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Newark Business Club meeting report

Posted onPosted on 9th Jul

Following the success of Newark Business Club’s first virtual meeting, chairman Kerri McGarrigle hosted the second live from the Home of the Future, courtesy of Collingham-based Gusto Group.

To view a video recording of the meeting click here

The sponsor of the July meeting was Xposure Creative and Nigel Lamb went through a recent story about a retail business he helped pivot to boost online sales – Tick King, which repairs watches from its unit in Victoria Centre, Nottingham.

Retail Panel – The View from the High Street
After a first networking session, James Fountain welcomed a few independent retailers to find out how they have been affected and adjusted since lockdown.

Tom Blakemore, from GH Porter Provisions, lost their wholesale business overnight, which equated to around 25% of their income. They started doing home deliveries for their retail customers and they found that the average order size increased as people were doing bigger shops, less frequently.

Ann Hayes, from Ann et Vin, closed her doors as lockdown was announced, but quickly reopened and extended her delivery service. Similarly, Ann was servicing local businesses and around 30% of her trade dropped off overnight. But as word spread that she was back open, business started to build again.

Paul Cotter, from London Eye Bespoke Eyewear, had to close for all but essential medical appointments. Now that the business has been able to open again to retail customers, business has been busier than ever. The average customer spend has increased and just recently they have seen their best ever week in terms of turnover.

Jill Brown, of Totally Locally Newark, is in touch with the majority of stores in Newark. Jill has been working closely with Newark and Sherwood District Council and the retailers to make sure that the town is safe for shoppers and staff alike. She reminded members that they must keep supporting local businesses #ShopNG24.

Neil Cuttell, the new business manager (Economic Growth) at Newark and Sherwood District Council, shared some of his tasks, including getting the town investment plan in before the end of July. He would like to speak with any local businesses and his contact details are on the club Facebook page.

During the second networking room, Simon Gabbitas updated those watching the meeting on Facebook on the Charity of The Quarter initiative.

East Midlands Chamber
David Pearson, director of partnerships at East Midlands Chamber, followed the networking rooms to run down the support that East Midlands Chamber can offer to local businesses.

From the latest quarterly survey across the East Midlands, just 20% of businesses expect to return to pre-lockdown levels by the end of the year and 45% before the end of 2021. 70% reported a reduction or expect to have a reduction in the headcount within their business.

Business support can be found in a range of sources such as Government departments, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs, member organisations and commercial organisations.

The East Midlands Chamber is a member organisation and is here to provide support growth within business and assist in connecting businesses across the region, UK and overseas.

You can also access free training courses, webinars and workshops for businesses.

The next Newark Business Club meeting is on 7th August.