Business West, the accredited Chamber of Commerce for Wiltshire, Bath, Bristol and Gloucestershire, was one of five chambers that walked away as World Chambers Competition champions, winning the Best Job Creation and Business Development project, which aims to maximise international trade as a means of benefitting business in South West England.  Other 2017 winners were from Brazil, Germany, UAE and Columbia.

The Prime Minister herself has sent parliamentary congratulations. In a letter Mrs May acknowledged the magnitude of the win, writing:

‘With over 50 applications from 27 countries, the fact that Business West Chambers of Commerce was only one of five Chambers to be honoured at this prestigious event makes your award even more special.

Please accept my congratulations on your win and my best wishes for many more years of success.’

Organised by the ICC World Chambers Federation, this year’s World Chambers Competition was held in Sydney and is the only awards programme of its kind.  

Recognising chambers for their forward-looking approaches to solve some of today’s global challenges, 18 finalists competed across four diverse categories, each presenting their ground-breaking initiatives to an international judging panel, and many of the 1,000 delegates attending the biennial Congress.

David Riches, Executive Director – Commercial, Trade and Marketing, British Chambers of Commerce:

Our warmest congratulations to all at Business West for a tremendous achievement. Through their work, Business West has helped create thousands of jobs, and generated millions of pounds of new export business. They are a shining example for Chambers both in the UK and around the world, for how to boost trade in local business communities.

Ian Larrard, Director of Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, part of Business West said: 

“We are delighted to win this award as recognition of achieving almost ½ billion pounds worth of additional export sales and creating nearly 4000 new jobs.  The launch of our International Trade Centre was instrumental in helping Business West to achieve a 40% increase in our website traffic, 250% more potential first time exporters using our services, and our social media channels saw more engagement than ever before.

“All of this has been against a challenging national and global backdrop where instability currently tops the media and business agenda in the UK. Yet we have seen that businesses still want to do business with each other.

“By changing the way we talked about export to smaller companies, bringing all elements of business support under one-roof, using our global network of Chambers and private sector partners, and removing the friction between buyers and sellers, we can ensure that, despite what the politicians are doing, we can still drive business growth and success for our members.

“Never has Business West and our network of global contacts been so relevant in driving jobs and growth.”

And there was double delight for Business West as they have also been invited to go to the House of Commons to accept yet another award in recognition of their International Trade services from the Enterprising Britain Award (EBA).