'It was a difficult decision': Havering business group chairman retires


Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (HCCI) outgoing chairman, Barry Hicks. - Credit: HCCI

The chairman of a group which speaks for businesses in Havering has made the "difficult" decision to retire. 

Barry Hicks has headed up the Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) for six years since 2014, excluding one year for Covid.

His retirement will now be marked in a breakfast meeting held by the HCCI. 

Barry said: “It was a difficult decision to retire as I have enjoyed being HCCI chairman for the last six years, especially the showcases and working with Havering businesses, the executive committee and Havering Council.

"I believe going forward, especially after Covid, the chamber is in a great position to benefit Havering business and the community.” 

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Speaking of the new chairwoman, Janet Smyth, Barry said the chamber is in “good hands”.  

He added: “I wish the new committee all the best for the future and I am looking forward to enjoying my retirement and pursuing my hobbies, which include close up magic.”  


Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (HCCI) new chair, Janet Smyth. - Credit: HCCI

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Janet joined the chamber when she opened her business, Inline Accounts Ltd, in 2017.  

She said: “Havering Chamber of Commerce was critical to my own business journey; providing support, information, contacts and guidance. 

“My aim is to be able to provide similar opportunities to Havering businesses and look forward to the challenge of developing the Havering Chamber of Commerce further.” 

A presentation will be held on September 29 at the Havering Indoor Bowls Club to mark Barry's retirement and thanking him for his contribution.   

Members will also have the chance to speak to the council's deputy cabinet member for business recovery, Cllr Dilip Patel, who will be in attendance. 

Cllr Patel is keen to hear directly from businesses what support and assistance would be helpful to them. 

The chamber hold breakfast meetings on the last Wednesday of every month. Membership starts from £70 per year and enquiries can be sent to enquiries@hcci.org.uk.

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