BDCC NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2019

Stop Press – The instructions how to apply for the BDCC Business of the Year Award for 2019 will be issued in early February. Please remember to check the website: www.berkhamsted-chamber.co.uk

 

Dear Members,

Welcome to the start of a New Year and the Chamber is looking to offer more network opportunities by our new bi-monthly lunch. The first one will be on Tuesday 12th February at the Highwayman in Berkhamsted High Street., and there is more information in this newsletter. We have also produced a document re the High Street as per my words at the last breakfast meeting. We certainly would like as many comments back as possible so please send them to peteels12@gmail.com.

 

BERKHAMSTED HIGH STREET

Your suggestions are sought.

A recently published, government sponsored report has estimated that nationally there are twice as many shops as we need. A combination of internet shopping and out-of-town retail centres is leading to shop closures in town centres and high streets across the country. Berkhamsted High Street is relatively well placed at the moment as very few sites are vacant, but we do have some unfilled properties and the High Street is increasingly being used by charity shops and similar activities. The signs are that over the coming months and years the problem will get worse rather than better.

The High Street as a retail centre will only be viable if there are a sufficient number of visitors – the footfall. The Berkhamsted and District Chamber of Commerce would like to ask its membership what they would like to see done increase this. There are three ways we can do this: we can consider changing the nature of the high street, reducing its dependence on retail to generate footfall; we can campaign to reduce costs such as business rates and rents – this will require co-ordinated action nationally as far as the rates are concerned as these are set by central government; and we can try and stimulate local business.

1. Nature of the High Street.

There are a number of options:

a). Continue as we are.

b). Encourage non-retail uses such as work hubs, restaurants, professional companies, gyms, hairdressers or meeting places of various kinds.

c). Allow more residential use such as flats above shops, or change completely to residential for some sites, either across the town centre or at the edges of the town centre.

2. Costs

Would you support a campaign to reduce business rates?

Should the Chamber identify local landlords and rents charged with a view to the Chamber lobbying for reduced rents?

3. Generation of Business

Would you support an active Business to Business discount offer for Chamber members?

Would you support a Discount Card for the general population that lives in Berkhamsted?

Should the Chamber sponsor (or provide support for) the use of social media among members?

Should the Chamber make more use of the local press to promote retail in the town.

Should we run a market stall in the High Street asking passers-by what features they would like to see and what would attract them to visit the High Street more often?

 

If you have any views on these questions, let us know.  The Chamber is considering asking the town planners at Dacorum Borough Council to come and speak to a breakfast meeting about what they are doing to provide more flexibility in allowing different uses of town centre shops that might fall vacant. We may also have a “brainstorming session” with members.

 

NEW MEMBERS

Andrew Merrifield – Max-e-Biz Ltd Trading as Get Sales Leads – info@getsalesleads.co.uk – Provides End-to-End Bespoke Lead Generation Solution Packages for B2B and B2C clients.

Robert Stringer – Stringer Mann Financial Planners – 236A High Street Berkhamsted HP4 1AG – Financial Planning and Wealth Management for individuals and businesses.

 

CHAMBER EVENTS

Network Lunch

Our champagne breakfasts have been very well attended and we know that members have made new relationships and also gained new customers. However not everybody can get up at 7.15 AM. Consequently, we will be holding the first of a new informal networking lunches at the HIGHWAYMAN on Berkhamsted High Street on Tuesday 12th February from 12.30PM, dining at 1.00PM. It includes:

  • Two course lunch (choice of starter and mains)
  • Glass of wine, beer or soft drink
  • Coffee / Tea
  • Service charge
  • Cost £20 for members (£25 for non-members)

We need to know if you are coming and booked by Friday 8th February. Please book online at www.berkhamsted-chamber.co.uk or contact Simon Double on 01442 877597.

Breakfast Meeting

The next breakfast meeting will be held at Berkhamsted Cricket Club on Wednesday 6th March 7.15 AM to 10.00 AM. The speakers will be the Young Enterprise teams from Berkhamsted School. To book online go to www.berkhamsted-chamber.co.uk

AGM

The AGM will be held at the Clock Room on Wednesday 10th April 6.30PM. The 2019 Business of the year will be awarded at the AGM, and we are launching it in early February.

