‘Get ready for tax changes’ urges Beckenham businessman

Local tax and accountancy expert and Beckenham Business Association (BBA) member, Zeeshan Zaidi, is urging other small business owners to start preparing for the biggest shake up of the tax system, Making Tax Digital.

Making Tax Digital Beckenham Business Association

Zeeshan (centre) with his employee Hannah (left) and Beckenham Business Association Chair, Jackie Groundsell (right).

Speaking at the recent Beckenham Business Association event, which was held at his TaxAssist Accountants‘ office on Beckenham High Street, Zeeshan told the crowd of gathered local businesses and councillors how Making Tax Digital will affect them.

Zeeshan said: “It’s great to be part of such a vibrant business community in Beckenham. Having been part of the BBA since setting up my own business in 2016, it’s been wonderful to meet like-minded business owners over the past year.”

The event, which took place on 23 May, was Zeeshan’s first hosting experience since opening TaxAssist Accountants in Beckenham last year.

“With many local businesses facing a raft of changes and new responsibilities, my top business tip focused on Making Tax Digital, something which small business owners need to start acting on now.

“The BBA networking meetings are a great way to showcase my business and how I can support and offer jargon-free advice to other small businesses in and around Beckenham.”

WORDfest

Event attendees also heard from the organisers of this year’s WORDfest, Harris Academy, and received an update from FM Conway on the High Street improvement works.

If you would like to get involved in WORDfest as a writer or illustrator, or take part in the Edible Book competition, please visit their website.

Host a BBA event

Do you have a venue that could host a BBA event? Whether you have a shop, office, cafe or restaurant, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Hosting one of our events gives you the opportunity to showcase your business and network with other local businesses.

Please contact us if you can help host and event.

Great news for Beckenham nightlife

Last year Beckenham was awarded the prestigious Purple Flag award by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) for its night time economy.

The accreditation indicates a “gold standard” for town centres at night. Similar to how a blue flag recognises outstanding beach quality, the purple flag accreditation scheme recognises excellence in the management of town and cities at night. Beckenham’s purple flag status indicates that the town possesses a thriving, vibrant and, most importantly, safe nightlife.

The flag was raised into position outside Beckenham Junction station on Friday 19 May:

For more information on Beckenham’s Purple Flag, see our earlier post.

Business Networking at Friends of Mine

Our spring networking event will be at Friends of Mine, 72-74 High Street, Beckenham, on Wednesday 12 April 2017, 5.30-7.30pm.

Join us there for great local networking and the chance to hear from speaker Sally Williams of Retail Revival.

Beckenham town centre is undergoing an exciting 18-month programme of public realm improvements to make the high street a more attractive place to visit, shop and be entertained. 

Sally Williams of Retail Revival will use pertinent case studies to demonstrate how business support programmes have enabled businesses to adapt and grow to meet current shopper needs.

Friends of Mine will be providing delicious refreshments and there will be a cash bar.

Please book in advance to ensure there’s sufficient food for everyone!

The meeting is FREE for BBA Members and first time visitors, and just £10 for visitors.

There is plenty of parking nearby and easy access to public transport – train, tram and buses are all close by.

Don’t delay, book your place now!

Future BBA events

Our next events are:

  • Tuesday 23 May – breakfast meeting at Tax Assist
  • Wednesday 21 June – evening
  • Wednesday 12 July – evening
  • Wednesday 6 September – Beckenham Business Day
  • Thursday 21 September – breakfast
  • Tuesday 05 December – evening

Further details and booking for each event will be released on our Events page nearer the time. Or why not join our mailing list to hear about them first?

Festive Magic at La Rascasse

Join Beckenham Business Association for a touch of close up magic at its Christmas Event at La Rascasse, 63 High Street, Beckenham, on Wednesday 14 December, from 6.15pm.

BBA Xmas party 2016

One of the UK’s leading Magic Circle magicians Stuart Kelly will be entertaining guests for the evening. Stuart specialises in close-up magic, and loves nothing more than to have his audience think “how on earth did that happen?”stuart_kelly_magician

Stuart is the ultimate party performer. Not only can he make cards disappear with the blink of an eye, but he creates a whole experience for the people he’s entertaining, with the tales he tells and the stories he weaves. You’ll be entranced, bewildered and amazed all at the same time.

