Busy times for North Tyneside business group

Karen Goldfinch, vice-chairman, centre with Forum Management Group members, Pat Davidson, Andrew Esson, David Hodgson, Martin Heddon and Richard Kelly at the recent 2017 Business Awards
Karen Goldfinch, vice-chairman, centre with Forum Management Group members, Pat Davidson, Andrew Esson, David Hodgson, Martin Heddon and Richard Kelly at the recent 2017 Business Awards

The North Tyneside Business Forum has appointed a new vice-chairman as it enters its eighth year.

Karen Goldfinch, of Made to Treasure, one of the original members of the forum and former chairman of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade, has taken on the role.

She said: “I thoroughly enjoy representing small businesses and being their voice within the borough.”

One of her favourite parts of the role is helping to organise the events which the forum put on, such as the Business Awards.

“They are a great opportunity to meet other businesses and share the success of our thriving business community,” said Karen. “We have such a vibrant and diverse mix of businesses in our borough.

“The forum is a great place to meet and develop through shared knowledge, but also a place socially, to meet and make new connections.”

The support provided by the forum to local businesses encourages economic growth, employment, sustainability and corporate responsibility.

This has involved staging a range of business-focused events, including training sessions, consultation events, business-to-business support and guidance on matters directly affecting the business community.

Chairman David Bavaird said: “Our organisation continues to grow and is increasingly influential through the almost daily changing economic landscape.

“This has been achieved through some very positive changes on how we operate, which has repositioned the business forum as the lead organisation representing the business community in North Tyneside.

“These changes have been designed to support the business community in the local area through uncertain economic times, with business advice, support, referrals, networking events, increased use of social media and consultation on a range of issues at a local, regional and national level.”

Membership remains free for businesses with a trading address in North Tyneside.

In the last six months, the management of the forum has grown to cope with increased demand and a considerable amount of time has been spent ensuring that what is being offered to businesses is what they want and need.

There are now a range of businesses of different sizes and from different sectors represented on the management group, including regular feedback and input from the Chambers of Trade for Whitley Bay, Wallsend and North Shields.

Mr Bavaird added: “This has helped give the forum the necessary expertise and skill base to shape our direction and activity and to make our leadership stronger. We’re delighted to welcome some more businesses onto the management group and will be making another announcement soon.”

“The management group and I encourage all businesses in North Tyneside to visit the website and become a member. There really is no reason why businesses should not become a member, it’s free and provides benefits to all.

Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “I am delighted at the success the business forum has had since it launched eight years ago.

“It provides invaluable support for businesses in the borough as well as helping our local economy thrive and contributing towards making North Tyneside a great place to live, work and visit.

“I would encourage any local businesses interested in joining the forum to contact a member of the team and take advantage of the benefits that being a member has to offer.”

The forum will continue to facilitate two large networking events and the North Tyneside Business Awards each year, as well as smaller events such as Meet the Buyer and Business Safaris. The forum publication ‘Business Update’ featuring local news, updates and articles is also available regularly, both online and printed copy upon request.

Businesses in North Tyneside can join the forum for free by visiting www.northtynesidebusinessforum.org.uk where they can also sign up to events. Follow the forum on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at @NTBusinessForum.

Alternatively, email business.forum@northtyneside.gov.uk or call 0191 643 6000.