Peacehaven & District Chamber of Commerce was officially launched in February 2007 by the then Mayor of Peacehaven, Cllr Elayne Merry.
She felt that a town the size of Peacehaven and the businesses within the town would benefit significantly from having a chamber of commerce.
“During my first year as Mayor I started to get a better understanding of our town but felt that there was an important link missing between the council and the business community. When I embarked upon my second term as Mayor I wanted to find out if there was local interest to launch and support a chamber of commerce,” said Cllr Merry.
Towards the end of 2006 around 200 of the town’s businesses were invited to a series of introductory meetings to gauge interest in the town forming a chamber.
With the help and support of Peacehaven Town Council, dozens of businesses turned up at these meetings and it became clear that Cllr Merry had awoken a potential sleeping giant.
From its launch on February 8, 2007 under the chairmanship of Phil Armstrong, MD of Pama Signs, the Chamber quickly established itself as the area’s premier business support and networking organisation with membership increasing each month.
By the date of the Chamber’s first AGM in February 2008, membership stood at just under 70 and plans were already underway to stage Peacehaven’s first trade show – The Peacehaven Home & Business Showcase. At the AGM, Phil Armstrong stood down as chairman and was succeeded by Gary Maskell, then senior business adviser at Icon Business Solutions.
Today, membership is drawn largely from Peacehaven and Telscombe Cliffs but as a testament to the strength of the Chamber, members are joining from Newhaven, Seaford, Lewes, Brighton, Portslade and Haywards Heath.
Cllr Merry said: “I’m very pleased at the progress the Chamber is making and would urge businesses that have not yet joined to do so and they too will enjoy the many benefits that membership brings.”