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Local Business Profile: Bronagh Gormley

Name: Bronagh Gormley 
Business Name: Omagh Chamber of Commerce 
Location: Omagh Enterprise Company 
 
How long have you been working for the Chamber?
Since August 2016.
 
How many businesses are members?
120 members at present and currently recruiting!
 
What are your strengths?
I can chat.  Whether it’s one to one, in a group, at a meeting or public speaking – I love to interact with people and have the confidence to do so. 
 
What are your weaknesses?
I don’t like saying ‘No’. I have become better at this in recent times but I could probably work on it some more. 
 
Has Covid-19 affected the work of the Chamber?
Yes, it certainly has affected the work of the Chamber. Once we went into lockdown mid-March the volume of queries coming through from members and non-members trebled. My role very quickly changed too. A huge part of my role was to organise the Chamber events, this was obviously put on the back burner. I listened to daily NI Executive updates and tried to simplify information and get it out to members as soon as possible. We also took on a bigger lobbying role – trying to ensure all sectors were heard and supported.
 
What makes the Chamber unique?
I think what makes the Chamber unique is that it can be flexible and change to suit the current business climate.  The Chamber will be whatever our members need it to be. We have the ability to help businesses through support, advice, networking, lobbying, promotion and sign posting.
 
What does the Chamber mean to you?
The Chamber means one big Business Family. We have members from all business backgrounds; those starting out who are new to the business world and those who are long established and have a wealth of knowledge. We all help and support each other.   
 
Aside from family and friends, who has been the greatest influence on your life?
This is a hard one, there have been many people who have influenced me and helped me become the person I am today. I’m going to go with someone in my Chamber life. When I started with the Chamber the current President was Nicholas O’Shiel. He was very supportive and encouraging yet he gave me space to find and develop my role. He was an excellent sounding board, very approachable and he has a great deal of knowledge and experience, which he happily shared with me. His door is always open and he is at the end of the phone. I think Nicholas helped me build a great foundation within the Chamber and for that I am very grateful.
 
What are your plans for the future?
At this time of year we would normally be getting ready for the Omagh Business Awards – I really miss the buzz of it all. However, we are pleased that we can take this opportunity to revisit some of the past Business Awards applicants through this feature.  
We are currently working on launching our new Chamber website with one of our long time members, IDesign. Our website was very outdated and so we are excited to be able to offer one which will allow businesses to make the most of their membership with each member having their own profile included in our Business Directory. 
We will continue to serve our existing members, recruit new members, work with various agencies in regards to Covid Recovery for our district and basically do anything we can in order to make Omagh the best it can be for everyone.  
 
Any advice for anyone starting out in business today?
Never be afraid to ask for help. This is a common mistake where businesses feel they should know everything and that asking for help is a sign of weakness.  
Sitting back and not asking is a weakness! Talk to other businesses, to your customers and outside agencies. There is so much help available for businesses. 
You just need to ask for help.
 
If you weren’t working for the Chamber, what would you be doing?
I really don’t know! Anyone that knows me, knows I am a real foodie. So maybe something to do with food. I’ve previously worked in the hospitality sector, the community and voluntary sector and the private sector. I feel that my past experiences have really helped me in my current role to help businesses.  
 
What do you do to relax?
I have three boys so relaxing doesn’t come that easily.  I do like to watch or read a good thriller.  As I said earlier, I am a real foodie so I love to watch cookery programmes, look at cookery books and eat good food. I am blessed to have so many good friends and family so I love to spend time with my nearest and dearest, preferably with food and drink involved.  
 
What would you do if you won the lottery?
We talk about this at home with the boys when we are checking our numbers. 
Necarne Estate in Irvinestown is something we all hold very special and we always say if we win the lotto we will buy it and reinstate the castle. The boys all have their Lamborghinis picked out too. And obviously we would share our fortune with our family and friends.
 
We might be limited in our travel at the moment but where is your favourite holiday destination?
I haven’t really travelled that much.  However, I did have the opportunity to go to Slovenia on a work trip about 15 years ago and I always said would love to go back, it was stunning. I also have lots of family in Australia so it is top of my bucket list.   
 
What do you miss most about Tyrone when you are away?
Apart from my family and friends, I miss the sense of belonging and the welcoming feeling you get when you go anywhere in Tyrone.  
 
If you could swap lives with someone, who would you choose and why?
As much as I give out at times, I’m quite happy with who I am.  
 
And finally take the chance to give a shout out to another local business who you think is doing great things (expand on why you’ve chosen them)?
You saved the hardest question to last! I couldn’t even begin to whittle it down to even a list of 10! 
This is a tough time for business and I feel very proud of how they have all stepped up to the mark, each in their own way. 
I think now more than ever is a time for us all to come together.  We can all do good things individually but collectively we can do great things.
 

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