Chairman’s Report 2017/2018
Jenny Stockman Chair
Richard Whitaker Vice Chair
Dan Wood Treasurer
Kelvin Gibbs Committee member
Steve Calver Events Manager and committee member
Victoria Perkins Committee member
Guy Downs Committee member
Jacqueline Ward Association Co-ordinator, Secretary and Admin Assistant
Membership and personnel
Currently the FBA has 91 Members and interest in the Association continues to grow as members of the committee take time to personally visit and talk to businesses in the town.
The current Chair, Jenny Stockman has been Chair for one year, having held Interim Chair position prior to being voted in officially at the 2017 AGM. “My aim was to revitalise the Association. Strengthen the committee and build on the events programme through investment in an events manager. I’m very pleased that our members were also able to benefit from Suffolk Coast Business extended networking and opportunities – especially the SCB Showcase back in February which was opened by Levi Roots.”
Following on from feedback gained via the SCB survey in 2017, the FBA has implemented a few changes which are now attracting new members on a steady basis. Improved communications, higher visibility and revised arrangements for Christmas have all improved engagement between the FBA and its members.
Subs are now £60 annually and support increased general running costs, insurance, the many activities of the Business Association that are aimed at promoting the town, creating opportunities for members, putting on events and being a part of activity and initiatives that drive economic growth to benefit members.
The annual programme of events such as Framlingham Sausage Festival continue to generate interest in the town, create footfall, boost trade and increase awareness of all the town has to offer. Community groups are also helped and take an active role in the events.
In 2017 the Sausage Festival attracted approximately 10,000 visitors into the town. The vision, as always, is for that footfall to benefit businesses in the town and we’re pleased to report that at least one business saw a 9 fold increase in sales for the day.
2017 Heritage Open Day with a theme of Fun Food and Heritage was a great success and is set to take place again on September 8th 2018.
The success of the Christmas and Charity Market organised by the FBA in 2017, and the separate retailers late night shopping event have encourage the FBA to bring the whole town together for a united three day Christmas event for 2018. Plans are well underway for the end of November/beginning of December 2018. In 2017 the FBA continued the traditional display of real Christmas trees around the town and as a centrepiece on Market Hill.
Grant funding was successfully obtained to train and contract a dedicated events manager in order to sustain the programme of events. We are very proud to report that the FBA won the Encouraging Tourism Award in March 2018 in recognition of the impact its programme of events has on tourism in the county.
The FBA is very grateful to the people that continue to give their time voluntarily to assist with events and make sure the town is presented appropriately.
Bi-monthly FBA open meetings now feature a different speaker each time to provide inspiration, information or insights into matters of interest. These are open meetings and the refreshed agendas help encourage engagement from members and other businesses.
The FBA is now enjoying the professional management of its social media sites by Deep Space Marketing, who are FBA members and also committee members. Engagement and membership sign-up is increasing as a direct result of this activity with 3 new members within a month of starting.
Pro-active Business Association
Monthly informal networking meetings are now held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Lemon Tree. Starting at 1.30 and with no agenda other than informal chat and getting to know other local business people, these meetings are increasing in popularity as people get to hear about them.
Regular newsletters are now delivered via MailChimp so members are kept up to date with what’s happening.
The website is also gradually being refreshed and updated with a few changes to make it easier to navigate and find information.