New business trade association for Stroud companies

Photo shows Steve Dechan

A new business trade association is being set up for companies in the Stroud area.

Stroud Business Voice will be affiliated to Business West which holds the franchise for Chambers of Commerce in Gloucestershire.

It is the brainchild of Jon Close and Steve Dechan who has been a Stroud town councilor for the last eighteen months.

They have already recruited 35 companies into the fledgling organisation which will be launched on January 29 at the Stonehouse Court Hotel in Stonehouse at a Business West breakfast networking event.

“I see the group as almost a trade association for the Stroud district”, commented Steve who owns Platform 14, a Stroud company specialising in the distribution of pain and stroke medical management devices.

He added: “There tends to be a big disconnect between local government and what business needs.

“The key issues in this area for companies include the lack of office space and commercial land for businesses.

“The lack of skills and attracting the right people to work in Stroud are also on our agenda as is transportation into the area- not just from junction 13 of the M5.

“This area has a great lifestyle with really good schools. One of our key objectives is to encourage our talented young people to stay in the area.

“I see ourselves as a conduit which can join up some of the dots for the local business community”.

Steve, who is chair and policy director, has gathered together a team of local business specialists to be directors for Stroud Business Voice.

John Close has the role of strategic development director. He is a Stroud-based specialist solicitor in construction and engineering.

David Gee has the role of economic director. He is an independent financial adviser with St James’s Place.

Adam Vines is business director-a designer with 30 years’ experience and director of Lounge Design. He is vice president of Cirencester Chamber of Commerce.

Allan Burns is skills director. He is a former teacher/lecturer and a pioneer in electrical smart homes engineering.

Alex Ellis is deputy chair to Steve and membership director. He is a director of PR and  marketing agency, Macbeth Lankester.