C4B Chairman's Update              March 2015
Paul Barrett
Dear [salutation],     Welcome to our March newsletter. This month sees no shortage of business activities with Canterbury's successful Startmybiz and Growmybiz schemes running a lively programme of free workshops and other events designed to support, signpost and inform the District's many new and fledgling businesses. Elections to establish a new permanent board for the Canterbury BID (Business Improvement District) are underway, so if you are a levy payer with a keen interest in the future of the city and are interested in putting yourself forward, check out the details below. And finally, we're pleased that plans to regenerate the former Slatters Hotel in the centre of Canterbury are at last making progress, heralding what will be the launch of an exciting new venue for the city and the business community.
Spring programme from Startmybiz
Startmybiz, Canterbury's flagship business start-up support scheme, continues to attract a steady stream of enquiries at the rate of 25 to 30 a month from entrepreneurs and 'pre-starts' – people planning a business but not yet up and running. The scheme has a full programme of activities during March and plans are underway for a new initiative that will flag up opportunities for crowd funding on the Startmybiz website. Also in the pipeline is an innovative scheme that will promote interaction between businesses and enable them to share skills – for example, swapping marketing skills in return for accountancy skills. For more details, visit www.startmybiz-canterbury.com, on twitter follow @StartMy_Biz or contact info@startmybiz-canterbury.com.

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Growmybiz keeps growing
Growmybiz, the 'sister' scheme of Startmybiz, set up to provide support and resources for more established businesses, has been gathering pace following the launch of its website and is now receiving six to seven new business enquiries each week. A number of free workshops are on offer this month, including 'How to Grow Your Business' on 24 March in Canterbury. For more information either visit www.growmybiz-canterbury.com, or follow @GrowMy_Biz.

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Nominations open for new Canterbury BID board
The Canterbury BID (Business Improvement District) interim board, which has guided the organisation since it was formed last July, is inviting Canterbury business leaders to put themselves forward for election to a new permanent board. There are 13 places open for those who have paid their BID levy to self-nominate. They must be seconded by another levy payer.

Eight of the available places are designated for particular sectors: small independent retail, business services (two places), hospitality, Whitefriars, night time economy, large retail, and education. The remaining five are for any qualifying levy paying businesses, irrespective of sector. Levy payers have a single vote per business/organisation.

Once the permanent board is formed, seven directors will also be required to liaise with each of the seven 'city quarters': St Dunstan's; St Peter's; St George's, The Parade and High Street; the King's Mile; the Cathedral Quarter; Whitefriars; and the Castle Quarter. The board will also include representatives of Canterbury City Council, Kent County Council and Canterbury Cathedral. In addition, there are three non-voting Observer places taken by the Canterbury Society (two places) on behalf of city centre residents. For further information about the Canterbury BID, please go to:
www.canterburybid.co.uk or email info@canterburybid.co.uk.

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Help Canterbury bloom this summer
Having won a silver award in the 'South & South East in Bloom' competition in 2012, and silver gilt in 2013, this year Canterbury is going for gold! The Canterbury BID team is asking businesses for permission to install 300 hanging baskets around the city this summer. If you can help or would like to know more about the competition, please email info@canterburybid.co.uk.

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St Margaret's Street hotel plans
C4B is encouraged by the long-awaited plans for the new hotel in St Margaret's Street to replace the former Slatters Hotel and Ha Ha Bar, now derelict. The contemporary design, by Guy Hollaway Architects, the firm responsible for the successful 'Rocksalt' restaurant in Folkestone, includes a roof restaurant and atrium, and will provide much-needed additional business accommodation and meeting space in the heart of the city.

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News in brief

Gorell Tank Car Park, Whitstable

Canterbury City Council and Whitstable Chamber of Commerce are to set up a meeting with Southern Water regarding the proposed closure of the car park for repair work in April, May and June.

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University of Kent
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow has been elected to be the next President of Universities UK. She will take up her appointment at the beginning of August.

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