintaining Ashford’s coveted position as the number one location for business in Kent.

The partnership is enhanced by Ashford Borough Council now having patron status of the Chamber – raising its profile further among the business community and enabling it to increase its opportunities to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Chamber and network with key stakeholders, including MPs, established businesses in the county and the borough’s young entrepreneurs of the future.

The Chamber provides support and guidance for local Kent businesses and has more than 1,200 members. It has a growing reputation in the south east and beyond as a proactive and successful accredited Chamber.

The service level agreement will see crucial one-to-one business advice and business start-up workshops free of charge to Ashford residents, as well as courses aimed at improving many aspects of businesses, such as administration, marketing and time management. It also acts decisively in supporting businesses that need critical assistance in tougher times.

To access these support services, businesses should contact the chamber through its website at www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk.

Achieving patron status is important within the context of Ashford’s flourishing inward investment programme, which is seeing key priority projects such as Ashford College to increase the skills of our workforce, Elwick Place and Victoria Way all gaining real momentum. Furthermore, a commitment to supporting specialisms such as digitalisation and manufacturing indicate the tailored approach to Ashford, particularly in view of the businesses expected to be within the Commercial Quarter, work on which is under way.

In addition to attracting tens of millions of pounds of investment to the borough on its priority projects, the transformation of Park Mall is an excellent example of the council illustrating how businesses both big and small are essential to creating the fabric of the town centre.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that we have increased our involvement with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. We are fortunate to have such an active and strong Chamber and formalising this relationship can only help businesses in the borough. I see our partnership as a key building block in our vision to achieve greater economic prosperity for Ashford.”

Jo James, Chief Executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said: “I have been a firm advocate of Ashford Borough Council’s approach to economic investment and growth. The way in which it works with public and private sector stakeholders of any size to realise Ashford’s potential is clear for all to see.

“The fact that the council now has patron status should signal to everyone the strength of the council’s resolve to both deliver on its aspirations and make Ashford truly successful in the long-term. I can only commend the borough council on its proactive and tireless pursuit of achieving its economic development goals for the betterment of the borough.”

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