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Meeting Shorts

Kerri Saxby from Shooting Star, has returned from annual leave and was back writing her meeting shorts!


When the Chairman Gives You Lemons…

The meeting opened with a warm welcome by Chairman Amy Codd, who in support of Beaumond House’s #BrightBlueBH campaign, took on the ‘suck it up’ challenge to raise funds and awareness of the work of the hospice.

Newark Round Table – Never Cavalier about Fun

Scott Bower, Chairman of Newark Round Table, gave an inspirational presentation about the charity activities and social opportunities available to those interested in joining. He called for eligible members of the club to consider attending the next meeting to find out how they can #DoMore.
To find out more visit or search for the Newark group on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Keeping Newark on Track

Chairman of the Action Group James Fountain, was full of praise for the club, especially with regards to how, as a network, it's able to keep up-to-date with local developments and make its voice heard.

He advised that Severn Trent was considering compensation for those businesses inconvenienced by the one-way system that is due to be put in place on Castlegate and Lombard Street during the sewage works in early 2017.

James also advised that the Action Group was currently lobbying to get additional train services to London and between Lincoln and Nottingham. He has recently fed back to Amy who, he noted, was due to meet with Robert Jenrick after the meeting to discuss a boost in investment and opportunity.
During the regular Q&A slot, James Fountain, chairman of the Action Group, sought reassurance from Robert that Newark would remain front of mind when it came to support and investment.
The East Midlands is woefully under invested per capita in terms of rail investment and this needs to be corrected if we are to remain competitive.
Robert reassured members that he was working hard on behalf of businesses and that we had been promised a multi-million pound investment for the dualling of the A46 around Newark and had pressed the outgoing Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to sign off on the Newark Toot Hill Free School. 

Infrastructure Top of the Agenda

Fresh from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Robert Jenrick joined the club for his usual Q&A session.
Robert suggested the Autumn Statement may include plans for investment in infrastructure, which he hopes to use to persuade the Chancellor to bring forward the start date on the planned work to Newark’s Northern Bypass. 
Questions from the floor included a call for urgent attention to the crash hotspot on the A1/A46 slip road, which Robert acknowledged as difficult to remedy. He confirmed that there was unlikely to be a solution until Newark receives investment but that he was aware of the planned addition of speed cameras to help reduce the number of incidents in the short-term.
Following the call from Action Group Chairman, James Fountain, Robert also expressed his concern about the number of trains arriving late into Newark stations. But he confirmed that he would be joining Amy at a meeting with representatives from Virgin and Network Rail next week, to try and remedy the situation.

Think Big in Business

Julie Reader-Sullivan thanked those who attended the Procurement and Business Support event which took place in Newark on 30th September and reminded everyone that spaces were still available on the Edwinstowe event on 28th October.

She also invited club members to get in touch to book a place on the Careers Expo planned for 4th May 2017. Julie offered opportunities to exhibit, get involved in workshops and talk about careers with older members of the community, as well as students.

Finally, she encouraged businesses to consider applying to Think BIG, which offers smaller loans to companies to help them get to the next stage of their business.




Chairman - Amy Codd
Vice Chair - Simon Shaw
Secretary - Lesley Pashley
Treasurer - Malcolm Ellison
Action Group - James Fountain
Education - Vacant
Retail Group - Elaine Ellison
Press Officer - Kerri Saxby

Systems benefit HR

October’s meeting was sponsored by Opal HR Ltd in conjunction with BrightHR, who provide HR systems to SMEs around the country. (Totally coincidental that October’s birthstone happens to be opal!)