The venue

A touch of Paris in the very heart of Beckenham is provided by La Rascasse.  You will find us in the roof-covered garden terrace to the rear of the restaurant. There will be delicious refreshments but please book in advance to be sure there’s enough!

La Rascasse is just a 5 mins walk from Beckenham Junction rail and tram station, with plenty of bus routes passing and car parks nearby, some free after 6.30pm.

Speakers

There won’t be speakers for this Christmas event but there will be ONE LUCKY STAR who’ll be able to tell us (in 1 minute) why we should choose them and their business above anyone else. BBA doesn’t do sales pitches, preferring to make connections and build honest, trusting relationships.

This magical Christmas event is free for BBA Members and just £20 for visitors, with a cash bar. Please book in advance to secure your place.

Small Business Saturday

This year Christmas On The Green coincides with Small Business Saturday on 3rd December. Small Business Saturday is a national event to encourage people to shop local and support their small businesses.

small-business-saturday-uk-2016-logo-blue-250

Beckenham Businesses can get involved for free by signing up to the Small Business Finder and downloading the info pack and logos at www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.

Start your Christmas shopping at Beckenham’s Markets and Fairs

If you want to make an early start on your Christmas shopping, there’s plenty of opportunity to browse and buy from local traders at fairs and markets in Beckenham over the coming weeks. Here’s a selection of what’s on.

Saturday 19 November – SoLo Craft Fair at the Chancery

12-5pm, The Chancery, 90 Bromley Road BR3 5NP

Join SoLo Craft Fair for their Christmas Market at The Chancery in Beckenham for some of the best local makers and creators to help you start off your Christmas shopping. Event includes free popcorn on arrival and a free Christmas wrapping station, along with workshops and a kids’ craft corner. See their Facebook page for more information.

Sunday 20 November – So Last Century Vintage and Retro Fair

11am-4pm, Venue 28, 28 Beckenham Road BR3 4LS

So Last Century vintage and retro fair

Over 40 vintage traders and local designer-makers on two floors, selling homeware, furniture, clothes, accessories & jewellery, mid-century decor and design, records and prints, upcycled goods and much more. A great day out for all the family, including vintage tearoom.  Visit their Twitter and Facebook pages for more information.

Sunday 27 November – Beckenham Market launches with The Christmas Event

10am-6pm, Venue 28, 28 Beckenham Road BR3 4LS

Beckenham Market flyer

The Christmas Event launches with Great British Bake Off finalist Jane Beedle and Bromley Mayor, Cllr. Ian F Payne. The first Beckenham Market presents The Christmas Event with 40+ hand-picked stalls, workshops, a graffiti wall, DJ Bob Bird and live acts. Whippersnappers.org will be offering a Santa’s Grotto, including photographs by a magical interactive mirror, gifts, face painting, reindeer food and fairy dust filled with Christmas spirit. See their website for more information.

Saturday 3 December – Christmas on the Green

12-5pm, Beckenham Green, High Street Beckenham

Christmas on the Green

Market on the Green returns with its annual Christmas local produce and craft market, fun fair, live entertainment and much more. Organised by Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association, the event includes over 30 stalls, including hot food, mulled wine and beer. The entertainment includes an Olaf look-a-like, a carrot treasure hunt, a host of live singers on stage and the Christmas lights switch-on and community sing-a-long at 4.30pm. For more information, see their website.

Saturday 12 December – Beckenham Christmas Market, Azelia Hall

12-5pm, Azelia Hall, 258 Croydon Road, Beckenham

Azelia Hall Christmas Market

There will be plenty of stalls providing beautiful presents and food to buy, including a Christmas kitchen serving hot drinks and home made goodies throughout the day. There will also be a visit from Santa who will be handing out presents to the children. See their Facebook page for more information.

Beckenham Business Association member nominated for national award

vicki-simsA Beckenham business woman who founded a successful pest control business is in the running for a national award.

