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  • Writer's pictureElise Garner

November Newsletter 2023

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Say Hello!

This month we welcome new members:

Christmas is coming!!

Christmas in Rye

Rye’s Late Night Shopping event on the 18th of November drew a huge crowd for the turning on of the Christmas tree lights at The George and the atmosphere in town was very festive indeed. Thank you to all the businesses who stayed open late and worked so hard to make the event a success!

Christmas In Rye Festival will take place on Saturday 2nd. I think by now everyone is probably all set – but just in case we encourage as many businesses in the town to do something extra festive on the day to draw in as many visitors as possible.

Rye Chamber Christmas Party

If you're able to have a stall outside offering an activity or festive treat then please do, and if something outside isn’t possible then something inside is just as good!

Our own Festive Chamber celebration is fast approaching! Make sure you have your tickets!

The Rye Chamber Christmas party will be held on Wednesday 13th December in the Tudor Room at The Mermaid 6-11pm.

For even more festive networking, Tenterden Chamber of Commerce has extended an invitation to Rye Chamber members to their own Christmas Networking event. It will be on Tuesday 5th December at The Vine in Tenterden 5.30-7.30pm please rsvp to if you plan on attending.

Rye BID News

The Chamber was approached by The Department for Levelling Up and Communities who visited on the 8th November at Chamber HQ discuss how Rye might access a share of the £20m levelling up funding that has been allocated to Rother from central government. The fabulous news is that applying to fully explore a BID for Rye and get it to ballot, in their opinion, is an excellent use of the funding and would be looked upon favourably.

The Chamber met with British BIDs on the 10th November to discuss the procedures, timeline and costs that would be involved if we were to undertake a feasibility study for Rye embarking on a BID. The Chamber is also meeting with the Mosaic Partnership on the 30th November – they are a competitor to British BIDs and we will be seeking a comparative quote from them about a BID feasibility study.

At a recent meeting with Rye and Hastings MP Sally-Ann Hart, was very excited that at our AGM, Chamber members voted in favour of exploring BID status for Rye and she gave us her full support for our application for levelling up funding. The Chamber also met with Becca Horn, Hastings & Rye Green parliamentary candidate to discuss potential sustainability initiatives in and around Rye with a view to consider those relevant to the town’s businesses for inclusion in any future submission for levelling up funding.

Further information will be forthcoming in the new year.

Rye Roundup: your at-a-glance digest more Chamber activity for the last month

  • Rye Fawkes was a very successful evening for all concerned this year, and for once the weather was on our side on the 11th November. Heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the event, the clear up and to all the town’s bars and restaurants for their creativity and adaptability on a night that isn’t easy to manage!

  • The Chamber was represented our Hospitality Champion Martin Blincow at the Steering Group for the East Sussex Skills Strategy on the 13th November. A subsequent Rother District Growth Strategy workshop took place on the 14th November with a view to a draft Strategy being produced in the new year. We will keep members updated.

Rye Chamber Netwalk at Rye Harbour
  • We held our first Netwalk at Rye Harbour on the 15th November. It's was a beautiful sunny day and while we only a small turn-out this time, our 45 mins stroll and chats were enjoyed by all (the pastries were good too!) and we hope to undertake further Rye Chamber Netwalks in 2024. Why not join us?

  • The Chamber attended a very useful Membership Solutions Day on the 16th November held by MemberWise – a professional network providing practical help and support to membership professionals - like the Chamber team!

  • The Chamber has spoken with Rother Licensing and Environmental Health Dept to discuss the challenges that Rye faces with the night-time economy and the disproportionately high rate of objections to business licence applications. We have put in place monitoring of applications with a will offer support to new businesses and our members where appropriate.

  • The Chamber met with MP for Rye & Hastings, Sally-Ann Hart on the 17th November. We discussed many of the current challenges faced by the town – roadworks/road closures, water outages, flooding. Furthermore, on 24th November, The Chamber represented the town’s businesses at a meeting with Steve Reed, MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. The meeting was an opportunity to inform the Shadow Minister on specific issues that the town and surrounding area has experienced this year with Southern Water, and to discuss how future policy might be developed to better regulate the water companies. The Secretary of State is currently consulting with stakeholders to help shape the Labour manifesto on this subject ahead of the General Election next year.

Graham Ellis receives his Unlock Net Zero Award
  • The Chamber was thrilled to be at the Unlock Net Zero awards on the 24th November to support our incredible member, Graham Ellis from Community Compost Solutions! Graham is a true Climate Champion and we couldn't be happier for him on receiving this well-deserved award. His dedication to supporting the Tilling Green Community in Rye is truly inspiring. Congrats, Graham!

  • The Chamber met with Small99 to discuss collaboration opportunities. Small99 is an organisation that guides small businesses to net zero through its platform of cost effective sustainability solutions. More on this in the new year.

The Chamber will be hosting its first People, Planet, Pint event at the Brewery Yard Club on November 30th at 6pm, please come and join us! It’s free but please reserve your space.


The Chancellor's Autumn Statement News

Here’s a quick summary of points relating to business from last week’s Autumn Statement

Business rates frozen for small businesses - The business rates multiplier (set to increase in April 2024) has been frozen for another year. The 75% business rates relief for eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses (up to £110,000) will remain in 2024/25 tax year. Increases in the living wage - The National Living Wage will increase in April 2024 to £11.44 for those aged over 23 and this will also be extended to include 21 and 22 year olds. National Insurance changes for the self-employed - Class 2 NI has been abolished which will save the average self-employed person £192 a year. Class 4 NI has reduced from 9% to 8% for those earning profits of between £12,570 and £50,270, (it remains at 2% for profits above £50,270). Changes will be introduced in April 2024. National Insurance changes for employees - Class 1 NI (paid by employees) will be reduced from 12% to 10%, this change will be introduced in January 2024. This applies to earnings between £12,570 and £50,270 (nothing paid below £12,570).

Business tax changes - Full capital expensing is to remain (it was introduced during Covid). This means for qualifying assets (IT equipment, machinery, equipment, and some cars) for every £1 spent, the corporation tax bill will be reduced by 25p.

In plain English – buying qualifying assets is a good way to reduce your corporation tax bill.

R&D tax credit schemes - It has been confirmed that the two current schemes (SME and Large Company) will be merged in April. Further details as to how exactly this new scheme will operate are to follow (probably in early 2024).


Dates for the Diary:

  • Tenterden Chamber of Commerce has extended an invitation to Rye Chamber members to their Christmas Networking event. It will be on Tuesday 5th December at The Vine in Tenterden 5.30-7.30pm please rsvp to if you plan on attending.

  • DONT FORGET! The Rye Chamber Christmas party will be held on Wednesday 13th December in the Tudor Room at The Mermaid 6-11pm. Please book your tickets soon!

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