NEW REPORT: Chambers of Commerce for local business engagement and growth in South London
Report authors: Mamata Parhi, Mohammed Rafiq & Yuliana Topazly
The sustainability dimension in businesses in general and local businesses, in particular, has got a new meaning in the face of growing uncertainty in recent times. Yet, the ‘local’ synergies in the form of leadership in embellishing a network of businesses need to be transformed into both consolidation and sustainability of the growth of various businesses. This report presents outcomes of intensive research to study possible economic and non-economic factors behind the weak engagement of local businesses with the Chambers of Commerce in recent times.
The project proposes – a new (sustainable) business model that can contribute to the value-enhancement of local businesses and the building of a strong trust-based network with the Chambers. We have argued that the arrival of new market information, a multitude of sources of information, multiple shocks of varying magnitudes, and depth of uncertainty have created information overload, often confusing, leading to insipid engagement with the Chambers of Commerce. Both secondary and primary data analysis and evaluation of the long history of the Chambers of Commerce in the UK in a comparative perspective point to a significant mismatch between demand and supply of business support services exacerbated further for micro-businesses who are traditionally resource-constrained. We offer a number of pathways to rebuild the network by depicting clear leverages of positive externalities for both businesses and local Chambers, leading to the long-term sustainability of both.