‘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?

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.

Batman comes to Beckenham Green!

Visitors to this Saturday’s Market on the Green will be entertained by a Batman lookalike, who will be leading a dance party for children from 11.30am.

The local craft and produce market, organised by Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association, will be on Beckenham Green from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Saturday 24 September.

Alongside Batman’s appearance, local songstress Bianca Nicholas makes a welcome return, plus other entertainment throughout the day.

There will also be over 40 stalls of local produce and crafts, including a local beekeeper selling honey.

For more details of all the stalls and entertainment, see the Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association website.

Market on the Green Sept 2016

Help save Beckenham Post Office

‘Crown’ Post Office threatened with closure

Businesses and residents in Beckenham are being urged to help save Beckenham Crown Post Office on Rectory Road by signing this petition.

Beckenham Post Office is facing closure as part of The Post Office Ltd’s plans to cut 42 branches across the country in 2016. While nearby franchises will be offered, these would provide inferior services, often in a smaller space with fewer counters, and closure would have a huge impact for both residents and businesses, significantly affecting footfall to the High Street.

Save Beckenham Post Office

Beckenham Business Association (BBA), together with the local residents’ associations, is supporting the Post Office Workers Union (CWU) in the Save Beckenham Crown Post Office Campaign because:

  • As a ‘Crown’ Post Office, Beckenham can currently offer more services than franchises – such as driving licence, passport and Home Office services.
  • Once franchised out Post Office Ltd have limited control. If the franchise sells up in a few years, Beckenham could be left without a Post Office.
  • It’s a busy Post Office with people travelling from further afield to use it (the Crown Post Offices in West Wickham and Bromley have already been closed).
  • There is mounting evidence that closure of a Crown Post Office has a severe negative impact on the local economy.  Local footfall and retail trade in a town centre nosedives once a Crown Post Office is closed as so many people are drawn into a town to use a fully functioning Crown Post Office.
  • TfL and Bromley Council are spending £4.7 million to boost Beckenham Town Centre. There may be little gain if footfall significantly decreases due to the closure of the Crown Post Office.

Taking action

On Saturday 2 April 2016, the Chairs of Beckenham Business Association, Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association, Beckenham Town Centre Team and West Beckenham Residents’ Association, together with other local supporters, turned out to help the CWU distribute leaflets and get signatures to the petition to save the Post Office.

Supporters collecting signatures

The CWU and supporters collecting signatures outside Beckenham Post Office

Commenting on the planned closure, local CWU Rep, Mole Meade, said: “This is one more example of a bad business plan from both the Post Office Ltd and the Government.”

CWU National Executive Member, Ian Ward, who was also collecting signatures, added: “Beckenham is such a well-used Post Office, with six dedicated staff. Why does that need to change, when the alternative would be a far inferior service that will have an immediate negative impact on both local residents and businesses?”

Further action is planned for Saturday 16 April, 10am outside the Post Office. See here for more information.

How you can help – sign the petition!

Please support the Save Beckenham Crown Post Office Campaign by signing the petition available online via this link.

Please also help by spreading the word and encouraging others to sign the petition.

Save the date!

The next Beckenham Business Association.meeting will be a breakfast meeting on Tuesday 12 April at 7.30 am.

Open networking over light refreshments

  • Learn more about the Beckenham BID Feasibility Study
  • Meet Lorraine McQuillan new Beckenham Town Centre Manager

The meeting is free if you’re a first time visitor or a member of the Beckenham Business Association. Otherwise it costs just £10.00, including refreshments.

BOOKING & DETAILS HERE

Sponsorship opportunities available, please contact us for details.

BBA business networking meetings

  • Tuesday 12 April BREAKFAST
  • Thursday 26 May EVENING
  • Tuesday 21 June EVENING
  • Tuesday 12 July BREAKFAST
  • Wednesday 21 September EVENING
  • Tuesday 6 December EVENING

Launch of Mayor’s Civic Crowdfunding Initiative 2016

Civic Crowdfunding 2016

The next Mayor’s Civic Crowdfunding round is launching in March and local organisations and community groups are invited to attend the launch event at City Hall on Thursday 10 March, 17.30-21.00.

The Civic Crowdfunding initiative gives any local organisation, from community groups and business improvement districts to charities and schools, the chance to pitch ideas for projects which support and improve your local area, for the whole community.

