inbusiness Northamptonshire Dec 21/Jan22

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inbusiness @NorthantsCoC




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CONTENTS inbusiness







Marketing firm in fibre partnership


Charity founder wins kindness award


3D printing resins launched


CEO named ‘one to watch’


Policy Matters: the latest views from policy executive Sean Rose


Longstanding director stands down


Chamber Business Partners: dbfb


Electric vehicles – planning and property considerations


Sustainable packaging range expanded


Appointments announced at recycling firm


Young people suffer with mental health


Recognition for law firm


College celebrates centenary


Fifth birthday for virtual assistance firm


New starters join international trade team


LOGISTICS, FREIGHT & TRANSPORTATION Helicopter firm reaches major milestone


RECRUITMENT & HR Helping staff return to the workplace


FOOTWEAR & LEATHER Shoemaker featured in latest James Bond film



Richard Osborne, CEO and founder of Business Data Group


The latest comprehensive list of Chamber training courses and events




PR firm boost charity’s profile


Kickstarters get to work in green spaces


Member Profile: Caroline Mutanhaurwa, Caz Interiors Ltd


Students help out with litter pick


Next Generation, plus member benefits


The Chamber welcomes new members

The Feb/March 2022 issue of inbusiness will include features on: Legal Services, Apprenticeships & Skills and Business Crime & Protection The deadline for editorial submissions is: 4 January

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T: 01604 490490 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Waterside House, 8 Waterside Way, Northampton NN4 7XD Editorial process managed by Ballyhoo PR EDITOR: Catherine Bontoft EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Katie Macdonald NEWS AND ARTICLES SHOULD BE SENT TO:

PUBLISHED BY: Kemps Publishing Ltd Unit 8, The Courtyard, 707 Warwick Road, Solihull B91 3DA T: 0121 765 4144 W: MANAGING EDITOR: Laura Blake DESIGNER: Lloyd Hollingworth ADVERTISING T: 0121 765 4144 E: PRINTERS: Stephens & George Print Group FRONT COVER: Business Data Group CEO and founder Richard Osborne See pages 30-31 COVER PHOTO: Jane Russell Photography ABOUT THIS MAGAZINE: inbusiness is a bi-monthly publication and digital magazine distributed to 6,000 Chamber members and key businesses in Northamptonshire. The publication focuses on news and information about local companies and the initiatives and advice available to increase the prosperity of county firms. Northamptonshire Chamber welcomes newsworthy articles of business interest, giving preference to Chamber members. As editorial space is limited, inclusion cannot be guaranteed and the editor may amend or reject articles submitted.


A WELCOME RETURN OF CHAMBER EVENTS I speak on behalf of the whole Chamber team when I say we are delighted to be back hosting face-to-face events for our members. It is vital for us to be on the pulse of all that is going on in the business community and our networking events ensure that we get to find out, directly from the frontline, how you, our members, are doing and what you need from us. It is wonderful to now be able to do these events in person again. Our Northamptonshire Business Awards on 11 November was the most incredible way to celebrate all that has been achieved during the past year, despite the restrictions and hardship brought about by the pandemic. The night was a fantastic success and I would like to personally congratulate all the finalists on the night. Your success stories were a joy to listen to and I know that the judges found it particularly difficult to pick the worthy winners. I would also like to mention our headline sponsors Wilson Browne Solicitors and all our award sponsors – without you, this event couldn’t happen and we are so grateful for your staunch support of both the Chamber and the wider business community. Keep your eyes peeled for a magazine supplement in the next edition of inbusiness with a full list of all the winners and some fantastic pictures from the event by our Chamber photographer Jane Russell of Jane Russell Photography. Look out for details of our next big event, our annual Festive Charity Lunch, on page 33. It’s been a rollercoaster year for everyone as we continue to navigate the pandemic and I would like to thank the Chamber’s dedicated team for all their hard work in providing invaluable support to you, our members. We have strengthened the Chamber team during the last few months with the hire of new staff in our international trade team and our membership team, as well as a much-deserved promotion for Sunny Singh, our newly named director of business development. Our roundtable events with local MPs have allowed professionals representing a wide range of sectors from across the region to express their views to those who walk in the corridors of power about skills shortages, supply chain issues, and recruitment – all key concerns of our business community right now. I assure you that we will carry on representing you in any way we can and our team is just at the end of the phone should you need any help at all. With all best wishes,

Louise Wall

Interim chief executive, Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce

@NorthantsCoC You can also follow our International Trade Team on Twitter: @NhntChambExport For further information on Northamptonshire Chamber call 01604 490490 or visit inbusiness is produced on behalf of Northamptonshire Chamber by Kemps Publishing Ltd and is distributed without charge to all Chamber members and other leading businesses in Northamptonshire. The Chamber and the publisher are committed to achieving the highest quality standards. However, views expressed in the magazine are independent and while every care has been taken to ensure that the information it contains is accurate, neither Northamptonshire Chamber nor the publisher can accept any responsibility for any omission or inaccuracies that might arise. PRIVACY NOTICE: Kemps Publishing Ltd process personal information for certain legitimate interest purposes, which includes the following: • To provide postal copies of this publication to Chamber members and Kemps' customers; and • To offer marketing and promotional opportunities within this publication to Chamber members and prospects. Whenever we process data for these purposes, we always ensure we treat your Personal Data rights in high regard. If you wish to, you can visit to view our full Privacy Notice and to learn more about our legitimate interests and your rights in this regard.

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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE CHAMBER keeps its members up to date with all the latest business news. Whether it’s through the pages of this magazine, via our website or by regular email updates, we will always endeavour to keep you in the picture and informed

UPP-AND-COMING PARTNERSHIP Square Media project manager Aaron Maine Growing marketing agency Square Media has added: “As the main contact, it’s been a pleasure struck a major marketing deal for a £1bn fibre to be all hands-on deck throughout the entire broadband roll-out. process. Like any collaboration, being in Fibre broadband company Upp will roll out a alignment with core values is key – lucky for us vast fibre broadband network across and UPP, we share many of the same values, underserved areas in the east of England region, making the partnership a smoother with Square Media as its appointed process. We’re proud of the work marketing partner. we’ve done so far with UPP and After sealing the deal earlier this ‘WE SHARE we look forward to what’s to year, Square Media has now MANY OF THE come.” kickstarted design and community-based marketing The deal has further SAME VALUES, activity across the region. accelerated the growth of the MAKING THE Square Media has also Corby-based marketing agency PARTNERSHIP worked in partnership with a which recently announced their A SMOOTHER leading global branding agency expansion with a 3,000 sq ft to design and launch Upp’s new office space; having more than PROCESS’ website, doubled their headcount in the Upp brand manager Edward Money past year to 16 staff. It plans to said: “Square Media have already done a employ more than 40 staff by 2022. Their wide range of services consists of fantastic job bringing the vision for our website marketing consultancy featuring a to life. As our broadband strategy begins to roll complimentary one-hour consultation, branding, out, it’s great to work with a marketing and design, programming, development and search design agency that can help us engage with local audiences across the East Midlands. Square marketing. Media’s local marketing experience made it an easy choice to award them the business.” Visit:

GIRL POWER AT 123 INTERNET GROUP 123 Internet Group, an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes, have seen incredible growth by recruiting not one, but five new female team members from the area. New recruits include Louise Joy, Melissa Thompson and Megan Rodger, who have joined the Social Media team to support an influx of clients. Responsible for creating and managing quality social content, they have settled in well and are enjoying agency life. Louise is a local blogger and freelancer who shifted into a permanent role at 123, while Mel previously managed social media at the Open University (OU). Megan is a recent graduate of the University of Nottingham with promising design skills. Also joining the agency are Alice Martin, another OU recruit who takes her place in the Account Management team, and Millie Wellington, 123 Internet’s first female developer who is also completing her Level 3 Apprenticeship. Scott Jones, CEO of 123 Internet Group, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to expand our team. We always recruit fairly and choose the best candidate to fit each role and our

From left: Louise Joy, Melissa Thompson and Megan Rodger

company culture, but it’s fantastic to see so many bright and enthusiastic young women stepping up to build their digital marketing careers with us. “We couldn’t be happier to have Mel, Louise,

Megan, Alice and Millie on board.” 123 Internet Group are always on the lookout for fresh talent. Think you’ve got what it takes to be part of the #DreamTeam? Visit to see the latest vacancies. DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022 inbusiness 5

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ANGELA NAMED SILVER WINNER Angela Rhodes (pictured), director of Buckinghamshirebased HR consultancy, Crispin Rhodes, was crowned the silver winner for Business Woman of the Year in the SME Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2021. The award is the second win for Angela this year, as Crispin Rhodes was the first ever recipient of the Kudos Award in the Breathe HR Awards 2021. Angela founded the consultancy firm over 24 years ago and has successfully supported SME clients across Buckinghamshire with practical and expert HR advice and guidance ever since. Last year, the firm was acquired by Midlands-based HR consultancy, HR Solutions, broadening the range of services available to Crispin Rhodes clients, including Payroll and Health and Safety. In addition to growing the Crispin Rhodes business, Angela has also dedicated much of her life to supporting various charities and is chair of the Oasis Project (The Gambia) which fundraises for the Starlight School in Bakau. Angela said: “I’m delighted and honoured to win the Silver Award for Business Woman of the Year, especially after being up against spectacular competition. Buckinghamshire is a hub for SMEs and entrepreneurs, and as Crispin Rhodes fast approaches its 25th year in business, I am grateful to have partnered with so many organisations to support them with HR advice and guidance. “The past 12 months have been unique in many ways and we were delighted to enter a partnership with HR Solutions to further strengthen our offering to our clients.” Visit:

The founder of a Northamptonshire charity has received a kindness award at a special ceremony in London to commend inspirational figures from across the UK. Lorraine Lewis collected the HELLO! To Kindness Award, which was voted for by readers of HELLO!, at the magazine’s annual Inspiration Awards in October, and was presented with it by Sarah, Duchess of York. Lorraine founded the Lewis Foundation in 2016 in Northampton with her husband Lee, and together they send thousands of gift and care packages to patients receiving cancer treatment in hospitals across the Midlands, with ‘IT’S BEEN AN help from almost 50 INCREDIBLE volunteers. The Inspiration Awards OPPORTUNITY highlights people whose TO RAISE talents have empowered AWARENESS and inspired others during OF THE WORK the last 12 months, and the WE DO’ star-studded ceremony at the Corinthia London involved celebrities including Elizabeth Hurley, Alesha Dixon and David Furnish. Lorraine, who juggles her voluntary work with her full-time job as a lawyer, said: “I’m so grateful our work has been recognised in this way and that this award was voted for by the magazine’s own readers. “It’s been an incredible opportunity to raise awareness of the work we do to everyone who attended, and we were blown away by the support that’s been shown to us in making a difference to cancer patients in hospital and the community. We still can’t quite believe this is real.” After presenting Lorraine with her award, Sarah, Duchess of York, said: “The Lewis Foundation is exceptional. It's a classic example of the Inspirational Awards because it's based in the Midlands and this lady is a lawyer yet still manages to go and look after cancer patients at all hours of the night.” The Lewis Foundation is currently looking for

Lorraine Lewis receives her HELLO! to Kindness Award from Sarah, Duchess of York

business and corporate partners to sponsor and support their work. For more information, or to donate or volunteer to help, visit


Ben Thomas with Julian Wheatland from Cornerstone FS

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Having established itself as a platform for business news in print and online in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes, All Things Business expanded into new territory in September, with the launch of a new London edition. All Things Business London will be delivered to named directors and senior managers of companies in the capital with a turnover in excess of £1m, creating opportunities for businesses to share their knowledge and success stories. What began in 2017 with the Northamptonshire publication and extended into Milton Keynes in 2019 and then Bedfordshire in 2020, will offer the same multichannel media platform – not just in print but also online and through social media. The first edition of All Things Business London was launched to clients and invited guests at a

champagne reception at The Langham, and will be published bimonthly, with the next edition due out at the beginning of November. Ben Thomas, from All Things Business, said: “We’ve had amazing success with, and support for, our printed publications in Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire, and moving the brand into London has been part of our growth strategy. “It’s something new and different and the potential in the capital is enormous, so this is a very exciting time for us.” To find out more about All Things Business, call 01604 267677 or email Find out more about All Things Business London at

