The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce represents its members' interests to local and central government, MPs, and all other relevant bodies and contributes to the development of Chamber policy nationally.
HCCI has regular meetings with all of Hertfordshire's MPs and the regions MEPs and also provides opportunities for members to meet with their elected representatives. The Chamber works closely with local councils on issues as varied as planning applications, district plans, business rates consultations, inward investment, transportation, town centres, environmental policies and education. These processes ensure that business interests are safeguarded and promoted at all levels.
The staff of HCCI is supported in representational work by working groups drawn from directors and members, and the Chamber participates in many local and regional partnerships with the single aim of maintaining the best possible business environment for Hertfordshire's businesses.
All HCCI members are invited to participate in the British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey on Business Trends that ensures that local information is fed into national statistics and that local business issues are highlighted at national level.
No issue is too small, or too large. HCCI will ensure that members' concerns are raised with the appropriate person or organisation fulfilling its role as the voice of the business community.
Working in partnership lies at the heart of the Chamber's representational activity. Local business interests are highlighted and promoted at the many working groups by staff and officers of the Chamber. The extent of the Chamber's involvement can be seen from the following examples of fora in which we participate.
British Chambers of Commerce Chief Executives' Forum
The chief executives of all 54 Accredited Chambers work together to exchange information and ideas and provide input to national Chamber policy.
Chamber of Commerce for the Eastern Region
The 6 Approved Chambers in the Eastern Region develop common programmes. Collectively representing over 10,000 businesses, the group provides an effective focus for the Chambers to work with the East of England Development Agency.
HCCI recognises the importance of good environmental business policies and actively works with the county group and local groups in Welwyn/Hatfield and Stevenage. More and more companies are establishing environmental policies and HCCI is eager to work with companies to establish other local networks.
As local government moves to fulfil its statutory duty to consult more widely on its policies, HCCI is playing an increasing role at local level as a major partner from whom local authorities seek the business view. In some areas, the Chamber is already working in close partnership with the local authority on such issues as inward investment, business development, finance, business rates, and town centre management.
Some short, some longer term projects involve the Chamber in other specific partnerships to address localised issues.
As this increasingly important sector grows in the county, HCCI has continued to drive the agenda by inspiring the foundation of the Tourism and Leisure Partnership to promote Hertfordshire as a place to visit.