Lucy Painter, owner and director of Opal HR provided an overview of services to the members as well as presenting key benefits for using HR systems. The top 5 benefits were listed as:

  • Effective decision making – holding data in a logical and reportable way means it can be interrogated to support business decision-making on key focus areas. For example, sickness absence might need to be addressed if absence is reported regularly on a Friday.
  • Improved productivity – manual recordkeeping is a very time consuming task. Use of systems, particularly with self-service functionality, frees up time which can be used for activities with higher value.
  • Clear return on investment – labour costs are reduced for menial processes and functions when an appropriate system is used. For example, automatic tracking of holiday calculations is far more cost-effective than a manual record.
  • Supports business management efficiencies – HR data can easily be integrated with other business systems such as accounting packages, payroll systems or other reporting systems. Creating a full picture of business data aids reporting and analysis for managing business requirements.
  • And finally improved security – systems reduce the need for paper files and therefore reduce the related security risks associated with paperwork. Added to that, they reduce the need for physical filing space which could be used more effectively for the business

Lucy is a BrightHR Partner, and provides access (and discounted rates) to the BrightHR system. The system is extremely well positioned for small and medium sized businesses, offering a simple and intuitive solution to managing employee data. Its self-service functionality (also available as an App) means it’s flexible and accessible to employees.

The reporting functionality aids businesses to spot potential issues, such as sickness patterns, plus the document storage facility enables secure and space-saving capacity for employee records, all for as little as £1.90 per month per employee. Try it and see – Lucy can set you up on a free 30 day trial.
Opal HR specialises in three specific areas; HR Systems and Processes is obviously one. The remaining two are Employee Reward and Recruitment.

Opal HR supports its clients in ensuring employees are motivated by the pay and benefits they receive, as well as securing good value for the business from their investment in Employee Reward. Finally Opal HR advises clients on their recruitment strategy – key skill requirements, relevant selection techniques and a marketing focus on selling vacancies to top talent.

Lucy lives locally to Newark and generally operates in the Newark / Grantham / Lincoln region. Contact her directly if you are interested in the services offered by Opal HR, including the deal for BrightHR:


Members from Newark Roundtable gave a lively presentation on the merits of joining Round Table highlighting the many social and charitable events they organise.

Founded in 1927, Round Table is about having fun with a great bunch of friends and supporting local communities. Round Table clubs raise over £3.3 million a year for local charities and good causes through various events including bonfire nights, beer festivals and Santa Sleigh collections.

Scott Bower, this year's chairman of the chamber said if members were under 45 and wanted to make new friends and engage in new activities and help the community, they should consider joining the "Table".

He said that events organised included speed boating on the River Trent and the Santa Sledge fundraiser.

So if you want to make your weeknights better than your weekend text 'Join' and your name to 07961 681501

Business Card Draw - Alicia Merryweather


Newark Showground is looking forward to the Midlands Machinery Show, as they prepare to host more than 300 exhibitors on 23 and 24 November.

The Midlands Machinery Show is now in its third year and is a key event in the business calendar for agricultural businesses in the Midlands and further afield. It features the newest and best of machinery for modern farming methods, attracting both traders/manufacturers and buyers. The show is an up and coming event which is well-known for its intimate feel.

The show prides itself on being a platform for small to medium-sized agricultural businesses to showcase their diverse range of machinery and innovation to those who work and have an interest in agriculture.

Highlights will include rain water harvest and water technology specialists, JRH Water Management who will be launching its zero energy water pumps.

George Taylor, show manager, said: “We’re pleased to host some of the newest and best machinery for modern farming methods, priding ourselves on our ability to attract the big name brands and exhibitors in the agricultural industry while also maintaining that important sense of intimacy.”

Visitor entry and parking to Midlands Machinery Show is free. For more information, visit

Newark Awards are the Biz!

Rachel Wilson from the Advertiser Group put in a final call for entries to this year’s Newark Business Awards. She welcomed Richard Staniforth from Barcode Warehouse, winner of the Excellence in Business and Business of the Year awards in 2015, to the stage.

Richard advised that the application process for the awards was a great opportunity for the team at Barcode Warehouse to consider what they’re good at and celebrate what makes them different.

As well as raising the business’s profile among its peers, Richard believes that winning the award helped Barcode Warehouse compete with other local employers thanks to an increase in local coverage of both the award nomination and subsequent double win.
Applications are now closed but you can follow the progress of the finalists ahead of the awards ceremony on Monday 5th December by checking out the hashtag #GetInspiredNBA


Next Meeting

Friday 4th November 7am

Everyday Champions Centre

Newark Business Club meets at the Everyday Champions Conference Centre at 7am. Entry fee £5.00 including coffee. Come early to secure a good seat.

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