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3D PRINTING RANGE LAUNCHED are cured by laser or light. The level Scott Bader Co Ltd is excited to and quality of detail that can be launch Crestaform, a new range of achieved is staggering when using high-performance 3D printing Crestaform resins to produce a 3D resins available to both individual print. The opportunities truly are consumers and businesses. endless. This is Scott Bader’s first ever Crestaform 3D printing resins product range for 3D printing are supplied in recyclable and therefore it has bottles that are created much available to individual excitement and consumers via anticipation. ‘ENTERING THE Amazon. 3D printing is a 3D PRINTING Scott Bader will rapidly growing MARKET IS share more market that Scott AN EXCITING information on Bader identified NEW VENTURE how to easily clean as an area for new FOR SCOTT product the bottles for BADER’ development using recycle. Larger bulk their vast experience orders are available and expertise in resin directly from Scott Bader. manufacture, dating back over Jonathan Stowell, Scott Bader’s commercial director, said: 70 years. “Entering the 3D printing market is That expertise led to the an exciting new venture for Scott development of Crestaform high Bader. performing 3D printing resins that “We have used our in-depth exhibit superior mechanical experience in resin development to performance and excellent create market leading 3D printing reactivity. resins that are easy to use and Scott Bader’s Crestaform 3D effortlessly produce highly detailed printing resins can be used in most prints.” stereolithography 3D printers and

MAJOR CHANGE FOR HR EXPERT A life-changing event led to the creation of a new firm which is establishing a name for itself as the home of HR consulting services. Haus of HR managing director Rachel Collar (pictured) had been working in the corporate world of HR for 20 years when her life took a dramatic turn in February. Her husband had a heart attack the day before their first wedding anniversary and because of the pandemic Rachel was unable to visit him in hospital as he recovered. Thankfully, he is now fighting fit, but the incident made Rachel re-evaluate her life. She said: “In the week leading up to his heart attack I’d been working unsustainable hours. I’d been too busy working to spend time with him and I kept asking myself what if the worst had happened? How could I forgive myself for putting my work first? “For a week I committed to working reasonable office hours but I was quickly back on the road to destruction. Then my husband had another scare and was back in


hospital – that’s when I knew I had to make a permanent change.” Rachel left her role as head of HR at a well-known automotive company and pursued her long-held dream of running her own business. “I’m now living my best life, embarking on a creative and collaborative journey into the world of being a business owner,” said Rachel, who is a fellow of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). “I’m in the early days of the business but it’s already starting to grow.” Her company’s name is inspired in part by Lady Gaga’s Haus of Gaga and because Rachel has divided her services on her website into a series of rooms for wellbeing, engagement and retention, recruitment, coaching and development, HR compliance and transformation. Visit:

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National business advisory company Tinderbox are now operating fully in the Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes and Bedford area under the management of Ian Taylor. Ian has taken up the position of Tinderbox regional director and is leading the team from his base in Pattishall, Northamptonshire. Ian has an immense amount of experience at a senior level in business and, together with his team of Tinderbox regional specialists, will Ian Taylor offer sound advice and assistance to SMEs looking to develop and grow their business, tackle tough market conditions or business challenges. Ian said: “Our purpose is to make SME businesses successful or more successful. The Tinderbox team covers the majority of business disciplines including leadership, sales and marketing, operations and people management, and development. We have successfully helped well over 300 businesses improve their performance since their foundation in the Midlands in 2009, and they have a 100% client success rate. “We are happy to meet any business free of charge, in absolute confidence, to discuss their particular challenges and help them progress.” Ian’s appointment is the latest part of Tinderbox’s national expansion process, giving businesses in this area the opportunity to tap into the broad and practical business expertise available from the Tinderbox team and access their comprehensive portfolio of online training courses. To connect with Ian call 07889 539814 or email him at

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ENSAFE LEADER NAMED ‘ONE TO WATCH’ Greg Kirkman, group CEO of Ensafe Consultants, has been named as one of this year’s Ones To Watch in The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme for 2021. The programme, which is supported by The Times and is now in its fourth year, celebrates the inspiring leaders behind some of the UK’s most successful and fast-growing medium-sized firms. Despite the challenges of the last 18 months, the programme received a record 600-plus nominations, proving that ambition is alive and well. The Ones to Watch are leaders who are destined for great things and are the driving force behind tomorrow’s mid-sized firms. They are growing businesses that are making a big impact on their customers and target markets and will be the nation’s principal job creators over the years to come. Daventry-based Ensafe Consultants are one of the UK’s most trusted environmental and health and safety consultancies, providing an end-to-endservice from building surveys through ground and air analysis to health and safety training. Greg said: “Ensafe Consultants has ambitious growth plans and it’s great to be recognised by

LDC. We have a great team of analysts and scientists, delivering an unrivalled service, who have stayed with us during extremely challenging times. We are excited for the next few years as we continue to deliver safe workspaces for our growing client base.” LDC’s John Garner added: “The last 18 months have presented challenges that none of us could have foreseen, but despite everything, it’s fantastic to see that so many business leaders many have achieved some truly remarkable things. “This year’s Ones to Watch group epitomises that fighting spirit and have truly impressed the judges with their stories of growth and ambition.” Visit: 3Ar1mt3

Intervention manager Astrid Moon proudly shows off Artemis UK’s award


WORLD CHAMPIONS! A firm that provides a wide range of insurance claims handling services and has a unique approach to third party property damage repairs has won an international competition. Artemis UK’s number one priority is ensuring its clients and third party providers receive the best possible customer service and it constantly strives to achieve new heights in its journey to customer service excellence. When Artemis heard about Geoff Ramm’s Experience Makers challenge, it wasn’t a question of if they got involved, but how. Geoff Ramm has created a challenge where companies come up with a series of appreciation gestures with varying budgets – essentially to create an unforgettable experience for an employee in their business who has gone above and beyond,

Greg Kirkham

with a budget of £0, £10, £100 or £1,000-plus. Director Julia Livingstone said: “We put a team together and with the whole world of customer service excellence at our fingertips, we were determined to take our dedication to customer service and apply it to this challenge. At Artemis we have a unique offering that spans insurance claims handling and fulfilment through to niche construction projects. With an established team and the right technical expertise across the company, there’s more to us than people think. “Customer service is more than just going the extra mile, it’s creating unique experiences to excite your customers - that’s why customer service lies at the heart of whatever we do.”

A top HR consultancy has created a corporate wellness programme to help firms boost their employees Nicky Buckley and their business. East Midlands HR runs an exciting programme, called #WheelofWellness, which features 10 modules on a variety of topics, including fitness, finance, community and personal development. The modules are designed to help individuals to lead healthier lives and to enable organisations to build wellness into their corporate environment. The #WheelofWellness has been successfully used by several major companies, such as Vodafone, Sky and Google, and is great for SMEs which want to introduce and embed wellness initiatives into their businesses. East Midlands HR managing director Nicky Buckley, who is a qualified wellness ambassador, said: “Fifty per cent of employers recognise the benefits of a corporate wellness strategy for their employees and their businesses. “These strategies boost productivity and performance, reduce the risk of long-term absence, increase employee engagement and retention, support well-being and create a proactive approach to employee wellness. “Our programme has worked fantastically well for large corporate organisations but is also perfect for SMEs without an HR function who don’t have the time and resources to create a wellness programme. “Whether a firm has one employee or 1,000 employees I can provide them with a range of proven initiatives and ideas which are easy to implement, achievable and engaging.” For information email or call 07973 353498. Visit:

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POLICY MATTERS By Northamptonshire Chamber policy executive Sean Rose Just a few months ago we raised the issue in this column of there being a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK and that I was speaking to our local MPs to highlight the problem. At that point, the highest profile case of the issue was with Haribo not being able to deliver its sweets. As far as I know, no panic-buying ensued! However, the stark nature of the problem has been brought home to us recently as a lack of drivers led to a shortage of fuel at the pumps and we all saw the reaction of the public. The shortage of drivers has not gone away and short, medium and long-term solutions are required to resolve it if our economy is to grow at the pace we would all hope for. However, the recent figures around jobs and recruitment indicate that it’s not just the logistics sector that is crying out for people. Nationally, the number of vacancies hit a record high. On the positive side, unemployment has stayed relatively low throughout the Covid-19 crisis despite expectations being that it would be much higher by now. The statistics don’t factor in the end of furlough but the anecdotal evidence doesn’t suggest that this will have caused a major surge in unemployment – especially when so many firms want to recruit. The crucial point is that while there are record numbers of vacancies, the unemployment rate is running at 4.5% compared to 4% before the pandemic. The challenge for the Government – and businesses – is ensuring that those without work can develop the skills they require to meet the needs of those companies crying out for more staff. The skills gap is something we have talked about for many years and it has clearly been exacerbated by recent events, with Brexit and Covid-19 seeing so many overseas workers leaving the country. Whatever the ‘IT’S NOT reason, businesses urgently need JUST THE to recruit to meet increased LOGISTICS demand if the economy is to grow at a faster rate. SECTOR THAT


THE BENEFITS OF USING A SMART METER Are you seeking smart solutions for your business? A smart meter could be just the ticket for you. Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters which can be an invaluable asset for firms in legal services, accounting and bookkeeping, marketing consultancy, Architecture, IT services, and more. Businesses across Great Britain are already reaping the rewards by gaining better control of their energy bills. Are you ready to join them?

WHAT CAN SMART METERS DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 1. Provide accurate bills enabling better cashflow 2. Make your bills simpler saving time for other tasks 3. Help you to do your bit for the environment

SAY GOODBYE TO ESTIMATED BILLS AND HELLO TO YOUR NEW SMART METER Estimated bills can be inaccurate and inefficient which means that you might be overpaying for the services you are using. Stay in control, save money, and save time by only paying for the energy your business uses. The much-publicised shortage of HGV drivers is just one area where the UK’s skills gap has been exacerbated in recent years

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SAVE TIME FOR OTHER TASKS Your company is innovative,

trusted, responsible, and engaged so you need business solutions which are the same. The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. With a smart meter, you can continue to do what you do best, while your smart meter provides accurate bills, without needing to provide manual meter readings. This saves precious time and energy to focus on your business priorities.

BY USING A SMART METER, YOUR BUSINESS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO A CLEANER AND GREENER WORLD From the moment your smart meter is installed, you are helping create a smart energy system which could ultimately help reduce our carbon emissions as a nation. Businesses across Great Britain are working to positively contribute to a cleaner and greener world. Using a smart meter is a step in the right direction to help you cut down on energy waste and make your business more sustainable. Firms with 10 employees or less could be eligible and installations can be arranged at a convenient time to ensure minimal interruption to your business and your clients. Visit: * Contact your energy supplier or broker to see if you are eligible.

