The Annual General Meeting of Lisburn Chamber of Commerce took place on November 9th at the Linen Centre/Lisburn Museum with a large number of members in attendance.
Chamber President Garry MacDonald, in his annual report, outlined the activities of Chamber of Commerce throughout his year in office. In a year dominated by the Covid pandemic, every business was impacted with hospitality and retail suffering most as a result of lockdowns. The Chamber showed leadership and supported its membership with advice, guidance and assistance.
The President’s third term began with an extremely successful Christmas Toy appeal for Barnardos NI with over 1000 toys donated across various drop off points in Lisburn plus additional cash donations received of £2250. The Chamber’s events programme was reduced due to covid restrictions but an Economic Outlook took place in February, on zoom in conjunction with Ulster Bank. A zoom seminar presented by Joanna Denton, also took place in March focusing on avoiding work related stress.
One of the highlights of the year was the 60th Anniversary President’s Lunch which took place in August at Hinch Distillery under public health guidance. We were delighted to have the Minister of the Economy, Gordon Lyons in attendance along with other VIPS and Chamber guests. A 60th Anniversary Golf Day was also held at Lambeg Golf Club in September and £500 was raised for suicide awareness charity, PIPS. In October, the Annual Dinner at Down Royal racecourse was a very memorable night as it had been 18 months since many had been to a social event. The dinner was well attended and £1645 was raised by a raffle for the Northern Ireland Hospice.
Other developments this year included the establishment of a City Centre Partnership with the Chamber and Council working together, along with other key stakeholders to drive forward an agenda to make Lisburn prosper. The parking campaign to introduce one hour free on-street parking continues with lobbying continuing of the Minister for Infrastructure who continues to take a different viewpoint.
Finally, the Chamber continues to grow as the voice of business in Lisburn, with 30 new members registered in 2021 including a number from the manufacturing sector.
Chamber Treasurer, Stephen Houston presented the annual financial report and commented that the Chamber continues to be in a healthy financial position. Mr MacDonald then thanked his committee for all their help throughout his three year term as he stepped down from the role of president.
The election of officers and the Executive committee then took place and Dr Katrina Collins was elected President for the 2021-2022 year. Dr Collins is an organisational psychologist with her own consultancy business and is a joint owner of The Daily Apron café at Smyth Patterson. She has also just opened an artisan bakery at Market Square.
The following executive committee was elected:
President Dr Katrina Collins The Daily Apron
Vice President Martin Woods The Crafty Hound
Treasurer Stephen Houston GMcG Accountants
Secretary Evan Morton Concept Advertising
Garry MacDonald Helios IT
Karen Marshall Bow Street Mall
Gillian Baxter Staffline
David Simms Fury Healthcare
Mark McCall McCalls of Lisburn
Carla Bowyer Stepping Stones
Julie Hoey Lagan Valley Vineyard
Alan Crowe Royal Ulster Agricultural Society
Following the election and formal part of the AGM, Dr Collins then gave a presentation on the hospitality sector, pre and post covid, with inspirational advice for businesses across all sectors.