Dorset’s voice of business has grown stronger as its top tier of membership hits a record high.
Travel Counsellors and Ouch Training Team Limited have become the latest members to become Platinum Business Partners at Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
They were announced at DCCI’s annual Premier and Business Partner Dinner at the King’s Arms Hotel in Christchurch.
It means DCCI now has 27 Platinum Business Partners and two Premier Partners – the most so far – leading its 800-strong membership.
DCCI chief executive Ian Girling said: “We are proud of our strong relationship with our Business Partners.
“They are very important to the chamber as we seek to provide the very best business support to help firms prosper and drive the local economy.
“We now have a record number of Business Partners and the programme is going from strength to strength.”
Ouch was formed 18 years ago in Manchester and has been based in Wimborne for the past decade. It joined DCCI eight years ago before deciding to step up its membership to Business Partner level.
Director Simon Cassin said: “We have reached a stage where we are working with many larger businesses and have become one of the most established providers of health and safety training services in Dorset.
“We felt that was commensurate with the Business Partner level of membership and look forward to supporting and learning from our fellow Business Partners.”
Katharine and James Cleall, of Bournemouth-based Travel Counsellors, specialise in corporate travel arrangement services and have clients across Dorset, the UK, Europe and the world.
Katharine said: “We are very proud to be working with the Chamber. They have been very supportive of us over the past few years.
“The time is right for us to become a Platinum Business Partner to take our business to the next level.”
Travel Counsellors arrange all elements of corporate travel, including flights, car hire, hotels, meals, meeting and conference rooms worldwide – including Antarctica and Iraq.
The dinner also included a presentation by Peter Eales of Dorset Business Angels which included insights into the typical profile of a Business Angel, pitching and how to make a business investor ready.
DCCI Business Partners renew their membership in April or October. Mr Girling announced those partners who had renewed in April at the dinner.
They were Platinum Business Partners Bournemouth University, CORETX, the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, the Dolphin Shopping Centre, Field International, Greendale Construction, JP Morgan, Lester Aldridge, Meggitt, Nuffield Health, PKF Francis Clark, Savills and TeamJobs.
The others are Premier Partners AFC Bournemouth and Brighter Productions plus Platinum Business Partners A-One Insurance, Barclays, Beales Gourmet at the Italian Villa, Bournemouth Airport, Bournemouth and Poole College, Deep South Media, Digital Storm, Heart, Poole Harbour Commissioners, the Quantum Group, Sunseeker and the Westover Group.
DCCI is the only chamber of commerce in Dorset accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce. Its 800 members represent 37,000 employees.
Dorset Business Angels (DBA) was formed in 2013 to bring together entrepreneurs and investors to help accelerate the growth of start-up businesses.