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ANDY BIDS FAREWELL TO BELL A director at one of Northamptonshire’s best-loved stores is preparing to retire after 40 years with the business. Andy Payne was hired as a kitchen designer by Bell of Northampton fresh out of art school at the age of 20 in 1981. ‘I THOUGHT I’D During the past four decades he has seen the business move to its current premises STAY FOR ABOUT in Kingsthorpe Road, launch new services SIX MONTHS BUT Andy Payne and online sales and successfully navigate BELL IS SUCH A the ups and downs of the UK economy and retail sector. online sales, truly making us a SPECIAL PLACE Andy’s career with Bell also saw him multi-channel retailer with a vision TO WORK’ become manager of the firm’s Market for the future. Over the years we’ve Harborough branch for about a decade and a also launched our café and added a departmental director before he went on to select group of concessions including become one of the iconic lifestyle store’s owners and interior design, gifting and even an art gallery. directors. “Despite all these changes our core values of being Andy said: “I joined Bell just as it was moving into respectful to our customers and suppliers and offering kitchen design and I thought I’d stay for about six high standards of customer service and quality products months, but Bell is such a special place to work I’ve have remained the same. These values were instilled in stayed for 40 years. me by the previous owners and directors and I’ve been “I’ve seen so many changes over the years. When I proud to pass them on to our newer members of staff.” first started no one had mobile phones or computers – When Andy retires in mid-December, he plans to I remember we got one of the first fax machines and it spend more time with his wife and family and devote was amazing at the time. more time to his love of painting. “Another huge change has been the growth of contract business with builders and developers and Visit:

An organisation that provides the SME market with first class IT services has received a top accreditation. Kettering-based AiMTech IT Services has achieved ISO 9001 certification which is the universally recognised specification for Quality Management Systems. Sales and marketing director Kevin McAuley said: “After lots of late nights and countless cups of coffee, we are proud to announce we’re officially ISO 9001 certified. “This means a great deal to us because it is a powerful business improvement tool which is based on the quality management principles of risk-based thinking, fact-based decision making, continual improvement, organisational context, process approach, involvement of people, leadership and customer focus. “We would like to thank fellow Northamptonshire Chamber member Gary Wilson, of GPW Consulting Ltd, for his help and advice throughout the certification process.” For further information about AiMTech IT Services visit


Grant Phillips

Managing Director

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Chamber Business Partners are an exclusive group of influential companies from within the Northamptonshire Chamber membership. There are three levels of membership – Silver, Gold and Platinum

dbfb staff celebrate the rebrand

MODERN NEW LOOK MATCHES THE WAY dbfb DOES BUSINESS dbfb but is more modern and Communications specialists dbfb brighter to match the vibrancy of have unveiled a major company rebrand. dbfb’s team. The rebrand comes after the Managing director Simon company celebrated 21 years in Pickering said: “We are driven by business and significant growth in our people, believing they are what both its local SME and wider make us dbfb – fun, friendly, Enterprise markets. passionate, experts in dbfb pride our sector and a belief themselves on their in delivering ‘OUR REBRAND customer service outstanding ISN’T ABOUT and providing service. And as a CHANGING WHO solutions that are result, how we designed to keep look, sound and WE ARE, IT’S their customers behave should SIMPLY US connected, talking, reflect all of this. EVOLVING’ mobile, secure, and “Our rebrand isn’t supported. They cut about changing who out the technical jargon we are, it’s simply us to provide more clarity than evolving and adapting to their competitors. change. We wanted the brand to be The decision to rebrand has more in keeping with the business followed five years of successful we are today, reflect some of the business growth, seeing annual significant customers we partner revenues increase from £2.5m to with and allow us to challenge our £8.5m. competitors in the marketplace.” The idea behind the new look One of the biggest changes to and feel is to match the way dbfb come from the rebrand is the firm’s do business, and to help customers brand-new website, to improve the to easily source the right solution digital experience for customers. to suit their business needs. The dbfb prides itself on the new look is still recognisable as personable service that they offer 14 inbusiness DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022

Simon Pickering

to their customers, and this will continue with the ‘pick up the phone and speak to an expert’ approach. The website simply complements and enhances their service offering, by providing their customers with more contact options, including live chat functions and call back requests. This flexible, open, and modern service approach enables customers to get in touch with dbfb, the way that works for them. Often competitors focus on how good their business is via their website and how they deliver the

best solution for the customer, rather than focusing on how they can help the customer resolve their business challenges. dbfb don’t believe in one-size fits all and design the solution with the customer. Their simple, yet successful approach to business is now mirrored in their website. It also offers an impressive resource centre sharing news, blogs, how to guides, videos and FAQs. This engaging, useful content has been added to further strengthen customer relationships. Simon added: “Whether our website is the first thing prospects, or our customers see, or the last, we want their experience to be memorable and helpful – like us! The new website places greater focus on the customer and what they need from us.” To see the new branding in action, visit the new look dbfb website at

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES - PLANNING AND PROPERTY CONSIDERATIONS The recent fuel crisis has got many people thinking about making the switch to electric, but the accessibility and convenience of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are currently a significant barrier to the transition. The participation of property owners will be crucial to deliverability as charge locations will be required across the country in order to provide the required infrastructure. In England, the National Planning Policy Framework sets out the government’s planning policies, providing a framework within which locally prepared plans for housing and other development can be produced. In the context of EVs, the Framework requires policies to: • Take account of the need to ensure an adequate provision of spaces for charging EVs when setting local parking standards for residential and nonresidential development. • Ensure that when considering development proposals, the applications for development are designed to enable EV charging in safe, accessible and convenient locations.

The charging infrastructure equipment ownership and operation structure, as well as the entity which owns the relevant land, will drive the property arrangements in connection with installation and operation of the charging points. Where someone other than the site owner (eg a business operating from commercially leased premises) will own and operate the charging infrastructure, the arrangements are likely to necessitate a lease and this may require the consent of the landlord’s lender. The owner and operator of the charging infrastructure will need to have adequate access rights for grid

connection, on top of its access rights to the EV charging points themselves. In the UK transport decarbonisation plan, published in July 2021, the government confirmed it would focus support for chargepoint installations on leaseholders from 2022 blications/transportdecarbonisation-plan Wilson Browne Solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing successfully with all types of commercial property matters, offering positive advice with speed and efficiency. Call us today for a free initial discussion to see how we can help you.

A NEW ROLE FOR SUNNY The Chamber’s director of business development Sunny Singh has joined The Career’s and Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Advisor Network. The voluntary role works to create powerful, lasting connections between employers and education to transform outcomes for young people. Enterprise advisors act as a champion for business engagement with local schools and colleges, supporting young people in their emerging careers plans. They also provide a valuable workplace perspective on how schools and colleges can embed business opportunities into their learning programmes to help fill industry skills gaps and share best practice. Sunny said: “I am delighted to join the Enterprise Advisor Network and give back to our community. I have numerous business contacts who are also part of this incredible scheme and I can’t wait to join them and get started!”

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SUSTAINABLE RANGE EXPANDED PALLITE®, an award-winning international designer and manufacturer of paper honeycomb board products, has expanded their sustainable packaging range to include thermally insulative packaging – ThermaLITE by PALLITE®. Made from 100% recycled materials and 100% kerbside recyclable after use, the new range of insulative paper honeycomb liners offer a strong, lightweight, and cost-effective alternative to polystyrene (EPS) and foam packaging. PALLITE® helps businesses act more sustainably by reducing their ‘72% OF carbon footprint and eliminating PLASTIC AND market in Europe is expected single-use plastic while also POLYSTYRENE to grow 66% by 2023. helping them become more “E-commerce and home PACKAGING IS circular. deliveries are now growing The new packaging range, EITHER SENT TO faster than ever thanks to the designed primarily for the food LANDFILL OR global pandemic, but it begs and beverage industry and the ILLEGALLY the question of what’s pharmaceutical and healthcare happening to all the extra sector, uses a paper honeycomb DUMPED’ packaging? cell structure to help goods maintain “It’s estimated that 72% of plastic their temperature for longer. Moreover, and polystyrene packaging is either sent to honeycomb structures are proven to be poundlandfill after use or illegally dumped or littered for-pound stronger than steel, meaning each year. In addition, leading research products are well protected in transit. suggests a staggering eight million tonnes of Marketing manager Stephanie Munn said: plastics leak into the ocean each year – the “Over 26% of Europeans have used a meal equivalent of dumping the contents of a subscription service, and the online grocery

HUGO BRYAN JOINS ROBINSON & HALL Land and property professionals Robinson & Hall has appointed Hugo Bryan (pictured) as assistant development surveyor. He studied at Harper Adams University gaining a degree in Rural Property Management. During his placement year Hugo worked for Pilkington Farms Partnership and Fisher German. He then worked for Harvard Knight and Harvard Knight Construction as land and planning manager, working within the development and construction team. This involved liaising with clients, agents, landowners, architects, planners and councils to develop and construct large scale development opportunities across multiple sectors, particularly in the hospitality and care sector. Hugo said: “I enjoy the rollercoaster of the development game and the excitement gathered when a large deal successfully comes together.” Hugo looks forward to working within the Land Sales and Strategic Development team on developing his skills, while studying towards his APC submission. Visit:

lorryload of household waste into the water every minute. Many of these plastics do not biodegrade quickly and can take thousands of years to break down, harming wildlife and ecosystems in the process.” Available in a range of thicknesses, ThermaLITE by PALLITE® is also offered as sets of pre-cut liners for standard size corrugate boxes, offering the ideal eco-shipper for fresh and perishable produce. Visit:

Aimee Smith takes a leap of faith

DARING DUO TAKE TO THE SKIES Two intrepid team members from Hawsons Chartered Accountants have raised more than £1,000 for charity by skydiving 13,000ft. Aimee Smith, who is responsible for the firm’s business development, and personal tax senior Dalia Qarawi took on the exciting challenge this autumn to raise money for the Paediatrics Department at Northampton General Hospital. The pair had hoped to raise £400 for the hospital but were thrilled to more than double their fundraising target. Aimee said: “It was the opportunity of a lifetime and I haven’t stopped speaking about it. “I loved every second, from the freefall to taking in all of my surroundings once the parachute was pulled, to the support I received from the Northamptonshire

16 inbusiness DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022

Health Charity and my family and work colleagues who came along to cheer us on.” Dalia added: “The skydive was something I never would have chosen to do myself, but I’m so glad I threw myself in at the deep end and did it. “I never thought I would be able to say that I’ve jumped 13,000ft out of a plane. “I didn’t even have time to think about what was going to happen until it did, which made it all the more exciting.” The charity skydive at Hinton Airfield was the latest in a series of fundraising challenges the team at Hawsons has taken on for local charities. To find out more about Hawsons visit

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APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCED AT VEKA RECYCLING PVC-U window and door recycling specialist, VEKA Recycling, has strengthened its team with three significant appointments at its Wellingborough plant, which is now fully operational. With a background managing areas including logistics, procurement, customer service and sales, Gavin Reay was recently appointed as business development manager. Gavin’s plans for the role include the development VEKA Recycling’s client base to obtain a higher yield of post-consumer frames and off-cuts, ultimately producing a larger volume of recycled pellet. With key responsibilities initially including the creation of standardised work processes to reduce errors, Magdalena Miler also joins the company as quality engineer. Magdalena brings experience in areas such as quality visual inspection, customer liaison, product and process auditing, continuous improvement and

training, all obtained in her previous roles working for a large automotive company. Elsewhere, Rai Szymanski has been promoted to yard supervisor after working for VEKA Recycling for three years. Described as the company’s ‘resident expert’ in loading and unloading vehicles, Rai’s enthusiasm to progress has culminated in his first management job. Rai is responsible for accepting all incoming material for onward processing through the site, as well as the smooth loading of all vehicles departing the site with its recycled pellet on board. Managing director Simon Scholes added: “The arrival of Gavin and Magdalena – and Rai’s welldeserved promotion – further reinforces our future development plans. All three have been specially selected for their talents and their appointments are significant in helping us continuously improve.” Visit:

CLINIC RAISES CHARITY FUNDS A PR agency opened its doors this autumn to offer ‘Post Covid PR Clinic’ appointments to local businesses and to raise money for a fellow Chamber member. Ballyhoo PR, which recently moved into new offices in Lamport, invited businesses to book a one-to-one appointment with company founder Emma Speirs (pictured) to discuss their PR and marketing activity and brainstorm some ideas. Each participant received a 30-minute slot with Emma and left the meeting with the beginnings of a ‘post Covid PR plan’ to develop on. The appointments cost a nominal fee of £10 to raise money for Cynthia Spencer Hospice as part of the charity’s £45 accelerator challenge, which saw businesses try to turn £45 into as much money as possible to support the organisation. It was such a successful idea that Ballyhoo PR are now planning to offer the same service to businesses in Milton Keynes. Emma said: “We were receiving enquiries from businesses keen to come out of the fog of the coronavirus pandemic and make an impact with some positive press coverage that sets them apart from their competition. Running these clinics allowed us to help several businesses and raise money for a fantastic cause at the same time.” To find out more about the Post Covid PR Clinics, call 01536 682800 or email For further information on Ballyhoo PR, visit

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Rai Szymanski with (inset) Gavin Reay and Magda Miler

