Ripon chamber’s new president looks to future

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The new president of the Ripon and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce has said the fledgling organisation has an exciting future ahead of it.

Emma Ryan was voted in at the chamber’s annual general meeting on Tuesday evening, taking over from Stephen Craggs. David Briggs was elected as vice president.

Speaking on Wednesday, Emma said: “I’m really excited about being the new chamber president and I’m looking forward to the challenges. I think Stephen has done a brilliant job starting up the chamber.

“The committee and the members have learnt a lot of lessons in the past year and those lessons certainly that I’ve learnt are in the forefront of my mind.”

Although she has yet to sit down with the committee to discuss plans for the chamber, Emma said she already had “lots of ideas” to take the organisation forward, including development of its website.

“We have a great website that hasn’t been utilised and we want to push that, make it a first port of call for both chamber members and residents to find out what we are up to,” she said.

The Ripon and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce was launched in August last year with an inaugural meeting attended by more than 60 business owners, manager and entrepreneurs.

It currently has 39 members representing a variety of sectors, the majority of which are retailers, and is keen to welcome new members.

Emma, 35, owns the wine shop and wine bar Great Northern Wine in Ripon with her husband, Mark. She said she was proud to be a part of the current generation of business owners and was looking forward to welcoming some of the city’s younger and newer businessmen and women to the chamber.

“Ripon is a small city and it is imperative that a mix of old and new ideas are embraced.

“It will be quite exciting to get some fresh perspectives of what’s best for Ripon business,” she added.

“I will be coming from a retail perspective but it’s important that there’s an opportunity for service providers, consultants and other businesses to feel they can get something from the chamber as well.

“I want everybody to benefit and I think that we’ll get a lot more back working as a collective.”

Monday’s meeting saw chamber members agree to join in with the national Independents’ Day 2011.

The event - which is supported by television retail guru Mary Portas - aims to celebrate diversity on the high street, champion the skills of independent retailers, and encourage members of the public to buy at least one item from a local independent retailer.

Members agreed to display Independents’ Day posters alongside red, white and blue balloons outside each independent shop, and the chamber is inviting Ripon residents to buy at least one thing from an independent retailer on July 4.

For more information on the Ripon and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, contact Emma Ryan on 01765 606 767 or email emma@great northernwine.co.uk

Alternatively, visit www.ripon chamber.co.uk