Hello to old and new!
July flew past and suddenly we're in the throws of tourist season! We hope everyone's business is thriving, whether affected by this or not. This month, we have a lovely group of new members. Let's welcome:
It’s great to expand our reach to our colleagues at Rye Harbour and further afield to the surrounding villages too.
Rye Roundup: your at-a-glance digest of Chamber news for the last month
At your request, we’ve started a sub-group in WhatsApp, especially for our members who are accommodation providers. We recognise that it’s useful to be able to share anecdotal data and information about booking patterns and seasonal challenges as well as operational issues so we hope this will be helpful.
4th July - Rye Chamber attended a networking evening at NFU Mutual Tenterden to mark the occasion of their office refurb. We discussed potential ideas for an NFU-sponsored fun event for chamber members. While there we also met with Kent Invicta Chamber and discussed the potential for cross collaborations.
5th July - Rye Chamber attended a Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce networking event at Coachworks in Ashford. We can't stress enough how important networking is for your business. Lots of great contacts were made at this free event, inspiration and ideas. Check out the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce website for more information about their events.
21st - 23rd July - The inaugural Rye Food & Drink Festival was somewhat hampered by poor weather conditions which sadly impacted attendance.
The Chamber had negotiated a special rate for members wishing to take a stall at the event but the short lead time for the festival meant that take-up was limited. Zoom Events plan to bring the event back next year when hopefully a longer lead time will allow for greater participation from local businesses and for increased footfall. However, The Brewery Yard Club held the official after-party on the Saturday with live music from The Wildcards, which was a successful evening.
Rye Chamber of Commerce is supporting Rye Heritage Centre’s plans for a pageant on Saturday 12th August to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth the First’s visit to ‘Rye Royal’. Rye Chamber has facilitated introductions enabling the Rye Players to perform Much Ado About Nothing in the garden of the Monastery at the end of the pageant. A film is being commissioned by the Chamber of the event - watch this space!
Rye Chamber and Rye News worked together to highlight the news that the future of the ticket office at Rye Station is under review and to encourage people to submit their views to the consultation process that took place earlier this month. Rye Chamber subsequently met with Sarah Grisewood, Marshlink Line Officer, to discuss the future of the station and the potential for utilising the space as a community resource. There are plans in development to form a Friends of Rye Station group to take these ideas further. The Chamber will continue to advocate for the needs and interests of the local business community as this process develops particularly with a view to how the station could be used more effectively as part of our tourism information solution.
The Chamber is working with 1066 Country Marketing and Rye Heritage Centre to replace outdated signage outside Rye Train Station.
B2B Speed Dating this September in Beckley
Having recruited Beckley Farmers’ & Craft market to Rye Chamber, we are pleased to tell you that they are planning a business-to-business speed dating event on 24th September. This will provide local businesses – hotels, B&Bs, cafes and so on - with the opportunity to meet local, ethical producers and businesses and chat about what they can offer you. Chamber members The Kind Table
take a stall at Beckley Farmer’s Market each month and are very committed to working with local accommodation providers who want to use local suppliers and sustainable products. This networking event won’t be open to the general public.
Christmas in Rye 2023
Rye Chamber met with Cllr. Sophie Judge, Festival Director to discuss the progress of this year’s Christmas festival. Sophie is committed to maximising the potential for the town’s traders to get involved and thereby benefit from the increased footfall to the town. To that end, she wants to encourage shops and businesses to consider having a stall outside their premises on the day. We know from last year that those businesses choosing to do this felt it was an easy win on the day – the return on investment was exceptional. We’re sure you’ve got it taped when it comes to merchandising your own business but to get your creative juices flowing here are some ideas:
Could you offer a festive mini treat outside to encourage people to step inside? A tiny snifter of mulled wine? A mini mince pie?
Entice passing trade with a table of your smallest stocking stuffers
Anything craft or activity related – an easy ‘make’ for kids to pester their parents to do! We know the ‘ice your own cupcake’ stall was an amazing success last year, and the craft table that Craft Magic hosted was busy all day.
A tombola – doesn’t have to be fancy prizes – could be a good way of shifting small items of last season’s stock that hasn’t sold.
A lucky dip – your prizes could be anything from stock samples, homemade discount coupons, two-for-one offers
Sophie wants to hear from you, so please drop her an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
Our walkabout Wednesday in August is on the 9th. Let us know if you want us to pop in for a chat!
August 9th is also International Coworking Day - Look out for an announcement from Space Coworking to coinside with this!
Make sure you mark Weds 13th September in your diary, as plans are well underway for our next quarterly event. We have a great showcase planned of our trade and manufacturing businesses from the thriving community on Rye’s industrial parks. Watch this space!