RECRUITMENT FIRM ADOPTS NEW TECH “It’s important that we don’t lose An award-winning recruitment the people connection though, so we agency has grown during the still do inductions and regular pandemic and introduced new wellbeing check-ins on-site in person, technology to benefit its clients meet our temps and video interview and job candidates. our permanent candidates.” Previously, Impact Recruitment Due to the business expanding used paper registrations because it rapidly over the past year it enjoys meeting candidates and moved to a new CRM clients, but when Covid-19 which now looks after hit this practice came the firm’s entire to a stop. ‘WE STILL DO It quickly created screening process INDUCTIONS PDF fillable forms and secure AND REGULAR storage for its for candidates and database of worked with its WELLBEING clients and website designers CHECK-INS candidates. to build a bespoke ON-SITE IN Rebekah added: screening portal so PERSON’ “We also created it could continue to a bespoke training meet its clients’ package which taught demands safely. our staff about the CRM and Senior marketing and IT meant everyone was up and officer Rebekah Frost said: “During running with the new system within the first lockdown others in our two weeks of it being introduced. industry were making candidates “It’s something we’re really queue up to fill in paper forms proud of and it demonstrates our whereas we implemented new commitment to innovation. The technology so candidates could fill changes we’ve made have also had in forms online. the added benefit of significantly “It speaks volumes about our management and how willing they reducing our paper usage.” are to embrace new technology and new ways of working. Visit:

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CENSUS REVEALS YOUNG PEOPLE’S MENTAL HEALTH IS SUFFERING A survey of thousands of young people has revealed their mental health is suffering and they feel increasingly disconnected from support. More than 3,400 young people aged from 14 to 24 shared their views on education, work, job hunting and the impacts of Covid19 in the Youth Voice Census Report 2021. The annual Youth Voice Census was organised by Youth Employment UK and worryingly, when young people were ‘THE FINDINGS asked about the TELL US WE barriers they face, anxiety, CANNOT STAND depression and BY AND LET mental health THESE ISSUES concerns were in CONTINUE’ the top five responses for those in education, looking connectivity for young for work and in work. people, our nation will sleepwalk Youth Employment UK CEO into a disaster.” Laura-Jane Rawlings said: “The This year’s Youth Voice Census findings tell us we cannot stand by revealed growing mental health and let these issues continue. If we concerns among young people with don’t collectively take swift action 66.4% saying their education had to improve the services and

Laura-Jane Rawlings

been greatly disrupted by recent events and 56.2% of those seeking work stating coronavirus had impacted their mental health significantly. In total 42.1% of young people also revealed their motivation to apply for

opportunities had been impacted ‘a lot’ or ‘a great deal’. About a quarter of respondents felt employers were supportive of hiring young people but less than 10% were confident they would find quality work where they live. Access to university careers support also plummeted this year, with half of students not accessing any support. More than 80% of young people felt there aren’t enough opportunities for them to share their views on important issues in their area. Over a quarter don’t have a quiet place to do schoolwork and 67% share their device with more than one other person. Laura-Jane added: “This Youth Voice Census report will be read by government officials, educators, employers, providers and third sector colleagues. We’re asking people what steps they’ll take to work with us or within their network to make the change young people need to see.” Visit: youth-voice-census

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Kat Richardson-Green

KAT APPOINTED TO THE BOARD A successful online post company has appointed a new board member. Following a significant period of growth within the business, Postworks has appointed Kat RichardsonGreen, the firm’s business operations director, to its board of directors. She will join Marvee-Lisa Booker and James Booker, cofounders of Postworks, to ensure its continuous improvement following on from Postworks accelerated growth trajectory. Kat said: “I’m thrilled with my new appointment. “It’s an absolute pleasure to work with such a talented group of people for a business that is forward-thinking, dynamic and shows such potential for growth. I’m excited for the future and have already started developing our strategic direction.” Kat has a management background in the financial service market where she oversaw sales, marketing, IT, business planning and strategic development at insolvency practitioners Wilson Field. It was at Wilson Field that Kat was first introduced to Postworks where she became instrumental in introducing the insolvency market to Postworks innovative solution to sending post online. James Booker, Postworks CEO, said: “It is a privilege to welcome Kat to the team. I am excited for the future and am confident that Kat’s strategic development will support Postworks as it continues to offer its customers outstanding service.” Visit:

The 2022 edition of The Legal 500 - the authoritative guide to the UK's leading law firms - has recommended Howes Percival for 21 different practice areas and awarded the firm top tier ranking in 11 different legal specialisms. The guide, which is based on independent research, interviews and feedback from clients about the service they received from firms and lawyers, also recognises the UK's leading lawyers - 31 Howes Percival lawyers received specific accreditation in this year’s directory. Howes Percival has achieved top tier rankings for Corporate and Commercial, Dispute Resolution Commercial Litigation, Dispute Resolution - Debt Recovery, Finance - Insolvency and Corporate Recovery, Human Resources – Employment, Private Client Agriculture and Estates, Private Client - Tax, Trusts and Probate, Real Estate - Commercial Property, Real Estate - Environment & Planning, Real Estate - Property Litigation and Intellectual Property. Ten further Howes Percival specialisms are recommended in the guide; Banking and Finance, Charities and Not for Profit, Construction, Family, Health and

Howes Percival chairman Geraint Davies

Safety, IT and Telecoms, Licensing, Media and Entertainment, Public Sector (Healthcare and Education) and Social Housing. The firm is also ranked in the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work For 2021 and in the top five Best Law Firms in the country to work for. Howes Percival chairman Geraint Davies said: “Despite the unprecedented interruption from the pandemic these results reinforce the fact that our team has provided a fantastic service over the last 18 months.

“We see our core teams recognised year after year in the guide, which is important, but we can also see improved rankings and new specialisms coming through as we continue to invest in an ever wider range of services. “Our people are integral to our success and it’s great to see so many individuals recognised this year.” Full details can be found on The Legal 500 website at

SPECIAL GUEST FOR CHARITY Age UK Northamptonshire welcomed Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer to its William and Patricia Venton Centre to hear about the charity’s work and to meet people who rely on the centre. Frank Hodson, Jennifer Farrer and David Branson visit the day centre several times a week and say the support they receive helps them to live independently. Andrew also met Jacob Brown who shared his experience of caring for his mother Gretel, who has dementia and whose health was rapidly deteriorating until she started attending the centre. Andrew heard first-hand about their experience of the social care system and was told that improving services for older people is essential. CEO Christopher Duff said: “The last couple of years have been particularly difficult for older people, many of whom have had to manage without the physical support of family and friends. Accessing care services has been challenging due to the complexity of the system and shortage of carers. “We were delighted our MP spent time speaking to the people who are affected by challenging care situations on a daily basis. “While we’re pleased the Government has broken the log jam on care and has committed to a package of reform, a lack of any immediate funding for councils is one of the yawning gaps in their plan. “Councils can only provide care when they have funding and when enough care staff can be sourced locally to deliver it. Both are in increasingly short supply in many places, making it harder than ever for

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MP Andrew Lewer (centre) meets Jen Farrer and David Branson at the day centre they visit

older people to get the support they need.” Andrew added: “It was a pleasure to meet with Christopher and his team to have a good discussion on Adult Social Care provision. I also had the privilege to meet Jen, Jacob, David and Frank to hear about their experiences using Age UK Northamptonshire services.” Visit: northamptonshire Call: 01604 611200

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COLLEGE CELEBRATES 100 YEARS Moulton College has hosted a commemorative event to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. Guest speakers included previous alumni, employer partners and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson. The event, held to celebrate the college’s past, present and future included fond memories from previous students dating back to the 1950s, and a video timeline displaying the college’s history. The event also recognised the hard work of staff with long service and achievement awards presented during the main event. CEO and principal Corrie Harris said: “A hundred years of teaching is a remarkable achievement and it was only right for us to celebrate this major milestone. It was fantastic to listen to the memories of our alumni and to hear about their many achievements since ‘IT WAS A their time with us.” BRILLIANT EVENT Moulton College opened its ACKNOWLEDGING doors in 1921 as the Institute of Agriculture, initially THE COLLEGE’S welcoming 26 students to The Moulton College Senior Leadership Team WONDERFUL study General Agriculture. Over HISTORY’ expanded to include Animal opportunities in farming and the exciting the years, the college played an Management, Construction, Landtechnologies being developed in this sector. It influential role training the based studies, Sport, Supported was a brilliant event acknowledging the Women’s Land Army, recovered college’s wonderful history and rewarding our Learning and Uniformed Public from a Second World War bombing, and staff for all of their hard work.” Services. welcomed royalty through its doors to mark its Corrie added: “It was great to hear from 50th birthday. Visit: Adam Henson who highlighted the Since its early years, the curriculum has


HOWES PERCIVAL GEARS UP FOR FUTURE GROWTH WITH NATIONAL RECRUITMENT DRIVE Howes Percival is embarking on a recruitment drive that should create over 30 new jobs following a post-pandemic increase in client instructions. The leading law firm, which is ranked in the ‘UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work For 2021’ and in the top 5 Best Law Firms to Work For, has openings for qualified lawyers, fee earners and support staff in a range of specialisms across its offices in the East of England and the East Midlands. The drive is the result of a sustained increase in demand for legal services and also the firm’s decision to make strategic hires in areas where it anticipates opportunities and future growth as the economy bounces back. This year, Howes Percival has experienced growth in several of its key legal sectors. Its corporate, commercial, and banking team reported an ‘incredibly busy’ start to 2021, completing 32 deals in the first quarter, with a combined value of £263m. Challenges presented by the pandemic created an increase in demand for legal advice on employment, regulatory and private client matters and other areas have also seen growth as clients have taken advantage of opportunities that have arisen as a result of the improving economic climate, for example, in commercial property. Howes Percival’s Chairman Geraint Davies said, “The high volume and quality of

pandemic economy. While most businesses still face challenges, many of our clients have already started to see their businesses grow and like us they have been able to create new jobs which is good to hear. “As a firm, we have a strong reputation for attracting the top talent. Already this year, we have made senior level appointments in our corporate, commercial, and banking, commercial property, employment law and dispute resolution teams. But we are now launching a concerted recruitment drive to meet the growing demand for our services and support our client base. We want to attract talented people who share our values, want to make a difference for our clients and who will play a key part in the continued success of the firm.”

Howes Percival’s chairman, Geraint Davies

transactions and new instructions this year is testament to the dedication and expertise of our people. As we move forward businesses and individuals will continue to require legal guidance as they adapt to and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the post

For more information about working at Howes Percival and details of current vacancies visit our careers page, or to have an informal chat with one of our friendly and discreet HR team, you can get in touch by emailing DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022 inbusiness 21

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VA CELEBRATES FIFTH BIRTHDAY A Northamptonshire-based Virtual Assistant franchise which operates UK-wide is celebrating its five-year business birthday as more people than ever seek flexible career options. The founders of Alchemy Virtual Assistance (VA), Suzy and Paul Sanders, are marking their business birthday by welcoming their fifth Virtual Assistant franchise manager and launching a new mini book to help ambitious small business owners called The Alchemy of... Getting organised and getting it done! Since 2016, Suzy and Paul have grown the company, which provides remote admin, PA and marketing support to business owners and entrepreneurs all over the globe, from one-person to a virtual assistant family of 15 people.

In the last year, the Alchemy VA group have taken on a record number of clients, been involved in numerous speaking events, interviewed and contributed to high-profile publications, embarked on multiple charity giving initiatives, and been recognised in several prestigious awards programmes. “We’re immensely proud of how far we’ve come; especially as official statistics show many startup businesses don’t survive to celebrate the five-year mark. And that was before the pandemic,” said Suzy, who along with her husband and business partner Paul celebrated high-profile recognition as finalists in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in the summer and are expecting their second baby in the winter.

