May 2021 Meeting Shorts

Kevin welcomed attendees to his first meeting as Chairman of Newark Business Club.

Shop Newark Online – sponsor

Emma Holden comes from a family of furniture retailers and sadly the doors were closed on this business in January 2020. In February 2020, Emma was set to support her partner in his furniture manufacturing business and start a bespoke interiors company of her own. Then Covid happened.

In October 2020, when starting plans for Christmas shopping, despite wanting to support local businesses, Emma found the main resource available was Amazon. This is where the idea for Shop Newark Online was formed.

Shop Newark Online was created to provide a single platform for customers to shop at their favourite stores conveniently and safely. Coe Media assisted with building the ecommerce site and local retailers quickly followed once Emma shared the idea.

Newark’s Santa Grotto also went online and helped drive traffic through the website and increase sales.

Moving into 2021, the outlook is more promising for retailers and Shop Newark Online aims to be another tool that local businesses can utilise. Shopping habits have changed and businesses must adapt as well. Shop Newark Online isn’t designed to be a replacement for in store customers, but a way for those that want to shop at their local businesses conveniently and safely. Orders are collected from the different retailers and delivered by Emma within a few days in each business branding.

Emma is looking for more businesses in the health and fitness, hospitality and service sectors. There is also a charity section where people can find out more and support their local causes.

The future vision is to offer a personal shopping service and also organising local events and parties. Assistant Online is also in the pipeline to provide admin and social media support on an ad-hoc basis to members. Emma is also working with Steve at The Fuji Shop coordinating and Newark TV on Youtube.

For more information about Shop Newark Online, please email

Member Poll – return to a Physical Meeting

At the start of the meeting, Kevin asked members when they would feel most comfortable returning to in person meetings. The majority voted in favour of a return in July and we will discuss this at the next Exec meeting. There will also be a poll on our Facebook page, please ensure you have had your say, go along and vote.

 If you have any further thoughts or concerns please email

July 22

August 5

September 13


In the first round of networking, members had 60 seconds each to introduce themselves to the rest of the table.

Guest Speaker

Andrew James – Andrew joined Kevin on stage to discuss his new project, The Gateway.

Andrew formed Northgate Business Centre over 20 years ago and is also part of Music For Everyone, a charity in Newark supporting people and creating music across the county.

With the support from Music For Everyone, Andrew has formed a company in order to bring a creative venue for live music in the Buttermarket.

He hopes this project would bring life to the town centre and support the local economy. The project is going to require around £1m in funding and discussions are ongoing with Newark & Sherwood District Council about a lease for the space. It’s anticipated it will take around 12 months to achieve this funding goal with a view to opening in around 2023.

He is looking for support from the business community by way of a letter to the local authority.

You can find out more about this venture by emailing

Shuffled Networking

In the second round of networking, the tables were shuffled for members to speak with a fresh bunch of faces.

Second Guest Speaker

Tom Cartledge – Tom is sharing his story about Handley House, Newark Towns Fund and the soon to be released, Maltbys Engine House.

Handley House began life in 1947 in Collingham by Gordon Benoy. Tom’s father, Graham, joined the business in 1974 and the family took over the business in the late 1980s. Nowadays, the business trades in 52 countries and working on around 500 projects around the world including the headquarters for Alibaba in Wuhan, China. The headquarters in Newark provide a strategic link giving access to London and also close to Nottingham where they source talent.

It’s been a challenging time but been fortunate that in some of their markets they have rebounded quickly.

On a site on The Wharf in the centre of Newark, Maltby’s Engine House, is being developed to create a coffee environment for people to rent flexible space to work in which will be open for business later in the year.

Newark Towns Fund was a success and should be a great plan for future generations with the opportunities it will create for now and beyond.


Before closing the meeting, Kevin announced that we’ll be pulling a couple of attendees names out of the hat for a speaking slot at the next meeting. One of the new visitors and one of the regular members.

If you are looking to sponsor a meeting, the cost of doing so is half price for whilst we are online. Please contact for further details.