We have asked a noted wine expert Father Mike Eggleton to run a wine tasting from 7.00PM to 8.00PM. There will be no charge to members. Father Mike, an Anglican priest, is well-known locally and is very knowledgeable and entertaining.

 

MEMBERS EVENTS

Age UK Dacorum

They are running a charity concert featuring The Voyage by Bob Chilcott 7.00PM on Saturday 23rd March at St John’s Boxmoor HP1 1JY. Tickets are £12 each (Under 18’s £3)

Ring Age UK Dacorum on 01442 259049.

The performers are the Aeolian Singers; Dacorum Community Choir; Sandringham School Choir and the St Albans Schools Instrumental Assembly.

Stringer Mann

They are holding a presentation in the Greene Room at the Kings Arms Berkhamsted on Tuesday 26th February, networking at 6.00PM, buffet at 6.30PM and the presentation from 7.00PM. The presentation is on “Do you know your facts from your scams” and is reviewing the issues around cybercrime and how it is beginning to affect many of us. The main speaker will be Jim Dixon, a cyber expert from CFC Underwriting. It will cover a number of topics relating to pensions and investments including the key things you need to know and avoid with Pensions, Investments and Equity Release to ensure that you do not get scammed. Entry is free but you must pre-book.

Please book with Alison Page – Alison.page@sjpp.co.uk

The Hospice of St Francis

They are running a Valentine’s event with a difference at Shendish Manor on Wednesday 13th February from 7.00PM to 10.30PM

It is entitled a “Valentine’s to Die For” and is starred as an evening of murder and mystery, so be sure to check that your wine waiter is genuine!

Tickets are £60.00 per person and include:

– Drinks Reception

– 3 Course Dinner

– Raffle

– Entertainment by “Moneypenny Productions”

 

Smart/casual or fancy dress (optional)

Please contact Carolyn Addison e mail Carolyn.addison@stfrancis.org.uk Tel 01442 869555

 

MEMBERS NEWS

Berkhamsted Town Council

We have had a note about the new temporary car park at the Moor, Mill Street HP4 2BA

  • The car park has a slightly bigger capacity than Lower King’s Road which is now closed
  • The Maximum parking time is 4 (FOUR) hours
  • The parking charges are 1hour 70p, 2 hours £1.30, 3 hours £2.00 and 4 hours £2.60
  • Charges apply Monday to Sunday 8.00 AM to 6.00PM (this includes public holidays).

Just2Connect

Terry Martin has reminded us that his company provides flexible and tailored professional business telephony and broadband solutions. They can also offer cloud-based telephony, and better stable broadband connections, and say that they will give you the right solution for the right price. Contact tm@just2connect.com tel 01442 573030.

 

OTHER NEWS

Berkhamsted Comrades FC

In conjunction with Help for Heroes, the Hospice of St Francis and three other charities they are commemorating 100 years from 1919 when our soldiers returned from World War 1 bringing football to our community. The main event will be on Sunday 25th August from 1.00PM when along with a football tournament, there will be stalls, kids roundabout and other activities at Broadwater, Lower Kings Road Berkhamsted.

Colin Lillicrap

Will be holding a PopUp at the Open Door 360 High Street Berkhamsted on Thursday 11th July 6.00PM to 8.00PM in support of Children at Risk in Asia (CARA), which is their family charity based on the Thai/ Myanmar border. There will be more information in later additions of the newsletter, but please put the date in your diaries.

EventsBerko

We are gaining more members for the eventsberko website so if you want to know what is going on in Berkhamsted, please visit https://eventsberko.com. There is also a special discount to members, as we are charging £30 for membership from now to 31st March 2020.

The Home Office

A company called the Home Office, (yes they have manage to get the website TheHomeOffice) which I find unbelievable, have opened up new serviced offices by the Court Theatre in Tring. Ian Reay and myself, have seen them and were impressed, so if anyone is looking for fully serviced offices The HomeOffice may be of interest, please contact info@thehomeoffice.com.

 

I hope to see many of you at our new lunchtime event.

 

Best Regards

 

Pete Elsworth – Chair

 

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