“While we’ve faced and overcome some incredibly demanding challenges, our collective success really lies in the courage, resilience, dedication and talent of the phenomenal people that make up the Alchemy VA family.” Paul said Alchemy VA’s biggest expansion has been over the last year. “We’ve seen the biggest positive shift in enquiries and growth recently with people seeking control of their futures via rewarding, flexible and fulfilling alternatives to the traditional 9-5 and with more and more ambitious small business owners embracing the benefits of remote business support services.” Email: Visit:

Paul and Suzy Sanders celebrate Alchemy VA’s fifth birthday


SCCYC board members Charanjit Kaur Grewal and Rupinder Singh Thind receive the award at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

SPECIAL PROJECT AWARD FOR MUSEUM Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club (SCCYC) has received another award during its landmark 25th anniversary year. The charity has been awarded the Best Special Project Award 2021 for the newly developed Sikh Museum Northampton (SMN) by Northamptonshire Heritage Forums. The SMN space at SCCYC in the Waterside Connect Centre in Northampton, has been developed to share diverse Sikh and Punjabi heritage exhibitions and oral histories of the Sikhs of Northampton. The project explores the values that helped the community through migration challenges and settlement, and values that helped them to flourish as a community and provide wider benefit to the town’s communities. SCCYC chairman Harjinder Kooner said: “The SCCYC management team would like to thank everyone involved in the development of the Sikh Museum Northampton. It is a great achievement considering the scale of building work and project work involved in the midst of a pandemic. “The museum is a valuable educational and enjoyable resource - a legacy for the whole town and for future generations. We anticipate holding the official opening in the New Year which will be followed by tours, workshops, and heritage events thereafter, with an expected annual footfall of approximately 10,000.” If you would like to help maintain the museum or get involved in the development of future heritage projects, contact development manager Pindy Kaur at or on 07770 088568. 22 inbusiness DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022

A personal travel adviser has access to more holidays than ever before after his firm was bought out by Hays Travel – the UK’s biggest independent travel agent. Stephen Rogers is a franchisee of Explorer Travel, based in Raunds, which is now part of the Hays Travel family. The buy-out means Steve now has access to more than 600 holiday suppliers and Hays Travel’s booking and support services. Stephen explained: “This allows me to offer a wide range of holidays with the security of good solid booking and financial processing systems – it’s just like being in a high street travel agency but with the local and tailored service. “The security of working with a large, well-established ‘LIKE BEING market leader IN A HIGH STREET enables me to give TRAVEL AGENCY my customers the Stephen BUT WITH THE best service. Rogers “I’ve been LOCAL AND allocated a mentor TAILORED “I understand and have had oneSERVICE’ some people might to-one training on all still be nervous but I the systems and support can reassure them that I with marketing, social have the most up-to-date media, business planning and information as part of my support product knowledge. package from Hays, including full “As the travel sector is slowly ABTA and ATOL membership so opening up and more countries are any monies paid are protected if relieving restrictions on testing and anything changes.” quarantine, I’m able to provide a full range of travel options to suit Visit: just4uall budgets and develop individual travel itineraries.

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The Chamber’s INTERNATIONAL TRADE TEAM will help you navigate your way through all of the regulatory procedures and documents that you’ll need for successful international trading

INTERNATIONAL TRADE TEAM GROWS IN SIZE team – she has so much knowledge Northamptonshire Chamber’s and experience when it comes to award-winning international trade international trade which is hugely department has welcomed new appreciated by our members. international trade coordinators to “We are also delighted to its team. announce that we are Janice Wright, who recruiting other new worked in the members to further department for ‘HELPS 150 strengthen the many years before BUSINESSES team.” taking a short WITH THEIR The team has break, returned been appointed this summer. INTERNATIONAL as an official Together the TRADE NEEDS delivery agent for team, which also EVERY MONTH’ ChamberCustoms includes international which delivers a trade executive CDS customs declaration Raphael Tomy and service (CDS) for UK international trade importers and exporters of all sizes. coordinator Vikki Hooton, has more The service is offered direct to than 15 years of experience and on businesses and through UK average helps 150 businesses with Customs Agents, ensuring that their international trade needs every customs clearance is accurate, month. timely and avoids additional costs Deputy chief executive Julie Maclennan said: “We were thrilled through delays or errors. With to welcome Janice back to our direct links to the HMRC Customs

International Trade Team members Raphael Tomy and Janice Wright

handling system and all inventory linked ports, our Chamber can ensure that your goods, no matter where they enter or leave the UK, will be cleared for onward transportation smoothly. The team’s certification and legalisation services also cover Certificates of Origin, HMRC preferential trade documents such as EUR1s and ATA Carnets, documents for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and consular work.

It also offers a letter of credit service, a buddy scheme to pair members up with other relevant members, a drop-in service for on the spot advice, credit references on international companies, a translation service and export skills and trade training courses. To find out more about how the Northamptonshire Chamber’s international trade team can help your business call 01604 490490.

BAMBINO MIO SECURES INVESTMENT Bambino Mio, the UK’s most popular reusable nappy brand, has announced a £13m investment by BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor. This is the largest investment ever in a UK reusable nappy firm, demonstrating the potential of the sector and the scale of Bambino Mio’s growth ambitions. The funding will allow the business to expand and accelerate its growth in the UK and internationally. The £13m investment will be used by Bambino Mio to drive multi-channel growth and increase spend across the firm’s infrastructure, marketing, brand and product development. Founded in 1997 by husband-and-wife team, Guy Schanschieff MBE and Jo Schanschieff, Bambino Mio creates long-lasting, stylish and affordable reusable nappies. Disposable nappy products are the third biggest contributor to landfill, 90bn disposables are thrown away every year and disposable nappies are currently in the top 25 products

Jo and Guy Schanschieff, founders of Bambino Mio

found in the ocean. Bambino Mio exists to provide an alternative – reusable nappies which are sustainable – they produce 99% less waste and 98% less raw materials. The investment is testament to Bambino Mio’s industry leading product development

and positive efforts to make reusable nappies mainstream. Bambino Mio’s turnover has significantly increased year on year and the business received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise last year for international trade – now trading in over 50 markets worldwide. Guy said: “This further investment means we can continue to work towards our ambition of becoming a true global leader in sustainable and reusable products. We want to continue to positively disrupt the nappy industry and shift consumers and new parents to a sustainable and environmentally friendly nappy for their children that has tangible benefits to their baby, their wallet and our world.” As part of the transaction, BGF Investor James Syrotiuk will join the board of Bambino Mio as a non-executive director, alongside newly appointed non-executive chairman Peter Unsworth. Visit: DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022 inbusiness 23

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In this issue we look at the LOGISTICS, FREIGHT & TRANSPORTATION, RECRUITMENT & HR, and FOOTWEAR & LEATHER sectors in the Northamptonshire area

FLYING HIGH FOR HALF A CENTURY! has sold more than 90 new Sloane Helicopters, the UK’s Leonardo aircraft during the 26longest-established privatelyyear partnership. owned helicopter company, celebrated its 50th year of Having been an established operation with HEMS operator for over 22 years, Sloane customers and introduced the suppliers at Sywell ‘THERE ARE AW109SP Aerodrome. FEW COMPANIES GrandNew to the Sloane began IN THE AVIATION UK EMS market operations in 1971 INDUSTRY and has continued with one Bell 47 WHO HAVE to operate AW109s offering ad hoc in this capacity for charter and ACHIEVED THIS the current three agricultural support MILESTONE’ services. The success EMS contracts of these services led to including Warwickshire, the operation of additional Northamptonshire Air aircraft and helicopter sales soon Ambulance (WNAA), Derbyshire, became a core business activity. Leicestershire, Rutland Air In 1975, Sloane became the UK’s Ambulance (DLRAA) and the Irish first Robinson Dealer and it has Community Air Ambulance (ICAA). since sold over 500 new Robinson Sloane has also re-introduced the helicopters. The company also dedicated helicopter service flying became the UK and Ireland’s sole to the Isles of Scilly from Penzance Leonardo distributor in 1995 and and has trained several high-profile

From left: Leonardo VP Global Sales Europe Andrea Mirteto, Leonardo UK & Ireland Head of Region Jacapo Borghi and Sloane chairman David George

pilots. The company provides helicopter, engineering and training support for 32 (the Royal) Squadron as well as being an authorised service centre for both Robinson and Leonardo aircraft. Sloane’s 50th celebration came shortly after it announced its expansion to operate a fifth base at London Elstree Aerodrome which is expected to be open early 2022. Chairman and founder David

George said: “I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved during our first 50 years. There are few companies in the aviation industry who have achieved this milestone which would never have been possible without the dedication and loyalty of all our present and past employees. We can now look forward to the next 50 years.” Visit:

LOGISTICS FIRM’S SUPPORT FOR HOSPICE Logistics supplier Rhenus has donated £2,500 to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, taking its total fundraising amount to £65,000. Rhenus Warehousing Solutions Lutterworth, formerly CML, has been fundraising for Rainbows since 2007. Since raising over £50,000 by January 2019, Rhenus has donated a further £15,000 and presented Rainbows with a cheque for over £2,500 following its latest fundraiser, taking the grand total to £65,000. Rhenus donated money made at the staff shop and held fundraising events, including raffles, dress down days and cake sales. Rainbows is the East Midlands’ only hospice for children and young people, providing support to children with life-limiting conditions and their families. Emily Wright, corporate partnerships fundraiser at Rainbows, said: “We’re so grateful to Rhenus for all their support over the years and for fundraising such an outstanding amount. “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed, your support will go a long way!” Kerry Delaney, managing director at Rhenus Warehousing Solutions Lutterworth, said: “We are delighted to have reached the incredible milestone of £65,000 for this wonderful charity. “I’d like to thank everyone at Rhenus for their fundraising efforts and for taking part in our numerous events. At Rhenus, charity is something 24 inbusiness DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022

Rhenus Warehousing Solutions Lutterworth celebrated its £65,000 milestone with Emily Wright, corporate partnerships fundraiser at Rainbows

extremely close to our hearts and we take our commitment to raising money for local charities very seriously. “We’re looking forward to hosting more fundraising events in the future and can’t wait to reach our next milestone.” Visit:

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POSITIVITY IS PARAMOUNT TO TACKLE SEMICONDUCTOR SHORTAGE “The shortage has created a The managing director of a massive knock-on effect to the Northamptonshire car leasing work we are doing here, at company has been using positivity Silverstone Fleet Management,” and transparency with customers said Scott. “The delays are getting to deal with the industry’s current worse and a lot of manufacturers semiconductor chip shortage. are starting to close factories. The worldwide shortage of the “But there’s always going small silicone chips, which are to be hurdles to jump, used for a variety of car these things are sent parts including digital to try us. We have to speedometers, ‘IF WE CAN stay positive. If we navigation displays GET THROUGH can get through and fuel-pressure Covid and still be sensors, has COVID AND STILL in business we can slowed production BE IN BUSINESS get through this. of vehicles across WE CAN GET “The team is the board. THROUGH THIS’ firing on all The crisis has already led to huge cylinders. Any cars delays in new car that we are able to get models and some hold of, we are grabbing manufacturers cancelling new car with both hands, and we are orders altogether. helping customers chose another Scott Norville, of Silverstone available car where necessary. It is a Fleet Management, said that the massive juggling act, but positivity challenge meant his staff were is the key and transparency in the encouraging clients to look at other conversations we are having with products, should their first choice our customers, is paramount.” be delayed because where lead times for a new car would usually Call Silverstone Fleet Management on take around 12 weeks, currently, the 0800 612 8901 or visit wait is nearer 12 months.

Scott Norville

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: RECRUITMENT & HR RISE IN DEMAND FOR HR FIRM A new Chamber member which provides cloud-based HR system solutions to organisations across the world has taken on a series of exciting new contracts and projects and launched a new website. For nearly 15 years, Systems HR has been supporting firms ranging from new start-up businesses to multi-national organisations and is trusted by some of the UK’s biggest names, including AO, the NHS, National Accident Helpline and Virgin Trains. Most recently it has been appointed to work on a number of projects for a leading education sector employer, including the implementation of a new HR and payroll system for 1,500 employees. Systems HR is also helping another major organisation to select a new international HR system which will initially be used by 250 employees across the UK, Germany, France, Indonesia, New Zealand and Brazil. Systems HR business operations manager Sheryl Wootton (pictured) said: “In the wake of the pandemic, we’ve received a rise in demand for systems that cater for small and new start-up enterprises. “Employers are realising the benefits of a system that allows HR processes to be automated and enables improved communication for workforces that have had to adapt to new ways of working. “There are some great low cost, time-saving HR software systems available for small enterprises, for up to 250 employees, that can be implemented in a very quick timescale and we’re looking forward to helping more Chamber members to find out about them.” Systems HR provides HR systems covering core HR, recruitment, payroll, learning and development, e-learning, project management, managed services and process reviews.

