I attended the annual Best in Business Awards evening at Newbury Racecourse last month which is always an inspiring event, showcasing the energy and enterprise of the West Berkshire business sector.
There were awards given, amongst other categories, for best independent retailer (the Hare and Hounds at Speen), the best rural business (The Fox at Peasemore), the best entrepreneur (Alison Huntley from Tigers Day Nursery) and the Best Small Business award which this year was won by Market Place restaurant, The Sushi Maki.
Small business, and in particular retail, was an important theme at this year’s Newbury Vision conference, with plans revealed for the future of the Kennet Centre. I was pleased to see that nine small retail units have been planned for the new Market Street scheme with developer Grainger inviting independent businesses to come forward now with any ideas.
The first Saturday in December is always Small Business Saturday which is a chance for us all to support the small ‘indie’ businesses that make such a contribution to our high streets and I hope that the busy Christmas season, together with the promised cut in business rates in the autumn Budget, will mean a prosperous 2019 for those businesses in Newbury.