Month: March 2016

Notice of meeting

We look forward to welcoming members of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club at 7pm on Tuesday 19th April 2016.

Cranleigh Chamber AGM 2016 Agenda

As in previous years, the President will be presenting a report outlining the activities of the Chamber since the last AGM.

The business of the meeting comprises two resolutions which are outlined in the agenda above. The committee is recommending that members support the resolutions at the meeting.

There will also be a presentation of the Treasurer’s Report and election of officers, with the current President, Vice President and Treasurer all standing for re-election.

There will also be an election of the committee, with one member not seeking re-election, seven members standing for re-election and one member co-opted to the committee during the year standing for election.

We invite nominations for additional committee members and these can be made by completing the following form, sending this to  by midday 12th April 2016.

Cranleigh Chamber Officer and Committee Nomination Form

The AGM will be followed by our Annual Dinner to which partners and non-members are welcome, featuring guest speaker Susie Chan. The dinner will cost £15 per person.

Susie will be sharing the story of her remarkable five-year journey from lazy, wine drinking, smoker to world recording breaking endurance runner.

She has twice completed the epic Marathon des Sables, is an Ironman triathlete and has run 100 miles non-stop.

Susie’s most recent feat of endurance was setting a new 12-hour world record, running a total distance of 68.54 miles (110.3km) on a treadmill in the human performance laboratory at Kingston University London.

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Cranfold physios kept busy on Sunday

Cranfold physios kept busy on SundayFive of Cranfold’s experienced physios were kept very busy supporting over 50 of the 800 runners at the Cranleigh 15/21 on Sunday.

“What a great event!” said Wendyanne, one of the physios.

“We didn’t stop treating for three and a half hours, with all the runners commenting on the friendliness, great organisation and beautiful landscape of this local event.”

Many runners use the Cranleigh 15/21 as a warm up for either the Brighton or London marathons, and ability ranged from recreational runner to elite.

Cranfold treated them with a post run sports massage and stretch session, with many benefiting from additional advice for their niggles or conditioning queries from the experienced team.

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Up Your Game launched on BBC Surrey

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce president Richard Graham was a guest on the radio this morning, speaking to BBC Surrey to officially launch Up Your Game.

You can listen to the interview here:

Registrations for Up Your Game are now open at

Spaces are limited to 40 independent retailers and businesses in Cranleigh, on a first come, first served basis.

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Keeping your business safe from cybercrime

Keeping your business safe from cybercrimeCranleigh Chamber of Commerce members were treated to an informative and eye-opening presentation over breakfast at The Richard Onslow this morning, all about the dangers of cybercrime.

DC Dave Hull of the Surrey & Sussex Police Cyber Crime Unit described the threat of cybercrime as one of the top five risks facing the UK – right up there with terrorism and civil unrest!

He talked about various examples of cybercrime, with hackers increasingly using social engineering to access systems.

In one case, a quick search of LinkedIn and Facebook gave Dave and his team enough personal information to fabricate an email purporting to be from a school headmaster, encouraging the parent to click on a video link which took control of their computers.

There has also been cases of USB flash drives dropped by vehicles in car parks, with around one in ten of these picked up and inserted into computers, giving criminals access to valuable data.

Dave shared some useful tips, including the use of two-factor authentication on email accounts, so a text message code is required each time a new device is used to access an email account.

He also suggested consider using Cyber Essentials, a government-backed, industry supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks.

Before the presentation, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members enjoyed a full English or continental breakfast, along with opportunities for networking.

Chairing the meeting, Roger Coupe told those present about upcoming events from Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, including our annual dinner and AGM with guest speaker Susie Chan.

He also encouraged Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members to write letters of support to Bob Bayley, as evidence of the demand for the new pay-on-exit car parking proposals, as this will help secure funding from Surrey County Council.

There was news about the forthcoming launch of Up Your Game, Cranleigh! This village-wide mystery shopping initiative from Shopper Anonymous Surrey is being organised by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, and funded by Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council, with an awards ceremony in June sponsored by One Forty.

Up to 40 businesses and retailers in Cranleigh can participate in the scheme, which costs a nominal £10 per business to enter. Details of this scheme will be available soon.

Our next breakfast meeting takes place at Cranfold Physical Therapy Centre on Thursday 7th April. Space at this breakfast is limited, so please reserve your seat now to avoid disappointment.

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Up Your Game, Cranleigh!

Independent retailers across Cranleigh will take part in a development programme designed to help local businesses build and strengthen their customer service skills.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council, have launched the initiative called ‘Up Your Game’ to support local businesses.

Up Your Game is open to up to 40 independent retailers and small businesses in Cranleigh. Each business will sign up to an independent review of their customer service, carried out during a mystery shopping exercise.

The mystery shopping will be conducted by Shopper Anonymous Surrey, part of the UK’s leading mystery shopping company. Retailers and businesses will be rated on factors including their window displays, interior layout and customer service.

Commenting on the initiative, Richard Graham, president of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Cranleigh has a unique and vibrant business community, combining independent retailers with successful small businesses. We want more visitors to experience Cranleigh, enjoy everything we have to offer and come back regularly.

“The aim of Up Your Game is ensure businesses get as much support as possible during these challenging times. We want our local retailers and small businesses to make the most of the opportunities for trade in Cranleigh. Upping your customer service game is a really effective way of ensuring all visitors to Cranleigh get a great experience.”

Jim Smith from mystery shopping firm Shopper Anonymous Surrey said:

“This project is a real boost to business in Cranleigh. From our experience of running these projects in other towns across Surrey, retailers and small business owners always get useful feedback which can directly improve their sales. It also helps bring businesses together with a common goal of improving standards village-wide.

“Every business will receive a confidential report describing how their fared, along with a one to one meeting to discuss their report and suggest areas for improvement.”