HELPING STAFF RETURN TO THE WORKPLACE A highly respected workplace mediator from Mary Northamptonshire has been helping businesses to Dovey overcome internal workforce struggles as more people return to the office. With many employees feeling anxious about Covid19 and returning to the workplace, disputes between colleagues are more readily flaring up. Internal disputes can be costly for organisations, cause disruption to the wider workforce and have an impact on the business itself. However, qualified workplace mediator Mary Dovey, of Your People Matter(s), said this can be avoided if companies ‘HALF OF UK act quickly and bring in trained WORKERS HAD experts like herself to use LEFT A POSITION mediation techniques to resolve BECAUSE OF disputes between staff. A POOR Mediation is an informal process for resolving problems between RELATIONSHIP staff and can be used where WITH THEIR working relationships between BOSS’ employees are difficult. It is voluntary and needs the agreement of both parties. Mary, who provides workplace mediation services as well as HR services, said: “People who had turbulent relationships before Covid-19 are returning to the workplace and their frustrations are coming to the surface. “If issues aren’t addressed properly and an employee initially try to deal with these issues themselves but takes their case to a tribunal it can be incredibly costly, without the proper workplace mediation training they particularly if there are high-risk claims that involve any can make the situation worse through no fault of their form of discrimination. own. The key is to bring in qualified workplace “Firms can also lose good people if these situations mediators as soon as problems emerge.” aren’t handled well. In the past couple of years a Mary is offering a free, no-obligation discussion to Totaljobs survey revealed half of UK workers had left a Chamber members experiencing workforce conflicts to position because of a poor relationship with their boss. see if mediation may be useful for them. “All this can be avoided if qualified workplace mediators are brought in quickly to start an informal Visit: mediation process. Unfortunately, managers often Call: 07540 543655


For further information visit Systems HR’s new website at Simon Baylis

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Working from home has been an extraordinarily successful solution to the lockdown. Going forward it is expected that working from home will double compared to pre-pandemic levels from 17% to 37% with a majority of people - 74% - not wanting to go back to working in an office full time. So far employers and staff have been very flexible, but HR experts Simon Baylis Associates are urging firms to remember that there are pros and cons to nearly every aspect of the change. Founder Simon Baylis said: “Businesses can now recruit from more diverse locations without the problems of a commute and it also adds agility. These same benefits impact on people, for example improved disability access and better work life balance. “On the downside there are some significant health and wellbeing implications with lack of

exercise, musculoskeletal problems - 28% of those working from home are doing so from a sofa or bedroom. Similarly, 59% feel more isolated from their colleagues and 37% report disturbed sleep. “Accordingly, leadership processes need to change to enable people to give their best, feel valued and contribute fully. Organisations must protect their culture and values, giving people a voice, capturing ideas and encouraging innovation. Last, but definitely not least, they need to attract and retain good people. “Leaders must focus on three areas – social, psychological and physical. Within these they need inclusive people plans which include goals, implementation, tools, engagement and data.” For further information contact Simon Baylis Associates at or on 01933 410366.

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HOW TO HANDLE AN INTERVIEW “It’s far better to spend your For many people the New Year is a time role-playing an interview with time when they reassess their lives family members and friends. Think and decide to go after their dream about key questions such as why job. you are applying for the job? If you With so many people turning to don’t have an answer for this, the jobs market it can be difficult you’re unlikely to get any further. to make yourself stand out from Ensure the reason you give for the crowd. leaving your current position Fortunately, the experts at is a positive one such as Warner Recruitment have career progression. provided a range of “Be punctual. If tips to help ‘NO someone has candidates on their allocated you 30 career journey. INTERVIEWER minutes and you Director Julie ENJOYS HEARING arrive 10 minutes Warner said: “It THE SAME late you’re down may sound ANSWERS to 20 minutes. obvious, but “Don’t be a presentation still REPEATEDLY’ robot, be yourself. No counts for a lot. Lots of people have been interviewer enjoys hearing the same answers working from home, and we tend to be more casual these repeatedly. Be genuine and if you days, but it’s still wise to turn up want the job make it clear to them for an interview looking like you’ve – don’t make them guess. “Finally, remember the turned up for a job interview. So, experience is nerve-wracking for wear smart clothes and shoes. interviewers too. Many interviewers “Have a quick look at the company website to prepare but will probably only interview once a year so make it easy for them by don’t worry about it too much giving them comprehensive unless you’re going for senior answers ” positions – the chances are interviewers you won’t know Visit: everything that’s on their website either.

Warner Recruitment directors Haydon and Julie Warner

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IF THEY’RE GOOD ENOUGH FOR BOND... of that equation. What separates a A celebrated Northamptonshire good custom make from a perfect shoemaker has had a starring role one is a question of having the in the new James Bond movie, No time to achieve that perfection and Time To Die. we were steps ahead with Crockett Two Crockett & Jones styles – & Jones’s already perfect the HIGHBURY and the lasts. MOLTON – were worn by “They were able to Bond star Daniel Craig provide for us in the hit film and the exactly what we firm also launched ‘WORKING WITH needed and its 007 limited CROCKETT & without a hitch. edition shoe, the JONES WAS AN “Working with JAMES, in Crockett & Jones collaboration with ABSOLUTE to achieve the 007 filmmaker EON PLEASURE’ custom shoes we Productions, to required for No Time mark the movie’s To Die was an absolute release. pleasure from start to JAMES is inspired by the archetypal secret agent’s iconic finish.” tuxedo. JAMES is made from the finest Suttirat Anne Larlarb, No Time To box calf and features a signature Die’s costume designer, said: “Bond Hand Grade leather sole. The shoe is known for his perfectly elegant is crafted from the smallest skins comportment in all situations and with the tightest break, all sourced from the finest European tanneries. in No Time To Die, Crockett & The black box calf highlights the Jones’s shoes are very much a part

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Daniel Craig wears Crockett & Jones shoes in No Time To Die. Inset: The James in black calf take a ride in James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5

contours of Last 348, a classic, chiselled form and arguably the most innovative last from a generation of shoemakers. JAMES pays homage to Crockett & Jones’s world-renowned wholecut Oxford - as featured in James Bond movies Skyfall and Spectre - and the firm has embellished the shoe’s every

specification by applying its highest grade of shoemaking. Fully leather lined, JAMES features an all-black interior with silver foiled logo and is presented in exclusive 007 packaging with a chrome shoe horn, shoe brush and a pair of fully lasted, hand-made shoe trees, all embossed with the 007 logo. Visit:

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FACTFILE BUSINESS DATA GROUP (BDG) BACKGROUND: Business Data Group’s roots in the company formation sector date back to 2002, as the online platform behind the award-winning company registration agent Quick Formations. In January 2008, that technology was transferred into a new company, eFiling, to independently bring it to market. A few years later Quick Formations was sold to enable the management team to focus on the technology without any conflicts of interest. eFiling became known as Business Data Group (BDG) in November 2017. The group also includes Northamptonshire Chamber Silver Chamber Business Partner UK Business Forums which offers advice, support and community to more than 270,000 UK small businesses and traders.

Business Data Group CEO and founder Richard Osborne


COMPANY DESCRIPTION: BDG has helped millions of UK businesses to register themselves. It is the world’s largest provider of data into Companies House and one of the UK Government’s biggest technology partners. It also works closely with a variety of corporate clients, including Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays Bank, Google and leading insurers, and as a result can help micro and small businesses to learn about products and services which are relevant to them. Through its UK Business Forums website, it offers more than 118,000 pages of searchable advice and guidance for new and small businesses. BDG is led by managing director Richard Osborne and fellow directors Ben Heald and Adrian Eaglestone. JOINING THE CHAMBER: “I joined the Chamber in 2005 when I moved to Northamptonshire. I remember the guest speaker at the first event I attended explaining when you network you shouldn’t sell to the room, you should get to know people. I’m naturally an introvert and that advice was invaluable. The Chamber’s method of networking really helped me to come out of my comfort zone. I’ve always had great support from the Chamber and it holds a special place in my heart. For me, being a Chamber Business Partner is all about giving back to the members.”

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TALKING BUSINESS A small Northamptonshire team is one of the Government’s biggest technology partners and has helped set up millions of UK businesses. We spoke to Business Data Group CEO and founder Richard Osborne about the organisation’s latest developments and goals. It comes as a huge surprise to most people to learn that in the picturesque village of Blisworth a team of 12 people help to set up hundreds of thousands of UK businesses every year. It’s understandable why Business Data Group (BDG) clients often assume they’re dealing with a large corporate organisation until they meet the team because the scale of its achievements is phenomenal. Much of its success stems from the fact it generates leads for business services companies, such as banks and insurers, which target the small business sector, thanks its two main products – UK Business Forums and eFiling. eFiling is an online technology company dedicated to the company formation industry and its software powers virtually every website that helps people set up their own business in the UK. “When you set up a company you either register it directly with Companies House or you use an online platform. If you go through a platform the chances are it’s running on software we’ve created in Blisworth,” explained BDG founder and CEO Finance manager Debbie Thompson-Brown with Richard Richard Osborne. and chief commercial officer Rebecca Hill “We’re the world’s largest provider of data into Companies that were already running and this made me have a rethink House - more companies get set up through our technology about UK Business Forums. than through anything else. We register hundreds of thousands “It’s a free online community where small businesses and of companies every year. As far as Companies House and the entrepreneurs can network, grow and connect. Every month, UK Government are concerned, we’re one of the Government’s over half a million people visit its site seeking answers to their biggest technology partners. questions from fellow business owners to help them in their “As our business grew, we began working with insurers and day-to-day business. banks. Barclays was one of the first we worked with because “By buying it back this year we can now connect more firms they were keen to connect with new start-up companies and with relevant financial products and services and have further provide them with business banking services. strengthened our business.” “Today, we connect new start-ups and entrepreneurs with UK Business Forums has been operating for 18 years and has about 15 banks, including many of the big high street names. It’s 272,000 members. BDG has big plans for the organisation good for new businesses because it makes them aware of which recently became one of Northamptonshire suitable financial products and services and it enables Chamber’s Silver Chamber Business Partners. banks to set up thousands of new business It wants UK Business Forums to have one accounts every month. million members within five years which seems “We’re actually one of the largest suppliers feasible given that BDG comes into contact of new customers to the likes of Barclays. We ‘TODAY, WE with nearly 250,000 start-up companies were even nominated for an award at the every year. CONNECT NEW Financial Innovation Awards for our work The site currently has 118,000 pages of with Lloyds Bank because we helped them START-UPS AND business advice related content, including to move from the eighth largest bank for ENTREPRENEURS articles by successful business owners. The start-up businesses to the second largest. content is easily searchable on the site and “The banks spend millions with us and WITH ABOUT 15 through Google and is promoted on UK BDG has become known as the go-to place BANKS’ Business Forum’s social media accounts to for financial services and the insurance thousands of followers. sector if they want to make contact with startIt also publishes insightful news articles in its up companies.” newsletters. BDG was doing fantastically well until – like Richard said: “We want UK Business Forums to many other organisations – it was hit by the pandemic. become the authority for the needs of small and micro There were still lots of new businesses wanting to launch but businesses and our plans for it will more than triple the size of many of the big banks closed their doors to new business BDG’s revenue. customers because they were busy issuing loans to support “I’ve done a lot of voluntary work in the education sector and existing clients. with SEMLEP and I’ve seen that we’re moving into a micro Although BDG continued to work with challenger and digital business economy. banks, its business took a hit overnight and Richard describes “Many businesses don’t directly employ all their staff, lots of the period as a ‘scary time’. However, the self-employed people are self-employed and the Government has been entrepreneur has more than two decades of experience behind pushing for people to start their own businesses. him and used this period to look again at another business he’d “Over the past three years many people have set up limited previously owned called UK Business Forums. companies but often their approach to finding the resources Over the past few years, the new owners of UK Business and support they need is scatter gun. Forums had seen their wider business move in a new direction “UK Business Forums has information, products and services and felt it no longer fitted their portfolio. They contacted Richard to share with small business owners which are relevant to them to see if he wanted to reacquire the business and during the and help them to grow. As a result, UK Business Forums will pandemic he realised it could lead to further growth for BDG. continue to grow and become the go-to place for business Richard explained: “We were reliant on start-up businesses owners.” but banks also want to share information about their products with existing small businesses which are looking to grow. It Visit: or seemed sensible for us to expand what we do to businesses

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1 December (half-day) Members: £140 + VAT Non-members: £180 + VAT Leadership in any context is challenging and leading teams in a remote world is not always easy, but don’t panic! This course will explore the four key strategies that are most effective and what kind of leaders succeed most often in remote and onsite environments.


