January 2021 Meeting Shorts

By Lisa Harrison – LJH Copywriting

Kerri McGarrigle, Newark Business Club Chairman, welcomed us to the first meeting of the year. And whilst 2021 might not have started how we expected it to, there’s every hope that things will get better as the year progresses. 

Unfortunately, we heard that Jenny Gadsby of Yours 4 A Day Ltd passed away in December. Newark Business Club would like to send our sincerest condolences to her family and friends. As one member said, “Jenny lit up any room she was in”. She’ll be sadly missed. 

On a lighter note, Kerri announced four new opportunities for members to be part of the Newark Business Club executive team. If you’d like to be our new Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer or Head of Action Group – please contact Kerri at chairman@newarkbusinessclub.org.uk.

This month’s sponsor

Newark and Sherwood District Council were this month’s sponsor. Presenting were Councillor David Llloyd, Matt Lamb and Neil Cuttell.

Councillor David Lloyd started their ‘Responding to Covid’ presentation by going over the areas of key focus.

Firstly, they’ll be guiding businesses through the new grant application process that Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer recently announced. They’re also striving to include those businesses that don’t have to consider rateable values.

He also explained they’re optimistic that the Town Investment Plan is going to be successful. It will be vital in generating confidence in the local area and unlocking projects such as the transformation of the former Marks & Spencer store on Stodman Street, Newark.

The team will continue guiding pubs, restaurants, retailers and other businesses through the grips of the pandemic. And, when the time is right, they’ll help them to reopen their doors safely. 

Finally, the Council has recognised that Covid is currently impacting younger people’s future, which is why they’re keen to promote their Kickstart project. The initiative has seen over 50 young people sign up, ready to start their local industry careers. 

Looking ahead, the team took us through the Council’s 2021-2026 economic growth strategy. 

The strategy focusses on the following key areas:

  • Geography & areas of need
  • Infrastructure & potential growth
  • Accelerating growth in key areas
  • Upskilling and reskilling our labour market
  • Diversifying our town centres

By focussing on these areas of priority, they hope to achieve a range of meaningful outcomes and impacts, including:

  • 3900 new jobs
  • New town centre homes
  • 600 further education places
  • Increase in visitor spend

The Council will continue doing their utmost in supporting businesses with grant applications, information and guidance, business events and training. Plus, they’ll continue using two-way communication methods between the Council and companies to inform, influence and shape how they respond to business owners. 

The Economic Development Service will continue running and includes various 2021 business events and Council-led services such as procurement advice and grant finder support. 

If you’d like to find out more about the 2021 business events schedule and the Council led services, visit: www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/investnewarksherwood/ or email info@investnewarkandsherwood.co.uk.

The Strengths Practice

Following the first table networking session, Ali Morris from The Strengths Practice talked to us about grief and its impact on business.

Ali explained that we tend to see grief as an outcome of bereavement. Yet, many experiences can lead to grief. 

Ali asked us to talk on our tables about the grief we may have experienced during last year. She confirmed that everything from job losses to freedom restrictions have been causing people to grieve. It’s the most significant risk in business, impacting team management and decision making.

So, what can we do about it?

Approaches such as skirting around the issue when talking to people for fear of upsetting them aren’t recommended. Instead, Ali suggested the following:

  • We can address our feelings instead of avoiding them
  • We can proactively reach out to people instead of ignoring their grief
  • We can learn to feel more comfortable talking about grief
  • We can learn to communicate effectively. That includes saying the right things and avoiding the cliches.

One thing’s for sure – grief isn’t linear. It impacts us all in different ways, and we must keep supporting each other during these difficult times.

For help with grief recovery, you can contact Ali at ali@thestrengthspractice.com or visit www.thestrengthspractice.bzo-staging.co.uk for more information. 

Supporting small business growth

After the second round of table networking, Dr Lynn Oxborrow from Nottingham Business School (part of Nottingham Trent University) shared useful information regarding its Small Business Leadership Programme.

Focussing on helping businesses grow, the school has been helping 300 companies since March 2020, and they’re all moving forward. Lynn explained that the pandemic had provoked them into doing things differently. 

The loss of certainty, how to move a business forward and manage a team are all concerns impacting small enterprises during the pandemic. If you feel like you could benefit from Nottingham Business School’s help, then this is what they’re currently offering:

Small Business Leaders Programme – developing SME leaders

Duration: 8-10 weeks


  • 5+ employees
  • Trading for more than a year

Peer Networking – learn with and from like-minded people

  • Accelerate your change and implementation plans
  • Commit to actions and gain new ideas

For more information on either of these programmes, you can email grow@ntu.ac.uk. Be sure to add – Newark BC to the subject line.

 Highways England and the A46

Karen Green, project manager at Highways England, updated members on the A46 Newark Bypass and its current status. The scheme was given the go-ahead in March 2020 as part of the Government’s Road Investment Strategy. .

Two options have been shortlisted following a thorough option identification process. Both options would:

  • Widen the A46 to a dual carriageway to provide two lanes in each direction between the Farndon and Winthorpe Junctions 
  • Include a new link and a new bridge over the A1 to the north of the existing bridge
  • Improve access to the A1 by removing A46 through-traffic from the Brownhills and Friendly Farmer roundabouts, allowing them to operate better

For more information on the two proposed options, visit www.highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/east-midlands/a46-newark-bypass

Highways England are currently going through the consultation process and are gathering public feedback on both options. Covid-19 is preventing face to face consultation events, so it’s now being delivered using other methods. If you’d like to share your views, you can:

Construction work is due to start in 2025.

Kerri ended the session by thanking the sponsor and guest speakers for giving us all another jam-packed meeting.

If you’re looking to grow your business in 2021 and would like to network with a supportive group of like-minded people, visit www.newarkbusinessclub.co.uk/ for more information. You can become a member for free.

Business Club Desk calendars are now available to Collect from G.H Porter Provisions in the Market Place and from Buttercross Estates, The Beacon, Cafferata Way Newark Nottinghamshire NG24 2TN Call Daniel on 01636 343014 if collecting from the Beacon.