Richard Graham, who is also owner of One Forty in Cranleigh, continued:

“One Forty is pleased to be sponsoring an awards ceremony for those businesses which take part in Up Your Game, designed to recognise and publicise the high standards in Cranleigh. Awards will be presented to the businesses who achieved outstanding results in the initiative, with the awards ceremony taking place later in the Spring.”

Commenting on the initiative, Councillor Stefan Reynolds, Waverley’s Portfolio Holder for Community and Communications said:

“It takes a bit of bravery to subject your business to a mystery shopping exercise but it is well worth it to see how you look from the customer’s point of view. Each participating business will get direct confidential feedback that will help them to give great customer service and make Cranleigh an even better place to shop.

“I think the Chamber of Commerce and individual members are doing a great job to up their game and make Cranleigh an even more attractive place to visit.”

If you would like to find out more about participating in this initiative, please email

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Celebrating women in business in Cranleigh

Celebrating women in business in CranleighBusiness women joined together on Monday morning for the first Inspiring Women in Business Event by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Hosted by Rosemary French OBE, the sell-out event at Cranleigh Arts Centre was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8th March.

Speakers shared their experiences in business before joining an expert panel discussion answering questions from the audience.

Delegates heard from Just Jhoom! founder Shalini Bhalla, vice principal of Chichester College Julie Kapsalis, international events organiser Christine Martin of Travel Retail Training and newly started business founders Klara Akerstrom and Mel Booth.

‘Do what you love! Don’t be afraid of change! Look after yourself!’ were the three messages from Shalini Bhalla of Just Jhoom! to an audience of more than 40 aspiring, early stage and established business women who met to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The speakers talked about their achievements and their challenges but most of all they celebrated the dynamic female led business community in Cranleigh, which is often hidden because many women run very successful businesses from their homes.

The event was hosted by Rosemary French, who received an OBE for services to women in business in 2014.

Rosemary introduced the second speaker, a senior business woman living in Cranleigh, Julie Kapsalis, Vice Principal of Chichester College, responsible for 15,000 students.

Julie talked about the challenges of moving up the corporate ladder while bringing up young children, a sentiment echoed by both the speakers and most of the audience.

She said: “The UK economy would be transformed if only the same number of women as men started and led businesses.”

Julie lamented the significant cost of child care when Scandinavian countries have a much higher percentage of women led businesses and women in senior corporate positions because their child care was subsidised.

Julie finished by saying “What glass ceiling? Just break through it!”

The most recently formed business owners to speak were Klara Akerstrom and Mel Booth from Admin Lab which started to trade only four months ago.

Mel and Klara talked about the difficulties in receiving advice on setting up in business and how helpful their accountant had been.

Klara said “We realised, early on, how important networking would be to growing our business and we have picked up clients from the regular Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce breakfasts, more so than we expected.”

Mel agreed and reminded the audience, “Do not underestimate the power of good planning.”

Last to speak was Christine Martin, founder and MD of 20-year-old business Travel Trade Training, a truly international company trading from her home in Cranleigh.

Christine has worked with hundreds of airlines throughout the world training their duty free staff and organising the International Sales Person of the Year (ISPY) Awards.

She has expanded into Russia already and Singapore is on the cards for 2017 followed by China.

Christine said “I am passionate about my business as are my colleagues.  We enjoy our roles, we have fun and most of all our customers are happy. Cranleigh is a great place to run my business being ideally located between Gatwick and Heathrow.”

A question panel session with all speakers completed the morning.

One aspiring start-up founder in the audience was looking for help and several other women immediately offered up their skills and knowledge.

Another question which provoked some discussion was what success looked like? There was general agreement that ‘enjoying what you do’ is the best ingredient for a successful business.

The event was so well liked by the business women in attendance that it was agreed that a networking sub group of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce would be established.

With that decision made, over lunch the 40 business women networked and developed valuable new business partnerships.

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Speaker confirmed for Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce annual dinner

Speaker confirmed for Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce annual dinnerWe are pleased to announce our headline speaker for the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce annual dinner will be world record breaking ultra runner Susie Chan.

Susie will be sharing the story of her remarkable five year journey from lazy, wine drinking, smoker to world recording breaking endurance runner.

She has twice completed the epic Marathon des Sables, is an Ironman triathlete and has run 100 miles non-stop.

Susie’s most recent feat of endurance was setting a new 12-hour world record, running a total distance of 68.54 miles (110.3km) on a treadmill in the human performance laboratory at Kingston University London.

Surrey resident Susie Chan will inspire and entertain our guests following the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce annual dinner on Tuesday 19th April 2016 at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club.

The annual dinner is open to non-members and tickets are only £15 each.

Space at this event is limited and we encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.

The dinner will be preceded by our Annual General Meeting which is open to members only.

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Rotary Club of Cranleigh meeting

Our friends at Rotary Club of Cranleigh have asked us to extend an invitation to Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members.

Would you like to give some of your valuable time and contribute your energy, talents and professional skills, to make a real difference to the lives of others, but are unable to commit to regular meetings?

Then come along to The Parrot, Forest Green on Tuesday 12th April for an informal get-together from 7.00pm onwards. Light refreshments will be served.

We are looking for people of all ages, both male and female, and from all walks of life to work with us, as and when they are able, subject to work or family commitments.
The enormous sense of achievement you will experience in helping your local community and others around the world will be matched only by the fun you will have doing it.

Please let us know if you are able to attend, as it will give us a guide to numbers, but feel free to just drop-in for a chat without notice, as there will not be an agenda. Alternatively, if you are interested, but unable to come, contact me for further information.

For more information, please email Andrew Kolmar, Rotary Club of Cranleigh, at

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