May 2024 – An AGM can still be fun! 

Despite the more formal agenda for this month’s breakfast, the meeting kept its usual relaxed and friendly atmosphere with a mix of members, non-members and first-time visitors. Alan Ridealgh of Humber Doucy Brewing did rather shock everyone with the mention of Christmas if you wanted to order bespoke labelled beer as a gift!

The official election of the Chamber officers took place with the existing holders re-elected: Colin Tapscott as Chairman, Jason Ford as Treasurer and Keely Taylor continuing as Secretary.

You can download copies of the reports of the three officers by clicking the links below:

Chairman’s Report
Treasurer’s Report
Secretary’s Report.


Summary of the Chairman’s Report

Chairman Colin Tapscott reiterated the Chamber’s purpose to champion, connect and communicate to help local businesses grow and prosper:

  • Champion what local businesses are doing
  • Connect them to support one another
  • Communicate the best ideas, training and support to them.

Colin commented on the significant growth and success the Chamber experienced this year with a 40% increase in membership year on year to 56. MSBE (the Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition) moved to Stonham Barns to allow for everyone to be on one level and accommodate more stands and space for the networking breakfast. This change proved successful and feedback from stallholders was very positive.

Amongst all the growth and success this year, Colin paid tribute to former Chairperson and friend Allan Scott as we sadly saw his passing. Allan, and the way he formed genuine and heartfelt connections with others, was at the core of generating the wonderful friendly atmosphere we have at Stowmarket Chamber. Before he passed away, his honest and engaging blogs helped us all as he raised awareness and understanding of the impact of bowel cancer.

He went on to express his thanks to the Committee who had worked tirelessly to support Stowmarket Chamber members – Lilly Higson, Kim Morrison, Sarah Manning, Jo Moss, Keely Taylor, Alison Withers, and Jason Ford. He stated that they all do so much behind the scenes in voluntary time.


Vision for the upcoming year

Colin went on to outline the Chamber’s focus for 2024/25:

    1. Grow our committee so we can continue to offer high-quality support for business;
    2. Further, increase membership numbers. Look to add another 10 members over this year;
    3. Develop some automated systems to help onboarding for new members and engage admin support to free up the committee;
    4. Build on the success of the Stow Chamber Business Exhibition to include more stands and networking opportunities;
    5. Continue to grow the membership to bring more benefits to members.


He also asked for volunteers for new Committee members and was pleased when four attendees expressed interest.

Colin is always happy to receive any suggestions for what members want to see the Chamber doing in the future. Please send your ideas (and your wish lists) to [email protected].


Dates for your diary:

Please check the website in case of any last-minute changes.

Coffee Morning Chamber Breakfast
Brightside Wealth Management – hosted by Stowmarket Carnival
Brightside House
7 Finborough Road
Stowmarket IP14 1PN
The Mix Stowmarket
127 Ipswich Street
Stowmarket IP14 1BB
or on Zoom
Friday, 7 June 2024 Friday, 21 June 2024
10.00 am to noon  7.15 am to 9.00 am

For more information contact Keely Taylor by phone: 01449 770965 or e-mail: [email protected].

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