It’s been a year of success and optimism for members of one of the region’s driving forces in business support and lobbying with more confidence and growth forecast for the coming 12 months.
Now in its tenth year, the North Tyneside Business Forum has just released its latest annual review and strategic plan for 2019/20 and despite the concern some businesses have expressed with Brexit looming, the organisation has reported a positive picture for the many businesses large and small that it serves.
Set up to independently foster economic growth, employment, sustainability and corporate responsibility in the Borough, the Business Forum has increased its membership by 35 per cent with more than 1300 businesses now receiving regular information emails, access to events to enhance their business skills, organised visits to businesses and business to business networking opportunities. In addition, the Business Forum gives its members a powerful voice on important issues affecting business including the new North of Tyne Combined Authority.
Having a voice on behalf of North Tyneside businesses is an important role of the Business Forum, with the Chair and Management Group influencing decision makers and feeding back the views of members on key local, regional and national issues. Major consultations in a range of areas have included transport, finance, council procurement, health, education and tourism.
Other milestones reached in the past year include the formation of the Wallsend Chamber of Trade, new partnerships with Public Health North Tyneside, Sector Connector and Employment and Skills, a number of engaging business information events and the annual North Tyneside Business Awards.
Karen Goldfinch, Vice Chair of the North Tyneside Business Forum said:
“The quality of the businesses in North Tyneside is growing year on year. This was demonstrated at the awards last year where those businesses shortlisted for an award were shining examples of what is happening on our doorstep. All of the entries were exceptional and it was very difficult for the judging panel to decide on the winners. I’ve seen a consistent, positive shift in the way that business is carried out in North Tyneside and that can only be good news. We’re looking forward to this year’s awards, it’s always an inspiring event, with so much business talent in our borough to be proud of.”
The North Tyneside Business of the Year, 2018 was awarded to North Shields based Monitor Coatings who harness the area’s shipbuilding heritage by recruiting locally utilising traditional skills that still exist. Other winners were SMD, Bright and Beautiful North Tyneside, Carney Consultancy, Heliguy, Barrier Ex Ltd and Riley’s Fish Shack.
David W Bavaird, Chair of the North Tyneside Business Forum, said: “North Tyneside is such a special place to do business and to ensure that we continue to grow and develop, last year, we recruited a number of volunteers onto our management team. The team is made up of a diverse mix of businesses, representing different sectors and sizes of businesses. Each of the volunteers gives up their time and has a unique business skill that helps to drive us all forward and I’d personally like to thank them for their hard work and input.”
The new members of the management team are Kevin Stephenson, Chair of Wallsend Chamber Miles Walton, Chair of North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Julie Summers, Chair of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade.
Looking ahead, North Tyneside Business Forum has identified a number of key objectives for 2019/2020.
“We’ve had an increase in members but we still need many more to ensure that we encourage representation from all sizes and sectors across North Tyneside and create an even bigger appetite for businesses to become a part of our supportive network” said Mr Bavaird.
“It’s vital to continue to work closely with our respected partners, the local authority, statutory bodies, funding organisations and business support providers to encourage additional economic growth, employment, corporate responsibility and sustainability in North Tyneside. We can only achieve this by getting the support of every business in North Tyneside and that is one of our key aims.”
In addition, the Forum will focus on skills and apprenticeships, funding for business, business growth and employment, business to business networking and Combined Authority development, all key issues that will provide a solid platform for future growth.
“We’re now in our tenth year as a Business Forum and the foundations that we’ve laid in previous years are now enabling us to build on our expertise, experience and strength in numbers to ensure that North Tyneside businesses have the very best support and networks available,” said Mr Bavaird.
View the Business Forum Annual Review and Strategic Plan on the About Us page