‘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.

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

Help shape the future of Beckenham Town Centre

Over 200 town centres across the UK are now using the Business Improvement District (BID) model to manage their town centres.

Locally, Orpington became a BID in 2013 and Bromley became a BID in 2015.

A BID is where an independent company is set up by the businesses in the town centre to fund and manage the projects carried out in their town.

Bromley Council have commissioned The Mosaic Partnership to ascertain whether a BID management model would be feasible for Beckenham Town Centre.

Two workshops will be held on Monday 9 May at 4.30pm and 6pm at Dizzy’s Diner 256-258 High St, Beckenham.

This is a great opportunity to share your views on the town and the potential improvements.

All Beckenham Town Centre businesses are invited to attend and complete the surveys.

For more information, email towncentres@bromley.gov.uk.

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.

Supporting local business this Christmas

Christmas on the Green – 5 December

Beckenham will onceChristmas on the Green again celebrate the arrival of the festive season with Christmas on the Green on Saturday 5 December, from 12-6pm.

The event, organised by Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association (CCARA), in conjunction with Beckenham Business Association and the Council, will include a market with 40 stalls of local produce and crafts. There will also be a children’s fair and live entertainment, including reindeer and a visit from Santa!

Later in the afternoon, the CCARA Annual Candlelit Procession will start from outside the Post Office on Rectory Road at 4.30pm. This will be followed by the Christmas Lights Switch On and a community sing-a-long on Beckenham Green at 5.30pm.

For more information on the entertainment schedule for the day, visit www.coperscope.org.ukAny local businesses wishing to offer samples or special discounts for the festivities, please contact cheryl.curr@bromley.gov.uk by Tuesday 1 December 2015.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday logoThis year, Christmas on the Green coincides with Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to encourage people to shop local and support their small businesses.

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

 

BBA ‘delighted’ to support 2015 Bromley Business Awards

Bromley Business AwardsBeckenham Business Association is proud to support the 5th annual Bromley Business Awards as Innovation and Growth Award sponsor.

Last year, two BBA members were among the Bromley Business Award finalists, with Buzz Bee Kids winning the Best Green Business category.

This year sees the welcome return of BBA member business Framerstamp, who is a finalist in two categories: the Innovation and Growth Award and the Made in Bromley, Rising Star Award.

Framerstamp creates beautiful framed stamps, covering a huge variety of subjects to suit a lot of different interests. They make a special, personal gift at an affordable price.

The winners of the Bromley Business Awards will be announced tonight at a special ‘night to remember’ gala dinner at The Warren, hosted by Rebecca Pike from BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo’s Drive Time.

Good luck to all the Finalists at tonight’s ceremony!

Yuliana Topazly does the business at Beckenham networking event

BBA meeting at Deli Nene

BBA meeting at Deli Nene

Business coach Yuliana Topazly took centre stage at our evening meeting last week at Deli Nene on Beckenham High Street.

Yuliana from My Outspace Business Centre talked about the huge amount of support available to help you start, sustain or grow your business.

Beckenham business owners attending the meeting included accountants, restaurateurs, dentists and PR’s.

A very special thank you to Deli Nene for sponsoring the event this month – the tapas were delicious and the venue – terrific.

The next BBA event will be an evening (Christmas party) meeting on Tuesday 1 December.

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)

Dates for the rest of 2015:

BBA meetings

Tuesday 1 December – our Christmas party evening!

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

  • Saturday 5 December – Christmas Candle Procession

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

Business support opportunities at BBA meeting, 23 Sept

Business support available to London-based entrepreneurs will be the main subject covered at our next BBA meeting on Wednesday 23 September, 6.15-8.30pm, at Deli Nene, 52-54 Beckenham High Street.

We’re delighted to welcome business coach Yuliana Topazly as our guest speaker, who will talk about financial and non-financial support available to businesses through government support packages.Yuliana Topazly

Yuliana (pictured right) is co-founder and co-director of the award-winning social enterprise, My Outspace Business Centre, based in Croydon. She has helped launch over 120 businesses in the last two years.

Following Yuliana’s talk, there will be plenty of opportunity to network with other Beckenham businesses.

The event is 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 (though do please book in advance so we know how many to cater for).

For further details and to book, visit the EVENT BOOKING page.

Dates for the rest of 2015:

BBA meetings

  • Tuesday 1 December – our Christmas party evening!

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

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

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

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday

Shop Local! Support your local community

Businesses are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, taking place on 6 December.

The annual event, now in its second year in the UK, encourages people to shop local on their high street and support their local communities.

Spending money with small local businesses supports local employment and helps to maintain the services those businesses provide in our town centres.

The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.

A range of marketing resources to promote your small business can be downloaded for free from the Small Business Saturday website.

WE SAY: “Shop Local!” Support your local community.