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Newark Business Club meeting a record-breaker

Posted onPosted on 18th Jun

Newark Business Club’s first online meeting was a record-breaker with more than 100 members tuning in.

The meeting was opened by chairman Kerri McGarrigle, who welcomed members via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Among those taking part were sponsor Chattertons Solicitors and Wealth Management, Newark MP Robert Jenrick and Newark and Sherwood District Council who all gave important updates. Members could also take part in breakouts to network as if they were at usual meetings in person.

Jennifer Cooke, from Chattertons Solicitors and Wealth Management, gave an introduction about the business, which offers a variety of services for businesses and individuals from 10 offices based in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and London.

With a focus on Newark, Jennifer introduced the Newark team. She said they were extremely busy after taking on more than 700 new housing plots and the “property market is moving.”

The company has made Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance its charity of the year.

For more information on how Chattertons visit

Carum Basra, corporate governance and policy advisor and secretary from the Institute of Directors (IoD), gave an update on how it has been working to support businesses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the issues it is trying to get the government to acknowledge is:
•Director income support. Directors are entitled to the furlough scheme but only on PAYE salary.

The government is acting on the feedback its receiving from the IoD. For example;
•The changing of insolvency rules. The IoD is asking the government to temporarily suspend wrongful trading provisions. The bill is cleared for Commons and has been moved to The Lords, next week (w/c 08/0/20).

Sanjiv Kohli, deputy chief executive, director of resources from Newark and Sherwood District Council, explained what the council has done, is doing and its plans for the future as the authority tackles the pandemic.

He said the council is in the top 10 of 314 local authorities throughout England and the best performer, in terms of percentage support grant payouts, in Nottinghamshire.

Sanjiv said their emphasis and focus is on local businesses. When the government announced its business support packages, the council acted quickly and instantly released £7.4m to start supporting business straight away without waiting for the government funds to come through.

The council has been supporting businesses using the three government grant schemes:
•Small business grant with rateable values up to £10,000
•Retail, hospitality & leisure grant with rateable values up to £15,000
•Retail, hospitality & leisure grant with rateable values from £15,000 to £ 51,000

As of Friday, 29th May, it has paid a total of £25.115m to 2126 local businesses.

In June the council launched the local discretionary grant further support scheme. It has been allocated just under £1.3m to support local businesses. For more information, visit

Sanjiv said the council is aware that businesses are going to need some support and advice when they start to reopen. Newark and Sherwood has been allocated just under £109k, as part of the European Regional Development Fund, to help businesses introduce safety measures to get people back to work and customers into shops.

Retailers looking for guidance on how to reopen safely should visit

MP Robert Jenrick told members that the country was at a delicate stage between level four and level three on the coronavirus alert system.

He said the government was looking forward to July when further areas of the economy could start to think about opening their doors again in a Covid-19 secure way. There is a hope for more outdoor dining and markets.

The NHS test and trace service – – is now live, but it will take some time before it reaches the usage levels it is aiming for.

The MP said anyone who thought they had the virus could now order the test.

Talking about the government’s financial support package, Robert said more than eight million people are now having their wages paid as part of the job retention scheme. However, he warned there would be difficult times ahead, and unemployment rates were likely to rise.

He praised the district council for how effective it has been in supporting the local area and getting grants out quickly.

Throughout the meeting attendees took part in a series of polls on Covid-19 and our local area. The results will be published on the Newark Business Club’s social media channels.