The appointment of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce’s president was ratified at a virtual annual general meeting this morning.
James Buchan, managing director of Dundee digital firm Zudu, was nominated to the role at a board meeting in May but was formally ratified by a resolution of members at the chamber’s first online AGM.
He succeeds Ian Collins, area director of local banking for Bank of Scotland, in the role.
Welcoming members to the meeting, Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce (DACC) chief executive Alison Henderson said: “The AGM is normally very important as it offers a business showcase and networking as well as conducting the formal business.
“We did hold off in the hope that we could do something face to face, but a virtual AGM is the right way to go.
“It’s important that we don’t lose sight of the basics, adapt and that we consult with our members.”
Ms Henderson said the Chamber, which has more than 780 members, had been the fastest growing in the British Chambers of Commerce network for the past two years.
She said the group had gone into 2020 strongly and had adapted well to home working.
“The chamber moved into lockdown and remote working very smoothly which is a testament to the team and the mindsets but also how we’d invested in technology,” she said.
She noted DACC’s work expanding its export documentation service as the Brexit transition period ends on January 1.
The group has increased the range of help it has offered for firms throughout the Covid-19 period, with more online webinars from local experts as well as a frequent economic update prepared by Shona Dobbie of Angus Economics.
Treasurer Blair Davidson’s report showed revenues of £477,000 last year, against turnover of £473,000 in 2018, and a £2,700 surplus. DACC has cash reserves of £147,000.
He said: “The chamber is not about making huge profits, it’s about reinvesting effectively so members get greater benefit.
“2019 was actually a tougher year than the numbers might suggest. Our quarter two numbers weren’t as good as we might have liked but we recognised the issue, reforecast and gave cost a lot of focus.
“Cash reserves are strong for a business of this size and as a board we’ve looked at other ways of using that cash but we don’t want to overstretch ourselves and in light of what’s happened in 2020 it’s probably been a good decision.
“The positive set of numbers puts us in a good position going forward.”
President Mr Buchan said: “Positions on the board are voluntary and everyone brings their own set of skills to the table.
“I do feel privileged working alongside other people who give up their time to work on something they believe in.”
There is currently one vacancy on the DACC board.