This might be about improving your high street to help local independent businesses flourish or establishing a new market for healthy and affordable produce. Perhaps there is a long forgotten space and you have a great idea to bring it back to life, for everyone to enjoy?

The next funding round is launching in March 2016 and ideas could receive a pledge from the Mayor of up to £20,000 (but no more than 75% of the total project budget), to support crowdfunding campaigns through the Mayor’s Spacehive page.

The Mayor will be pledging to the best projects that can demonstrate they are innovative, deliverable and have the support of your wider community.

Launch event

The event will introduce crowdfunding and explain the opportunity in detail, from pitching an idea to attracting a pledge from the Mayor. It will point to further support to develop your ideas and run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Who should attend? You should come to this event if you are a local community group interested in this opportunity, whether you have an idea or not, or if you are interested in establishing a local group. This event is also for those interested in the process of crowdfunding local civic projects and how the Mayor is leading innovation in this field.

Sign up to attend the launch event HERE.

When: 

Where: The Living Room – City Hall, The Queens Walk, London SE1 2AA – View Map

Flexible working is good for business

Jane KnightFlexible working was the main topic of discussion at this morning’s Beckenham Business Association event, hosted by Kelsey House, on the High Street.

Our guest speaker, Jane Knight of Successful Mums (pictured right), who helps mums back into work through careers advice, training and access to employer networks, spoke about how she is championing flexibility in the workplace because it benefits both employees and businesses alike.

Jane told the audience of local businesses how flexible working can help mums and others who’ve had a career break because it allows them to fit work around other commitments like school runs, as well as helping them re-adjust to the working world and boosting their confidence.

Similarly, Jane explained how businesses can also benefit by having a happy and motivated workforce with a good work/life balance. Those looking to expand can take on part-time staff if they’re not quite ready for full-timers and being flexible also means being able to provide a service outside of the traditional 9-5 hours.

“We’re increasingly a 24/7 society,” said Jane, “so being able to offer flexible hours to those who want to fit work around childcare and other commitments, means a business can more easily meet the demands of its customers.”

Cheryl CurrThe meeting also had an update from Cheryl Curr, Beckenham Town Centre Manager (left), on the Purple Flag Award, which Beckenham is currently working towards, and the forthcoming Market on the Green, this Saturday 18 July.

The next BBA event will be an evening meeting on Wednesday 23 September.

Events are free for BBA members and first-time visitors. If you’ve been before but not yet joined, the event costs just £10 on the door. (booked in advance)BBA networking

Dates for the rest of 2015:

BBA meetings

  • Wednesday 23 September – evening
  • Tuesday 1 December – evening

Market on the Green (in association with Copers Cope Residents’ Association)

  • Saturday 18 July
  • Saturday 19 September
  • Saturday 5 December – Christmas Candle Procession

Please check our Events Calendar nearer to each date for details and booking.

Flagging up Nineteen Fourteas vintage tea room

The Purple Flag for Beckenham Town Centre.was top of the agenda at last night’s evening meeting hosted by Nineteen Fourteas on Beckenham High Street. The meeting was presented by Beckenham Business Association (BBA) and Cheryl Curr, Beckenham Town Centre Manager.

BBA and the Beckenham Town Centre Team are working towards achieving the Purple Flag Award for Beckenham Town Centre. This is an accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night showing that the night-time economy offers clean and safe environments, great bars and clubs, a variety of arts and cultural attractions and excellent transport links.

“There was great discussion following Cheryl’s talk about Beckenham’s application for the Purple Flag Award,” said Jackie Groundsell, BBA Chair, “and the buffet from Nineteen Fourteas was delicious,”

If you have any questions or if you would like to get involved with Purple Flag please email Cheryl.curr@bromley.gov.uk or for more information visit the Association of Town and City Management.

The next BBA event will be a breakfast meeting on Tuesday 14 July at Kelsey House, Beckenham.

Events are free for BBA members and first-time visitors. If you’ve been before but not yet joined, the event costs just £10 on the door.

Dates for the rest of 2015:

BBA meetings

  • Tuesday 14 July – breakfast
  • Wednesday 23 September – evening
  • Tuesday 1 December – evening

Market on the Green (in association with Copers Cope Residents’ Association)

  • Saturday 18 July
  • Saturday 19 September
  • Saturday 5 December – Christmas Candle Procession

Please check our Events Calendar nearer to each date for details and booking.