18 & 19 January (two-day) Members: £458 + VAT Non-members: £598 + VAT The transition from team member to team leader is one of the most challenging. These pragmatic workshops teach you how to increase work output, improve the quality of work and achieve greater flexibility in working. It is essential training for established and newly appointed supervisory staff and is vital training for anyone about to become a supervisor.


20 January (half-day) scheduled modules Cost: Members: £2,099 + VAT Non-members: £2,599 + VAT This comprehensive programme, delivered over nine modules, is essential for anyone who needs to increase their management skills, improve their leadership skills and boost their confidence in managing and developing others.


20 January (one-day) Members: £229 + VAT Non-members: £299 + VAT Appraisal is a key part of performance management. It offers a regular opportunity to provide people with constructive feedback about their performance and to set objectives both for achieving their task and for further developing their capability. The significant increase in home working due to Covid-19 and a change in work practices, has

TRAINING COURSES All Chamber training courses are currently delivered virtually. Call the Training Team for more details on 01604 490490 or email

Follow us on Twitter @NorthantsCoC

made it even more important to maintain contact and give people feedback. A key factor is to have more frequent reviews, perhaps monthly, and to include additional skills for remote working.


25 January (one-day) Members: £229 + VAT Non-members: £299 + VAT Take a day to reassess the purpose of your role and how to achieve key tasks. Look at ways to manage less productive tasks and then pick up lots of tips and techniques to help make things run more smoothly. Take away a list of practical tasks and habit changes that you know will make a difference to the way you work.


15 December (one-day) Members: £299 + VAT Non-members: £369 + VAT This course provides an overview of the end-to-end import process and reviews all the areas that would be applicable to a new supplier, to include country and supplier risk, payment risk etc. It will review documentation requirements and how to ensure goods are imported successfully to include duty payments and an overview of the available Special Procedures.


31 January (one-day) Members: £229 + VAT Non-members: £299 + VAT To provide delegates with the knowledge and understanding of general Health and Safety legislation including specific legislation relating to their business. A toolkit of information to take away and apply to their own business for owners, directors and managers for any small business with specific responsibilities regarding to managing and coordinating health and safety, does not require prior knowledge or understanding.

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12 January (one-day) Members: £229 + VAT Non-members: £299 + VAT Whether you are meeting your clients face to face or running sales meetings via Zoom it’s important to get an understanding of their issues/problems, effectively demonstrating how you can help them and ultimately close to win the business. How effective are yours? Are you winning business? If not, this is the workshop for you!


13 January (half-day) Members: £140 + VAT Non-members: £180 + VAT Utilise LinkedIn to grow your business by building deeper

relationships with your current clients, get more referrals and connect with new potential clients. Learn how to search effectively, use the reminder feature, are you publishing on LinkedIn and so much more. This is an interactive workshop to learn how to use LinkedIn as a marketing and business development tool.


27 January (one-day) Members: £229 + VAT Non-members: £299 + VAT This practical session will show how social media feeds into your company’s business and communications objectives, and how to gain the most mileage out of the marketing budget! This is ideal for all personnel looking to develop an understanding of how social media can be utilised to its full potential as an essential marketing tool.

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MEMBER ZONE The CHAMBER EVENTS TEAM has worked hard to adapt and deliver a new format of events, increasing the range and availability of our schedule.

EVENT IN FOCUS FESTIVE CHARITY LUNCH A festive feast and prize draw will raise much-needed cash for deserving causes at the Chamber’s Festive Charity Lunch on Thursday 9 December. Northamptonshire Chamber and Milton Keynes Chamber will host their annual Christmas event from 12pm to 2pm at the Northampton Marriott in aid of Chamber Charities of the Year, Northampton Hope Centre and Age UK Milton Keynes. Chamber members will enjoy a delicious two-course meal, featuring a traditional turkey dinner, included in the £25 plus VAT ticket price. There will also be the ever-popular raffle and plenty of opportunity to network with fellow Chamber members. Places are limited. Book yours today on 01604 490490.


25 January (half-day) Members: £200 + VAT Non-members: £230 + VAT If you’re ready to go beyond a basic understanding of Excel, then this is the course for you! Our trainer will share with you the tools and techniques needed to really add value to your systems. This course places great emphasis upon the importance of understanding how the programme works rather than simply learning how to perform a range of functions. Open courses & bespoke training sessions on all Microsoft packages at all levels are available. Call Northamptonshire Chamber’s Training Department on 01604 490490 for details.


30 November 2021 10am-11.15am Free (members only)

FESTIVE CHARITY LUNCH Venue: Date: Time: Cost:

Northampton Marriott 9 December 2021 12pm-2pm £25 + VAT (members only)


11 January 2022 12.30pm-1.15pm Free (members only)

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Venue: Date: Time: Cost:

Square Media office 14 January 2022 5.30pm-7.30pm £10 + VAT (members only)


8 February 2022 12.30pm-1.15pm Free (members only)

SPEED NETWORKING Venue: Date: Time: Cost:

Sedgebrook Hall 24 February 2022 11am-1pm £15 + VAT (members only)

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MEMBERZONE Latest news from NORTHAMPTONSHIRE CHAMBER MEMBERS including award wins, relocations, appointments, new contracts, member profiles, mergers, company expansion plans, sponsorship deals and business success stories

PR FIRM BOOSTS CHARITY’S PROFILE A Northamptonshire PR company is spearheading a campaign to generate more corporate partnership opportunities for a well-known cancer charity. Goldings Communications is working with The Lewis Foundation – an award-winning organisation (see page 6) that provides free gifts and support packs to adult cancer patients in hospital – to

Kim Hughes

boost awareness among potential corporate and business sponsors. Among the plans are emotive case studies and short videos showcasing how businesses can get involved with the charity’s important work. The team at Goldings Communications will also review The Lewis Foundation’s existing approach, strategy and tactics in relation to corporate partnerships. “It’s an absolute pleasure to be trusted with this project by the charity’s founders Lorraine and Lee,” said Kim Hughes, director of Goldings Communications. “The Lewis Foundation delivers thousands of gift packs to 14 hospitals in the Midlands each week and fundraising and sponsorship by the local business community is what enables them to carry out their work. There are many other ways that companies can get involved through volunteering, inkind support, or choosing them as their Charity of the Year, so our job is to make sure those messages are clear and consistent. “We’ll be pulling together their most inspiring stories to generate even more support from Northamptonshire Chamber members and local businesses.” Lorraine Lewis, founder of The

Foundation co-founders Lee and Lorraine Lewis

Lewis Foundation, added: “We’re really excited to get started with Kim and the Goldings Communications team. They’ve taken on board our brief and understand our aims in wanting to create more awareness of the value and impact we make. “We’re thankful to our existing and loyal corporate partners who help us bring happiness and comfort to people undergoing

cancer treatment. With other businesses on board, we could go even further still.” For more information on The Lewis Foundation visit Creative companies wishing to work with Goldings Communications on the corporate partnership campaign can email


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Stanair has announced the promotion of its engineering manager, Ben Walsh, to technical director. Stanair Industrial Door Services Ltd was first established in 1974 to provide 24-hour reliable repairs to industrial and commercial doors. Since then, the company has grown and grown, thanks to its reputation for quality, highly qualified engineers and commitment to every member of the Stanair team. Ben is the latest example of how the company encourages its staff to succeed and progress within their chosen career. Ben’s story with the company began all the way back in 1995 when he joined as a trainee engineer. He became a lead engineer, and then was promoted to engineering manager before

ultimately becoming technical director. Ben’s new role requires him to inform the directors of any new developments in the industry, oversee the training and progression of the engineers and to ensure that they become ‘the best they can be’. He aims to achieve this last aim through constantly reviewing training needs, being on-call to offer advice and support and even building their confidence through a mentoring system. David Wood, managing director, said: “Ben loves being part of the Stanair family and he can’t wait to see what the future brings. We can’t either. Well done Ben. We couldn’t be prouder of all that you have achieved. You are not only a talented engineer but also a brilliant leader.”

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MEMBER ZONE | | 07846 656223

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WE ARE ALL TARGETS FOR CYBERCRIMINALS Andrew Fruish (pictured), director of Nene Cyber Security, explains how small and medium sized businesses are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Furthermore, many SMBs are targeted Most of the news headlines around the latest because they are part of complex supply chains data breaches attacks tend to feature large and can provide a back door into larger companies – Facebook, TalkTalk, Tesco – companies. Traditionally, these to name but a few. It’s no surprise companies also have less robust that cybercriminals aim high to security measures in place, get the maximum returns. often because they don’t have But small and medium sized the budgets or in-house businesses (SMBs) should not ‘IT DEPARTMENTS cyber security skills enjoyed be complacent as they are MUST SECURE by larger enterprises. increasingly in the crosshairs EVERY END-POINT, When it comes to of hackers. ALL OF THE TIME’ cybercrime, size, location Traditionally, many smaller and business activity are companies have taken the view increasingly less important. that they don’t have anything worth taking. But this is simply not And whereas, cybercriminals take the case. Every organisation holds a more focused approach when sensitive data on staff, customers and targeting large companies, they take a partners, for example. Failure to protect this data rather more scattergun approach to SMBs, using can now lead to heavy fines due to recent GDPR common techniques such as phishing. It only takes one unsuspecting employee to be tricked legislation.

into clicking on a malicious link to be directed to a fake website or to open a document that will download malware onto their computer. Once in, the hacker can move around the network to disrupt, damage or steal data. Ransomware is a particular type of attack and increasingly rampant. Cybercriminals will gain access, encrypt data and then demand a ransom to return the data and re-instate computer systems. It’s almost become a ‘business’ for the criminals and with new ‘Ransomware-as-aService’ available on the dark web, the bar to entry has been lowered. And of course, the threat can also come from inside your business, from malicious employees or former employees who still have access to your system. The Covid-19 pandemic and surge in remote working – that is here to stay - has made it even more difficult to protect SMBs from cyberattacks. With the traditional perimeters around an enterprise disappearing, IT departments must secure every end-point, all of the time. There are basic measures that every company can and should do, such as enforcing secure password policies or added multi-factor authentication; making sure staff have awareness training to spot a phishing email and patching. A staggering 80% of successful attacks exploit vulnerabilities that have known patches to fix bugs and vulnerabilities in software. It’s then a case of building up layers of defence but first you need to know where your weaknesses lie and put a strategy in place that priorities budget and resources. To protect your business, please contact Nene Cyber Security at or call 07551 977347. Visit:

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Anna Cawley


of Groundwork Northamptonshire’s A charity in Northamptonshire is Kettering-based projects. making the most of Government He said: “We call our new funding by employing nine recruits our kickstarters and youngsters and putting them to without exception they’re not just work in allotments and green doing a great job but are also spaces across the county. learning new Groundwork environmental skills, Northamptonshire, working as a team which runs a ‘THEY’RE NOT and thriving. It’s youthwork going so well programme and JUST DOING A we’re already brings GREAT JOB BUT planning a communities ARE ALSO second round of together through LEARNING NEW recruitment.“ green and ENVIRONMENTAL The majority of creative projects, the kickstarters are has used the SKILLS’ working at The Government’s Green Patch, learning Kickstart Scheme to office and administration recruit a group of 16 to skills as well as the basics of 24-year-olds, all of whom were allotment maintenance such as previously on Universal Credit and considered to be at risk of longplanting, growing, building and term unemployment. preparing food. Nathan Wearn-Hutter is a Meanwhile, one of the new supervisor at The Green Patch, one recruits is working at Twywell Hills

and Dales, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest for botany in the east Northamptonshire which is managed by Groundwork Northamptonshire. Luke Parker, 19, of Kettering, who is the newly recruited assistant ranger kickstarter at Twywell Hills and Dales, said: “I’m learning so much about different animals, flowers and about people. I’m also spending time at The Green Patch, helping build planters for raised flower beds.” Fellow recruit Jonathan Mabey, 18, of Wellingborough, has been transforming a tired pond area into a new home for wildlife. He said: “With Groundwork encouraging people of all ages and abilities to visit us, it’s a priority for us to create an easily accessible space for everybody.” Visit:

