Say Hello to our new members!
Membership numbers continue to grow steadily which is really brilliant news! This month we welcome:
Do you know a business that would benefit from being part of our growing family? Forward this application form to them to help with our recruitment drive.
Rye Roundup: your at-a-glance digest of Chamber news for the Month
We held our Spring Meeting on March 15th at the Brewery Yard Club. The networking and curry night was well attended by both members and non-members and the highlight of the evening was our guest speaker Jens Knoop. Read more about the evening in our blog.
The Chamber was approached by a local resident to canvass businesses at our March Meeting and via our Facebook page, on the proposed parking restrictions for Military Road and the North Salts. Views were collated and a representation was made on behalf of members to the ESCC consultation on this matter.
The Chamber has continued to seek engagement from Hospitality members to determine the feasibility of a new training and recruitment pathway in collaboration with East Sussex College and Bexhill Sixth Form College. To date there has been no response which is disappointing given we know that many businesses are actively recruiting.
The Chamber attended the Rye Annual Town Meeting to listen to Mayor’s report on the town council’s activity over the nine months and hear the issues affecting residents. One of the most heated topics for discussion was the problem of litter wardens in the town.
The Chamber met with Hastings & Rye MP, Sally-Ann Hart to discuss the challenges faced by businesses in the town and to discuss the need for tourism investment. We also asked for her intervention at RDC on the matter of litter wardens.
The Chamber has been liaising with ACES members (Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex) on their Member's experiences with NES litter wardens being predatory and gung-ho with businesses. Bexhill Chamber Members have been particularly affected.
An interesting article from Kent Messenger reporting that Canterbury City council have been reaping a substaintial revenue from the introduction of the NES operatives in Q4 2022. The Chamber submitted its own Freedom of Information Request to Rother District Council to obtain data recorded on the fixed penalty notices issued by NES in the town since the scheme's inception – specifically the number of fines issued to businesses vs the general public and the revenue RDC Council has generated from them as a result: Figures for Rye and District as at 27 March 2023 Business Issued Penalties = 19 Business Revenue = £2320 Public issued = 161 Public Revenue = £13,260 This would back up our observation that the NES contractors are very visible on Market Day (Thursdays) but the targetting of businesses has seemed to have subsided (at the Chamber at least reports have dried up). If you have experienced different, please get in touch!
Rother councillor Cllr. Christine Bayliss was interviewed by the BBC on anti social behaviour, flytipping and litter which, (fingers crossed), will be shown this Sunday 2nd April on the Sunday Politics show at 9am. She feels that our current contractors, although extremely effective in reducing fly-tipping and litter, could use more discretion and ideally we would all like to see the service delivered in house so that the Council can generate the income to benefit the local community. Hoorah! This shows our lobbying WORKS!
Networking + Curry night enjoyed by all!
On March 15th, we invited both our members and non-members to our first quarterly meeting and networking session of the year - and what a success it was! We enjoyed the compelling story of Knoops by Jens himself, delivered updates on what we've been up to at the Chamber recently, opened the floor for discussion and even enjoyed a delicious curry supper provided by new members, the Mahdi Lounge.
Read the full article in Rye News by our Vice Chair Sarah Broadbent (plus some great photos too!).
Feeback from the event was extremely positive! Thanks to everyone who attended and took the time to respond to our feeback form.
A bit more news...
The Chamber informed members about grant funding open to application from Rother District Council’s Community Grants Scheme. The funding is for special Coronation Grants of up to £500 per project. A call out on Facebook for volunteers with a great idea to run with it and be backed by the Chamber yeilded ZERO response. Do you have an idea for a community event? Read the application criteria and I think you'll find that YOU NEED US to HELP YOU make it a reality. Get in touch.
The Chamber has pledged to take part in the #GBSpringClean campaign and has organised a litter pick for Sunday 2nd April 2-3pm. New members Rye Waterworks Micropub are kindly offering refreshment to our litter pickers after our shift. I'm glad to say we are now OVERSUBSCRIBED! If however, you have your own Hi-vis jacket, gloves and picker, you are most welcome to join us!
IMPORTANT Tax Changes
Chamber Members GMP Chartered Accountants have issued a helpful update on the tax changes taking effect from 6 April 2023 following the Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 17 November 2022.
The Income Tax Personal Allowance will remain at £12,570 until April 2028.
The higher rate threshold will remain at £50,270 until April 2028 and individuals will be subject to the additional rate of tax of 45% once their income reaches £125,140 as opposed to the current £150,000.
The married couple's allowance and the blind person's allowance will be uprated by inflation for 2023/24.
The dividend rates of taxation on dividend income will be 8.75% for basic rate taxpayers, 33.75% for higher rate taxpayers, and 39.35% for additional rate taxpayers. The dividend allowance will be reduced from £2,000 to £1,000 in April 2023 and then to £500 in April 2024.
From July 2022, the NIC primary threshold and lower profits limits increased to align with the Personal Allowance, and this will be maintained until April 2028.
From April 2023, the Class 2 lower profits threshold will also be fixed until April 2028 to align with the lower profits limit. They will once again be £12,570 and £50,270 respectively.
The lower earnings limit and the small profits threshold will remain at £6,396 and £6,725 per annum respectively in 2023/24.
The Class 2 and Class 3 NICs rates will increase for 2023/24 to £3.45 per week and £17.45 respectively.
The level at which employers will start to pay Class 1 NICs for their employees will remain at £9,100 from April 2023 until April 2028.
From April 2023, the Capital Gains Tax Annual Exemption will reduce from £12,300 to £6,000, and then reduce further to £3,000 from April 2024.
Given the above changes, GMP strongly encourage you to plan your 2023/24 income appropriately by speaking to your accountants and investment advisors.
Your Chamber Needs You!
By now we hope the message is clear – there’s a great deal of further potential for the Chamber. We’ve made a strong start to the year but there are many ideas and opportunities we want to explore and develop that will benefit, promote and showcase our town’s businesses. One thing is clear - we can’t do it alone. We recognise, as fellow business owners, that running your own business takes priority and we appreciate that all of us are time-poor but the more of us there are, the more we can achieve. So this is a call out to all the do-ers, those with the energy and passion and transferrable skills to dedicate a little time to helping develop our Chamber. We need volunteers to become directors and officers and we need those who want to become Champions for different aspects of business and commerce in town.
This is your chance to help us shape the Chamber into the truly diverse and inclusive member association we aspire to be. We want to hear from you! Get in touch – email@example.com.
Dates for your dairy...
Cardboard Recycling: Thursdays - As always please pack your cardboard as tightly as possible when you stack it in the container.
Litter Pick: Sunday 2nd April
Walkabout Wednesday: April 12th - Jane and Sarah will be out and about in town to chat and catch up with your news. If there’s anything you particularly want to catch up about – send us an email and we’ll make sure we drop in!
Chamber Summer Meeting & Networking: June 14th - A summer BBQ with Live Music hosted by Little Gate Farm in Beckley – get tickets.