May Newsletter 2023
Updated: Jun 1
It's the end of May already and our Summer Meeting is creeping ever closer. We've got lots to update you on this month and even acquired two new members! Let's welcome:
Time for shorts and flip flops!
Rye Roundup: your at-a-glance digest of Chamber news for the last month...
Following the local elections on May 4th, the Chamber has contacted our newly elected District Councillors – Cheryl Creaser and Simon McGurk and will be meeting with them in due course to update them on the business outlook in Rye and the challenges faced by our member businesses in the current trading climate. Simon will be at our Summer BBQ & Networking event if you would like to chat to him!
The Chamber met with member business NFU Mutual to discuss potential sponsorship opportunities for future Chamber activities. NFU Mutual has also kindly said that they will extend invitations to future online social media training sessions to our members for which we are very grateful.
The Mermaid Inn invited us to meet students currently in training (six chefs and one front-of-house trainee) as they provided real-time support for the hardworking kitchen team during a busy lunch service on the 17th May. The Mermaid Inn is setting the bar for developing the next generation of skilled staff in hospitality. They are working in partnership with The East Sussex College Group to create opportunities for students to gain a taste of real work environments and to develop a pathway for transitioning from education to employment. The Mermaid is laying the groundwork for this scheme to be expanded via Rye Chamber to other hospitality businesses in the area, please get in touch with us if you have recruitment needs and would like to talk further about becoming involved with this fantastic partnership.
We were pleased to attend The George’s One Year Reopen drinks evening on the 18th May. It was a great evening and gave us a chance to catch up with so many members. Thanks to Katie and Alex for the invite!
The Chamber has outlined a proposal to The Rye Partnership for the future commercial use of the kitchen at Tillingham Green Community Centre. We have proposed that Rye Chamber applies for a grant which could be match funded by the Rye Partnership for the deep clean, decoration and appliance testing/upgrade of the kitchen facility and for an initial pilot scheme. The pilot scheme would see the space marketed as a shared cooking resource to be used by Rye’s food makers, innovators and entrepreneurs as a simple solution to their start-up and growth problems. The offering could start small and be developed over time. The space could additionally be used as a training facility for local hospitality members who are facing challenges with skills and staff shortages.
The Chamber’s portfolio of member 2 member offers continues to grow. Thanks to all our members who have extended offers so far – you can find them in the Chamber’s Facebook Group and on the Chamber’s website. And if you have an offer you’d like to add – then do get in touch!
The Chamber visited Little Gate Farm to recce the venue for our forthcoming summer meeting and to plan how the BBQ will take shape. We’re delighted to be working with the team at Littlegate Farm to host this event and we look forward to seeing many of you there. Still not sure if it's for you? Well, we couldn't have made it any easier as we've thought of everything : convienient midweek date, shuttle bus, delicious food, beautiful surroundings, live music. This a fun and relaxed way to make new business connections. Buy tickets NOW!
The Brewery Yard Club held a Eurovision Song Contest fundraising event – the charity raffle and auction were a great success thanks to the generosity of so many Chamber members providing prizes and auction lots. The event raised a very impressive £791 in aid of Homes 4 Ukraine, Rye!
The Chamber responded to a request from BBC South-East to assist with a news item on ‘the status of the staycation’ and whether it has endured in popularity post lockdowns. Filming is set to take place at member businesses Swallowtail Hill, and Greyfriars on Thursday 1st June.
The Chamber was made aware of the (then) impending closure of the A259 for 52 nights as of the 22nd May. We contacted National Highways on behalf of our member businesses to enquire why no consultation had taken place and to request that the start time of the works each evening be pushed back to enable visitors to have time to access Rye for a meal or evening out and be able to return home without issue. National Highways explained that consultation is not required for ‘standard’ road surfacing jobs such as this but have listened to our requests and has agreed to push back the evening start time in 30-minute increments once the works have been assessed on commencement this week.
International Trade Event
Our Chair Jane Brook attended an International Trade Conference hosted by Rye’s MP, Sally-Ann Hart at Woodlands Enterprise Park, Flimwell on 12th May, an event that all Rye Chamber Members were invited to. It was an interesting morning, very well spent. We enjoyed a fabulously uplifting presentation from Duncan Ray from local St. Leonards company Focus SB, a multi-award-winning British brand that was recently awarded the Kings Award for Enterprise.
We also heard from organisations that help a whole range of local manufacturing brands on their journey to export - The FSB, Sussex Chamber of Commerce and The Department for Business & Trade (DBT) which provides guidance, services, and support to help UK businesses export. DBT has UK-based advisers and a global network of:
• Commercial staff in British Embassies, Consulates & High Commissions
• Overseas Business Networks
• 108 countries, 162 offices
If you want to investigate exporting your products the DBT can help you with:
• Professional and impartial international advice
• Sector-specific expertise
• Developing and implementing successful international strategies
• In-depth knowledge of your target market
• In-market help and support from commercial specialists around the world
• Finding the right contacts
• Access to targeted overseas business opportunities
Also, check out the DBT’s UK Export Academy series of free events.
We will bring our members more invitations to attend events like this, round-tables, and other peer-to-peer learning opportunities, so please keep an eye out. Sally-Ann Hart’s office will also offer advice with exporting contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates for your diary:
Cardboard Recycling - Every Thursday 5.15 - 5.45pm
As always please pack your cardboard as tightly as possible when you stack it in
Walkabout Wednesday - June 14th (before the meeting)
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 Meeting & Networking - June 14th
A summer BBQ with Live Music hosted by Little Gate Farm in Beckley. Get tickets now!