VOLUNTEERS CLEAN UP BEACH Volunteers from Storopack UK and the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup were joined by the Acopia Group for a beach clean-up operation in Sussex. The volunteers spent a day at West Wittering Beach combing for debris and collected 35 kilos of plastic litter, including micro plastics. Storopack is a sponsor of the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup program, one of the world’s leading non-profit organisations highlighting the plight of the world’s oceans. The programme’s key objectives are to keep oceans clean, protect vulnerable marine animals, provide free educational resources and carry out important ocean pollution research to drive positive change and to support the development of innovative technologies. Managing director Richard Pulfrey said: “We’ve been supporting the international Big Blue Ocean Cleanup since 2018 and since our last beach clean, the UK has lived through Brexit and the pandemic. Consequently, we’re delighted to work on a beach clean project again. We’ve committed to a long-term partnership as an exclusive sponsor of the coastal cleaning programme. “Continuing our work with the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup

and supporting this very worthwhile cause is very important to us as this corresponds with our own objectives to promote the circular economy, encourage use of recycled plastic products and responsible recycling. “In 2020 we produced more than 30% of our inhouse manufactured products from recycled content materials and we want to increase this to more than 50% by 2025 through product innovation.” Visit:

New research has revealed that nine out of 10 businesses in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire believe it is important that their organisation becomes more eco-friendly. The research carried out by recycling firm, Cawleys, reveals that almost seven out of 10 68% - local businesses believe it is ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important to their customers that their business demonstrates green credentials and environmental awareness. Interestingly, the same number believe that environmental awareness and green credentials are also ‘very’ or ‘highly’ important to their employees. The organisations surveyed as part of the Cawleys Local Green Business Survey were asked which sustainability measures were most important to them. Reducing waste was most popular and was chosen by over 70% of companies. Reducing carbon footprint and recycling more were the next most chosen strategies, with carbon offsetting, reducing road miles and employing greener energy, emerging as the least popular sustainability measures. Commenting on the findings, Anna Cawley, Cawleys director of customer service, said: “These further findings from our recent Local Green Business Survey show just how important green credentials are to customers and employees of local businesses. This snapshot of business at a local level shows just how eco-aware businesses in Beds, Herts, Bucks and Northants really are. “It also shows that people want real and tangible solutions with measures such as waste reduction and active recycling featuring far more prominently than other carbon reduction methods.”

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NAME: Caroline Mutanhaurwa COMPANY: Caz Interiors Ltd JOB TITLE: Owner WHAT DOES YOUR ORGANISATION DO? We make handmade lampshades in all different sizes but mostly drum shaped. What we love most about what we do is that we can add new light shade designs and colours at any time. With each lampshade being handmade in our Northamptonshire home, we adore experimenting with the latest African-themed print colour combinations and exploring new elements.

HOW DID IT ALL START? It all started as a hobby making lampshades in my spare time in my home. I would make them and gift them to family and friends. Soon lots of people were encouraging me to start making lampshades professionally and in March 2020 I took the plunge and launched my business. My lampshades are bespoke and to order – initially we were making two a day but now we are up to six a day.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR? Developing my confidence. My confidence has definitely grown since I started my own business. I now feel very confident about making my shades and I am proud of myself.

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT? Knowing that I can always get better and improve. I studied engineering at the University of Northampton and I’m always excited about coming up with new designs.

WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST IN YOUR JOB? The happiness I see in my customers’ eyes when they receive my product.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE EVER TAKEN – AND DID IT WORK? The biggest risk I’ve taken was starting my own business. You never know if a venture is going to prosper when you start out but it’s going incredibly well.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT? Don’t be impatient – not everything is going to go the way you would expect. It’s important to be resilient.

WHAT EXCITING PROJECTS IS YOUR ORGANISATION WORKING ON? At the minute we’re working on a series of African-themed Christmas ornaments. These include crackers decorated in Africanthemed cloth and Christmas baubles which are also covered in African-themed fabrics. Examples of our work can be see on Instagram at interiorsbycaz

WHAT MADE YOUR ORGANISATION JOIN NORTHAMPTONSHIRE CHAMBER? Northamptonshire Chamber is a great community of like-minded people. I take advantage of so many benefits with the Chamber and will continue to do so. Call: 07867 867033 Email: Visit:

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STUDENTS HELP TACKLE LITTER Geography, Environmental Science and Biological Sciences students and staff from the University of Northampton joined forces with the Far Cotton Litter Pickers and Northampton Litter Wombles for a community litter pick to kick off the start of the academic year. Pounding the pavements of Far Cotton, the litter pickers collected and catalogued all manner of litter discarded in the local area, ranging from takeaway bags to plastic

bottles, as well as a tyre and pair of trainers, developing their data collection skills. For many of the volunteer student litter pickers, it was their first exploring the community outside the Waterside campus. First year Geography student Emily Defusco said: “It’s been good to get out and explore and chat with the local people involved in the litter pick too. I’ve been shocked at the amount of litter

we’ve picked up, especially cigarette butts. It’s so important people understand a tiny piece of litter actually has a big impact on an area. “We need to educate people about the impact of litter on our environment.” The data the students collected about litter levels in the area will be used as part of their studies over the coming academic year. In total, they filled 24 refuse bags of

rubbish, which was collected by waste contractor Veolia. Senior lecturer in Environmental Science Greg Spellman said: “Many of our students will go on to be key in the management of the environment. Others will work towards enhancing health and wellbeing for those in our towns and cities. Starting by addressing local problems, gives critical insights into what needs to be done to create positive change.”

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MEMBER BENEFITS CHAMBER FX Exclusive foreign exchange member package offering free health check, low transfer fees and free account opening. Key benefits include bankbeating exchange rates.

NAME: Elliot Knight COMPANY: Restaurant Hibiscus


JOB TITLE: General manager

Provided by Westfield Health, Chamber Primary Health Plan can give members cover from just £5.57 per employee, per month.

CHAMBER AA Chamber members can save up to 63% on roadside assistance for business vehicles in a scheme provided by The AA.


NEXT GENERATION PROFILE BACKGROUND I am the general manager of the award-winning restaurant, Hibiscus at Delapré Abbey. Before that, I studied Sport and Exercise Science at university in the hope that I would become a PE teacher. With a passion for quality food, wine and service, I decided after finishing my degree to work within hospitality full time as an event manager at the Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.

WHAT DOES YOUR JOB INVOLVE? I’m responsible for the experience of the guests, including how to innovate our customer experience, service, beverage and ambience. Each month I work with our wine supplier to create a wine flight to match our tasting menu created by our chefs. As a business we are conscious of the effect and legacy we can have on the planet and in our local community. The innovation we are most proud of is our unique model of profits supporting Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust, a fantastic charitable organisation, ensuring that the trust can continue to support the local community, and that it is preserved and promoted for future generations.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE NEXT GENERATION CHAMBER EVENT AND WHY? I’d have to say the Sandwich Socials. They have provided an opportunity to connect with other young businesspeople in a relaxed environment which has been a little escape. These online events have grown my confidence and made me feel more self-assured when building relationships and networks with others.

WHICH NEXT GENERATION CHAMBER MEMBER DO YOU ADMIRE? WHY? Sunny and Hannah. They both bring so much positive energy and provide lots of Monday motivation most days of the week which really lifts my mood and timeline.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’VE LEARNED FROM NEXT GENERATION CHAMBER? I have learnt that the hashtag #StrongerTogether is true! Through the Next Generation Chamber, I have been able to find and give solutions and valuable resources. This is a fantastic network that we have in Northamptonshire.

WHY DID YOU JOIN NEXT GENERATION CHAMBER? Next Generation Chamber gives you a sense of community and I’m a firm believer that when you know what’s going on in your community you can contribute in meaningful ways and be part of what’s going on.

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTACT Hibiscus: Hibiscusdining – Instagram & Facebook Elliot Knight: LinkedIn


RAISE YOUR PROFILE Chamber Members have access to a wealth of marketing and media opportunities that can support your business to raise their profile, exposure, and brand awareness across the region. • MEMBER2MEMBER OFFERS: Running a promotion or special discount? Submit your offer for promotion via our website on our dedicated Member2Member Offers page, to help push the services that your business provides. • NEWS: Got a good news story you’d like to share? Submit your articles for publication via our website on our dedicated news page and social media platforms. • TOP TIPS: Share your knowledge and expertise with the business community by submitting some top tips for publication via our website on our dedicated top tips page. • DIRECTORY: Make your business visible and allow potential customers/clients to find your business through our online members directory. • INBUSINESS: Shout about your business success by submitting an article for inclusion in one of our bi-monthly business magazines. • EVENTS: Make connections and build relationships with businesses from across the region by accessing a range of Chamber events, exclusively for members. • LOGO: Let people know you are part of a powerful network by accessing the Chamber member logo to include on your business’ website, email signatures and marketing collateral.

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NEWMEMBERS Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome its NEW MEMBERS. Membership offers your business a whole host of support services and ways to connect and network with other companies. Contact the Chamber membership team on 01604 490490 Anna Wood Results Coach Tony Robbins DAVENTRY 07808 856535 I help clients discover what's holding them back from taking action in their lives. I help clients achieve what they don't think is possible Blue Lobster Consultancy Ltd NORTHAMPTON 07519 655921 Mental health first aid training, mental health and difficult conversations for managers, Resilience & Stress Management, IOSH Behavioural Safety, EMDR Trauma Coach Carmichael Engineering Ltd CORBY 01536 261431 Packaging machinery engineers for after sales and technical support Florence and James Marketing HUSBANDS BOSWORTH 07966 006542 Brand and marketing Frank Bruno Foundation NORTHAMPTON 01604 434414 To provide a safe environment with the aim to improve the mental wellbeing of participants who are facing or recovering from mental ill health Gavin Wallace Photography NORTHAMPTON 07710 411439 Photography, design, videography Go Car Charge Ltd BUCKINGHAM 01280 474200 Certified to supply and install EV charging points to commercial and domestic users Horwood House Hotel MILTON KEYNES 01296 722100

Hotel with food and beverages, spa and accommodation offering with events space NORTHAMPTON 01604 790007 Creative web site design and online shopping solutions. Domain name registration and web hosting ivoryWays WELLINGBOROUGH 0333 335 5772 ivoryWays offer field-based support to business to improve customer relations and increase their cash flow. ivoryWays does this by visiting customers on site to assist Kettering Conference & Leisure Village KETTERING 01536 414 414 The perfect venue for meetings, training events, workshops, conferences, banqueting and weddings My Key Health Ltd (trading as your CBD Store) NORTHAMPTON

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01604 266999 We are Northampton’s first dedicated CBD store, carrying top products from bath bombs to topical creams derived from 100% hemp Nimlok Ltd WELLINGBOROUGH 01933 409409 Design, manufacture and creative services for the exhibition industry Nubis 365 Ltd CORBY 01536 428937 IT support and training services Stokes Carpentry & Joinery Ltd KETTERING 07788 428531 Bespoke corporate and domestic joinery and storage solutions, first and second fix carpentry, outdoor work including decking, pergolas, playhouses and climbing frames Strategic Relationships and Networks Ltd NORTHAMPTON 07901 913898

Developing active and engaged networks to support businesses to increase sales, gain direct access to talent and create an army of brand advocates The TilePortfolio KETTERING 07395011861 Impeccably stylish Spanish and Italian tiles, down-to-earth prices. Friendly ‘go-the-extra-tile’ service and expertise at a click West Northants Business Forum NORTHAMPTON 07723 039762 A meeting to improve business connectivity with relevant agencies and authorities to add value to their offering through debate and signposting West Northants Council Economy Team TOWCESTER 01327 322230 We offer free support to help your business grow, overcome challenges and maximise opportunities. We want your business and workforce to thrive locally

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