Posted on 17th December 2015
In sending you all our greetings and best wishes for the Christmas and New Year period I shall take the chance to look back over the year and remind you of events in the BHBPA year 2015.
We are delighted with the progress we have made in supporting the businesses of Burgess Hill and we feel certain that as time goes on we get to know more of the people who work in the businesses, which gives the whole set up more of a community feel. At events this year it was noticeable that more people felt confident in knowing others at the event and the level of networking had certainly increased. That fact is borne out by the number of members now who tell me that they have benefitted directly from being members and coming to events. That aspect is most pleasing.
Membership has held steady during the year, still rising slowly and now at around 170 companies. The weekly newsletter seems to be the useful and binding communication tool that we always hope it would be, as more people tell me that it has become a feature of their Friday mornings. This is the 46th newsletter of 2015, and the last one of the year.
As for events, they have been better attended than ever this year. We have gratefully accepted the hospitality of members and therefore we have managed to put on events at no cost to members. This year for venues we are thankful to The Hickstead Hotel, Ockenden Manor Hotel, The Birch Hotel, Accelerated Mailing and Marketing, Icon Live, Ridgeview Wine Estate, The King’s Church, Porsche Mid Sussex, the Woolpack Inn and The Oak Barn Restaurant. All of those venues did us proud with their generosity in providing not only the room but also the refreshments. Thanks to all those who came along and supported the events.
Our major event , the exhibition in May, was better attended this year than ever, and we shall attempt to repeat the trick in May 2016. The King’s Centre is an excellent venue for Burgess Hill Means Business.
Another positive outcome of the year has been the new website, which has been live now for just a couple of weeks. Our thanks go to Preview for their help with the building of it and to Wes in particular for his patience in teaching me how to make it work and keep it up to date.
I wish to thank all those on the Steering Group for their contributions during 2015, and I would pay special thanks to the Directors – Nicky Loutit, Susan Fleet, David Shore and Chairman Paul Shearing – for their generous assistance to me in doing this job. Paul Shearing is proving to be an innovative, thoughtful and supportive Chairman. They all join with me in wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a very successful New Year.
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"“I have belonged to this group since I started my own business, Lea Graham Associates, in 1986. The association has been through several incarnations since then, but its most recent one, BHBPA, is by far the best.
It’s much more than just a networking group, although it is supremely good at that too. BHBPA is inclusive and friendly and acts like a mutual-support society. The events are stimulating, worthwhile and often great fun and I believe most members share this opinion.”"
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."