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Darren Hunter

Please tell us briefly about your career to date and what you are most proud of achieving. 

"My career started as a junior graphic designer for a design and print company which was based in the heart of Doncaster. We worked with many businesses throughout Doncaster, some of which are still customers today.  This company was then merged with another company in Leeds and I was eventually made redundant. My proudest moment was starting my own business from scratch in 2009 (just myself and one iMac), hoping I could still pay my mortgage, to where I am now working with renowned multi-national companies and helping new and smaller local businesses."


What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Doncaster businesses today?

"One of the biggest challenges for most businesses is adapting to a new sustainable business model to help survive through and beyond the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Every business of every size has been adversely affected by this, whether it’s simply down to supply chain issues or a more serious challenge of being tied to some of the worst hit industries such as leisure and tourism.  Our business models from before the pandemic are largely no longer feasible, adapting experience and industry expertise to create new opportunities has to be a priority for any successful business moving into 2022 and beyond."


What is the best thing about Doncaster and what do you think are the borough’s biggest opportunities?

"I strongly believe that Doncaster has always been at the forefront of innovation.  From the building of the Mallard, to modern accomplishments such as Doncaster Racecourse and larger companies finding a home here such as Polypipe and recently Amazon. Doncaster is a proud location renowned throughout the UK and will continue to be so for many years.

Doncaster's transportation links create an opportunity for further local business growth, with Railway, Motorway and Airport facilities within minutes of the town centre, the tri-modal transportation hub ensures larger businesses will always have the opportunity to create jobs and boost the local economy."


Where do you see Doncaster Chamber’s primary focus for the next 12 months?

"I see three primary focuses over the next year.  Firstly, advice on how to adapt previous business models into a post pandemic marketplace has to be a priority.  Help with everyday potential obstacles such as running and staffing costs will have a huge positive impact on smaller businesses.

Secondly, support for importing and exporting goods throughout the European union and beyond would be a great place to focus.

Finally mental health support for busy professionals and help to create a sustainable work life balance.  The last couple of years have been tough and unfortunately suicide rates have continued to climb."


What would you like the Chamber to be famous for in three years’ time?

"The Doncaster Chamber now has a great opportunity to help shape the future for local businesses and encourage entrepreneurs to set out of their own.  I would like Doncaster Chamber to be famous for these elements over the next few years.

The recent pandemic has not only taken its toll on numerous local businesses but has also discouraged many to not set up in business by themselves.  We have a great opportunity to help these new companies and visions come into fruition by supporting fledgling businesses and help to shape a sustainable business model to help create further employment opportunities."

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