Achieve more together than you can alone
By IW Chamber President Jonathan Thornton

At the Chamber, we constantly strive to make improvements for the entire Island business community and for the Chamber itself, and we have come together to see what more we can do.

At a recent strategy meeting, we formalised our new mission, values, and purpose statements. We felt that the old values had become outdated and were not really in touch with what we are as an organisation, and we wanted to really nail down what it is that the Chamber does for businesses. We’ve co-opted new board advisors who come to us with expertise in different fields showing that the Chamber board and the wider advisory board are representative of businesses of varying sizes, and people of a wide age-range and gender.

The Vision: To bring the Island’s business community together, helping organisations of all sizes achieve more than they could alone.

The Mission: To provide value and benefit for our members through listening, representation, support, and collaboration.

Our Values. We are stronger together and have four values:

Integrity – to uphold high standards of transparency, honesty, and respect.
Excellence – to consistently deliver the highest quality products and services.
Sustainability – to support economic growth and the environmental health of our island.
Equality – to nurture a culture of fairness, equality, and inclusion for all.

We truly believe that businesses can achieve more together than they could alone, and the Chamber allows us to create that network and bring the Isle of Wight’s business community together, giving them the support that they need. We are fortunate on the Island to have a close-knit business community and it’s because of organisations like the Chamber that the community comes together through events like Expo, the Business Awards, at networking events, and at free-to-attend events. And so, when we look at our vision, it is underpinned by those values.

The Chamber is also updating the member benefits, and I can’t emphasise enough how, particularly for smaller businesses, these give you access to the sorts of benefits that employees in larger companies enjoy – discounts on ferry fares and gym memberships for example, along with corporate rates for private health care. Again, this goes back to our Vision – that you can achieve more together than you can alone, with tangible advantages.

With regards to our integrity, the annual awards are an amazing opportunity to showcase business excellence and are open to all, regardless of Chamber membership. The awards are a real chance to show the best that the Island has to offer and with an international judging panel, it means that your business is seen and assessed globally. A small number of judges are based on the Island and the others are based on the mainland or in countries like South Africa, Qatar, and the UAE. The judges will almost certainly have never heard of your business or company until they read your application, making their decisions completely unbiased. The strength of your application is what gets you onto that shortlist and into that international arena and I encourage all Island businesses to apply.

I should also mention that we have moved into new offices at Branstone Farm in Arreton which has brought the team together in a beautifully, holistically built environment, and this has allowed us to really look at what the Chamber means to us as a team and in turn to our members on the Island. A new year, new offices, and a new sense of value and purpose for the whole business community.

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