New Chairman brings new energy to Blarney & District Chamber

Blarney & District Chamber of Commerce AGM was at The Castle Hotel. The meeting was chaired by outgoing Chairman, Adrian O’Connell, and a new committee was elected for the coming year consisting of Chairman Damian Boylan, Vice Chairman Sue Pamment, Secretary Kate Durrant, Treasurer Deirdre Healy, Tourist Office Liaison PJ Lynch plus John Henchion, Ed Healy, Deborah McGuire and Denis Murphy. A short reflection on current facilities that The Chamber provides including running Blarney Tourist Office, channelling training opportunities through Avondhu Blackwater Development, funding BART, facilitating Blarney joint policing forum and sponsoring the Muskerry News Person of The Year award, was soon cut short as the new committee turned their focus onto the challenges that lie ahead. The new year brings with it the challenge of refocusing and making activities more relevant to local businesses and the need to engage more wholeheartedly with businesses in a bid to achieve our potential. The Chamber committee is comprised of volunteers and the outgoing Chairman and committee members were thanked for their commitment during the year.

“I am privileged to have been chosen as the Chairman for the coming 12 months for the Blarney & District Chamber of Commerce. Those of us who were there when the first meeting of Blarney Chamber took place 5 years ago, were hopeful that it would last as an organisation and take its place as in intrinsic part of Blarney life. I believe that it has. During my tenure I have the support of both an enthusiastic committee and committed members, all of whom are excited at the thought of the Chamber becoming even more relevant. With your support I believe that we can make this possible. We have an agenda of growth, and to reach our targets, we will require the help of all members of the community. This is where you too can play your part. Blarney & District Chamber of Commerce is committed to supporting our local community – it’s the very essence of what we do. We believe that spending money in local shops and with local business people is more important than ever, and the key to a thriving local community. Everyone in the community can contribute. What we are championing, in two simple words, is to Shop Local. Because Local Matters. I earnestly ask that before you purchase a good or service that you ask yourself an important question. Can I support my local community by purchasing this locally? Regardless of what you purchase, regardless of your business or organisation, please think local first. A full list of members is also available on our website; Local businesses and business people are, quite rightly, often called upon to support local organisations and groups. Therefore, it is only fair and reasonable to assume that the same courtesy be extended back. We are a small community but within our midst we have businesses and business people for whom commerce is their lifeblood and can confidently between them meet many, if not all, of your requirements. I hope that over the next 12 months you will see more of what Blarney & District Chamber of Commerce contributes to your community, and I call on all local businesses who are not yet members to consider joining our organisation. Over the coming months the relevance of our organisation will become clear and I look forward to welcoming you on board. I am always available for any comments, suggestions, observations or criticisms and look forward to hearing from you on 087 2244364 or by email to Yours Sincerely, Damian Boylan Chairman.”

Blarney & District Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome our five new members this month; The Square Table Restaurant, Copyquip, Blarney Credit Union, Shournagh Valley Childcare and Blarney Auto Centre.

The Chamber is providing ‘Social Media 101’ via member and Vice Chairman Sue Pamment and therefore priced at only €30. Two two night courses on ‘Learning how to reach your customers and drive traffic to your website’, will be held on October 21st and November 4th from 7pm to 8.30pm at The Castle Hotel, Blarney, by local social media expert Sue Pamment. To register your interest and receive further details email Corkman and Chapter One chef

Ross Lewis will be returning to Cork to officially open new Blarney restaurant and Chamber member ‘The Square Table’ on Sunday October 19th, accompanied by Food and Wine Magazine Best Chef Ireland Graham Neville. The Square Table opened in the heart of the village with a goal to serve good quality, uncomplicated food that is locally sourced and served in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. As twin sisters and owners, Martina and Tricia Cronin, originally from Kilnamartyr, describe it, “Fine dining without the frills.”

Congratulations to Margaret and her team at the wonderful Griffins Garden Centre, Dripsey, who received two Awards at the ‘JCI Friendly Business Awards’ last month and are overjoyed to receive these wonderful awards. Their first award was for Best Customer Care 2014 and Griffins also received the overall Winners award for the friendliest Business in Cork!

Congratulations also to two of our members who have been nominated for Hi Business awards; Cinderella’s Closet, for Hi’s Most Stylish Boutique 2014, and The Square Table Restaurant for Most Stylish Restaurant.

Blarney & District Chamber of Commerce meet every Friday morning for networking, and constructive local issue driven discussion and action. Feel free to join us any Friday morning. For times and venues of meetings email / Blarney and District Chamber of Commerce … helping to make Blarney a better place to work, live and play.