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Chamber aims to be number one

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

THE Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade is aiming to become the largest regional chamber in Northern Ireland by this time next year.
Speaking at Thursday's launch of the chamber's Corporate Patrons Programme held at the Southern Regional College's Graduate Restaurant, chamber President Paul Convery stressed that without the support of their patrons the board simply could not achieve their vision.
The Corporate Patrons Programme sees patrons split into three groups - gold, silver and bronze - and they will back the chamber for the next two years.
Newry's Mac Group makes up the gold group, while the silver group consists of Autoline Insurance Group, Firmus Energy, First Trust Bank, MJM Group and Norbrook Laboratories and the bronze group includes Bank of Ireland UK, First Derivatives plc, George Best Belfast City Airport, Granite Exchange, Matt D'arcy & Company Ltd, Media Lightbox, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, PKF-FPM, Ulster Bank and Warrenpoint Port.
Mr Convery explained the chamber's plans to create a body that was fit for purpose, much more corporate in nature and a viable entity for the future.
“Part of our vision is very much about making Newry and the greater Newry region somewhere where people wanted to work, play, live and be happy," he said. "That has connotations throughout everything that we do in our daily lives, much further than the office.
“To do that we have to represent businesses in Newry as best we can and to do that we must become a much more commercially viable entity.
“The package that we put together was our business programme and without your support into what we are trying to achieve we couldn't and won't deliver on our vision to become the largest regional chamber in Northern Ireland.
“We are not currently [the largest chamber] but with the team we have in place and with the support that you have entrusted us, I have a firm belief that, potentially by this time next year, we will be the largest regional chamber in Northern Ireland.
“Whilst that's an aspiration and not the be all and end all, what we do on the ground and what we do to represent you is what it's all about."
Over the last few weeks the chamber has met with the Tanaiste Simon Coveney, the Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington and the EU's Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier to relay the concerns local businesses have regarding Brexit.
Describing Brexit as a "potential fiasco", Mr Convery said the chamber has done its utmost into relaying their concerns to the EU, the British Government and the Irish Government.
“I know that I can sleep in my bed at night knowing that we have put our best foot forward in representing the region," he added.

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