BHBPA is a ‘not for profit’ organisation whose liabilities are limited by guarantee. The aims of the Association are to:
- Attract and sustain members, primarily from the local business community, by offering services valued higher than the price of membership
- Support members’ pursuit of common business interests and needs
- Build a cohesive and positive business community, for the benefit of members
- Contribute positively to the wider local community
- Lobby and influence governmental policy makers to sustain and enhance Burgess Hill as a business-friendly location
- Forge an effective conduit between the Association and Local Authorities so as to inform and engage members and contribute towards positive outcomes from the policies and initiatives of local and national authorities.
And by local we mean within approximately a 5 miles radius of Burgess Hill town centre and includes the full length of the A2300.
The Association is constituted as a company limited by guarantee. This means we are a members-based organisation and it is our registered members who are liable for the Association debts – albeit each member’s liability is limited to £1.
Suffice to say the Association’s finances are maintained in a good and healthy order.
The diagram below encapsulates our governance framework as defined by the Constitution.
In addition to General Meetings we have two standing bodies: the Board and the Steering Committee. In addition, ad hoc Project Boards are created as needed.
The Board defines policy and commissions any significant projects the Association decides to undertake.
It comprises three Executive Officer (EO) roles and three other directors. The Marketing Officer is an advisory role to the Board.
BHBPA Chair (EO) & Director, HPC plc
BHBPA Director, MD, e-mpower.it
BHBPA Finance Officer (EO), Director - Trusts, Galloways
BHBPA Director, MD Lea Graham Associates
BHBPA Director, MD Time 24 Ltd
The steering committee
The Steering Committee has two functions. Firstly, devising and maintaining the Association’s business strategy. And secondly, being a representative ‘sounding board’ and ‘voice of the Membership’ between general meetings.
The current Steering Committee comprises eight representative members plus the Executive Officers.
BHBPA background and recent focus
BHBPA Ltd was incorporated in 2004 at the instigation of a group of local businesspeople and the active encouragement of the then local MP. Change requires a galvanising issue and at the time it was tackling a shared concern about travellers encroaching on to on business premises.
The collection of fees funded the appointment of a BHBPA Coordinator whose role was to channel the Association’s energies and activities. From 2007 to 2019 the Association grew its membership and enjoyed some notable highlights like its Awards Evenings and Business Exhibitions.
In December 2019, the long serving former Coordinator retired and Martyn Carr was appointed, coinciding with the arrival of a new MP for Mid Sussex. The year of 2020 started positive but then along came Covid-19 and with it many things we regard as normal, like travelling and meeting friends and colleagues became severely restricted. “Zoom” entered the lexicon as a way to hold virtual meeting.
During the lockdowns and constraints of 2020 we focused on quite a lot of ‘housekeeping’ and setting firmer foundations for 2021. For example we have tidied up our back-office administration and implemented a new accounting system (Xero), appointed a new accountant (Galloways), introduced an improved format newsletter and rapid distribution bulletins for members-only to cover off urgent items. We have also introduced a Members Directory and towards the end of the year were revamping the Association’s website.
Much effort in 2020 went into supporting the efforts of Central and Local Government to communicate with local business on issues such as grants and the furlough schemes. Numerous members of the Association readily shared their expertise be that of a legal, financial or well-being point of view.
Throughout the year we have increased our focus on supporting members common interests. For example the state of the business parks’ roads and congestion. Also regarding Brexit, we formed an interest group to focus on being prepared for the end of the EU transition period. Fortunately, the much hoped for Trade Deal did get agreed.
Lastly, we have taken the opportunity in 2020 to update the Association’s Constitution, with the new arrangements approved at members General Meeting in November.
Burgess Hill and Mid Sussex is a town and area on the move, as is the BHBPA. The regeneration of the town, both the town centre and the A2300 corridor is well advanced – bringing new opportunities. Following the general election of 2019, Mid Sussex has a new MP in Mims Davies who is keen to forge links with local business associations. BHBPA is poised to build on the foundations we laid in 2020 and we look forward to the challenges and opportunities of supporting the local business community.
For sure now is a good time to get involved!