Members of an expanding business support organisation were urged to make their voices heard to help drive Dorset’s growth at this year’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Patrons Annual Dinner.

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) director Lorna Gibbons, Dorset County Council economic development manager David Walsh and DCCI council member Ian Cambrook from Pidela Consulting spoke to nearly 30 people at the event, outlining their economic hopes for the year ahead and calling on patrons to have more input through the chamber.

DCCI is one of Dorset’s largest business support organisations.

Founded in 1949, DCCI has nearly 700 members across Dorset whose businesses employ almost 37,000 people across the county.

Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “The mood among businesses is very positive and many have had their best year for some time.

“Patrons are incredibly special to the chamber but are also incredibly important as business leaders, major employers, training providers and key drivers of the economy in Dorset.

“Now is the time to seize the opportunity to make our voices heard and have a direct impact on economic development over the next 12 months.”

Recruitment agency TeamJobs and global aerospace company Field International were also welcomed this month as DCCI Gold Patrons at Les Bouviers Restaurant at Canford Magna. Richard Marples, managing director of Field International, said: “We felt that patron status was appropriate for a company of our size and calibre but also to reflect the responsibility we take for helping to create jobs and prosperity in Dorset.”

Jason Gault, managing director of TeamJobs, said: “We are having our best year to date by some margin and we want to keep that momentum going. Now is the right time to enhance our support for the Chamber and increase our profile.”

Lester Aldridge solicitors upgraded its patronage from Bronze to Gold.

Savills also upgraded from Silver to Gold. Lorraine Hubbard, DCCI’s marketing, communications and patrons manager, added: “Our patrons are elite businesses in Dorset. We are delighted to welcome the new patrons and greatly look forward working with them over the coming year.”