Vicki Sims of Lady Bug Pest Control has been named a finalist in The Best Business Women Awards.

The awards, sponsored by Clydesdale Bank, celebrate women’s achievements in a range of sectors from Best New Business to Most Inspiring Business Woman.

Ms Sims, who has been nominated in the best customer service category of the awards, said: “I love what I do. My passion for my job comes across in every job I do and people always comment on this.

“I am thrilled to bits to have been put through as a finalist in recognition of my ongoing commitment to great customer service.”

The gala final of The Best Business Women Awards will be held on October 20 at Tewin Bury Farm near Welwyn, Hertfordshire.

For more information, visit The Best Business Women Awards website.

NatWest Business Bus to visit Beckenham

The NatWest Mobile Business School, also known as the NatWestBizBus, is coming to Beckenham Green on 12 October, between 10am and 4pm.

StartUp Britain NatWestBizBus

This free business event follows the success of the StartUp Britain tour, in which the NatWest Mobile Business School visited 30 locations engaging with more than 5,000 entrepreneurs, start-up and small business owners.

London Tour

The London tour, organised by NatWest, will feature the NatWest Mobile Business School, a 1966 Routemaster Bus, which will visit 10 boroughs across the Greater London area. The tour starts on 10 October and finishes in Kensington & Chelsea on 24 October.

The bus will be taking prominent positions in the City of London, Westminster and Beckenham. It will offer impartial business advice and celebrate entrepreneurial communities across London, connecting and inspiring individuals to turn their business ideas into a reality.

StartUp Britain

NatWest is working closely with its tour partner StartUp Britain as well as the borough councils and local business and enterprise support organisations, who will have representatives on-board at each stop to provide support and advice.

Jackie Groundsell Chair of Beckenham Business Association and MD of 1230 TWC said: “As a thriving business community we are delighted to bring the Bus to Beckenham and look forward to meeting new and familiar business faces as they take the opportunity to meet the many business advisers available.”

Angela Bryne, Regional Managing Director, London & South East, Business Banking at NatWest, said: “Our mobile business bus is a great way to get into local communities and support aspiring business owners. By collaborating with StartUp Britain and local experts, we hope to provide a broader range of support to help more entrepreneurs realise their business ambitions across greater London than ever before”.

StartUp Britain director, Matt Smith said: “Interest in entrepreneurship is higher than ever and the only thing holding many people back from trying out a business idea is some encouragement and support”.

“By connecting aspiring entrepreneurs with those a few steps ahead of them, as well as supportive local organisations, we want to give people the confidence to turn their ideas into reality”.

For more information about the NatWestBizBus Tour, visit the StartUp Britain website.

Local media is a strong resource for business

The benefits of using local media were highlighted to Beckenham Businesses in an insightful talk from Limited Edition magazine at yesterday’s Beckenham Business Association meeting.

Rosie Parson Limited Edition

Rosie Parson (pictured) of the News Shopper’s sister title Limited Edition gave the audience at Beckenham Theatre some fascinating insights into the power of local media and how people trust it as a source of local information over and above other methods.

She revealed how recent research has shown that nearly three-quarters get local information from their local paper, compared to 43% from the internet or only 12% from commercial radio*, before explaining the type of stories and features Limited Edition runs and how businesses can best interact with the magazine.

Supporting local charity

Following Rosie’s talk, BBA Treasurer Paul Bailey awarded a cheque to local charity Food+ Bromley of the proceeds raised from the raffle at the recent Beckenham Business Day. Paul’s company Bailey Ahmad and BBA member Julie Cogill of Framerstamp decided to match the raffle proceeds between them, meaning the total raised to help Food+ Bromley was £184.00.

Paul Bailey and Michael of Food+

A big thank you to Paul and Julie and everyone who contributed to the raffle.

A huge thank you also to Rosie for her talk and to Alex Vail and team at Beckenham Theatre for hosting the event at their wonderful venue and the lovely refreshments.

Join us for Christmas

The BBA’s next event will be our Christmas event on Tuesday 6 December. Put the date in your diary and watch this space for more information!

*Source: Local Media UK’s Loving Local research: http://www.localmediauk.org/Loving-Local