Posted on Monday 3 December 2012 by Ulster Business

Chamber Awards Photo

Steve Charles of Qdos (centre) presents Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor, Director's Oonagh O'Reilly and Sandra Scannell and Communications Executive Christopher Morrow with the 2012 Chamber of the Year award.

Business organisation the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce has beaten competition from 53 other chambers of commerce to be named UK Chamber of the Year.

A dynamic approach to increasing membership and tailoring business support to boost the economy has played a pivotal role in Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce taking the prize.

NICC impressed judges with its ability to increase membership by 138% since 2008, with 65 of the top 100 businesses in the country actively involved in the organisation.

It has also improved retention to 85% and put in place a number of focused events that have delivered crucial assistance to companies battling back from the recession.

These included the business-led 'Export First' programme and the 'Five Leaders, Five Days' series that was held during last year's elections and gave each party leader the chance to address members on their economic manifestos.

Martyn Pellew, President of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "The Chambers have not been immune to the pressures of the recession and we have had to change the way we operate in order to become more dynamic and ensure the services and support we offer match what our member businesses need.

"Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce has done just that and to double membership to almost 1200 in the process is a tremendous achievement and one that deserves the Chamber of the Year Award.

"It shows what can be achieved with a strong management team with a clear vision and a desire to be innovative in the way it delivers its services."

Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce added:
"The Chamber is delighted to have won this award in competition with 53 Chambers of Commerce from the United Kingdom.

"Congratulations must go to the Chamber's hard-working team, whose efforts have led to the organisation winning these awards, under the guidance of the President, its Board of Directors and the Chamber Council.

"The Chamber is a membership organisation and these awards are also in recognition of the ongoing support the Chamber receives from its members, its partner organisations and 12 Chamber Patrons."

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