Dear Members and Friends,
At the Awards I announced that at the AGM in April I am standing down as Chair of FLBC. After 14 years; 6 years as Chair, 3 years as Vice Chair and another four on the Steering Group it is time for someone else to influence the personality and direction of our club.
I’m very proud of the fact that in that time we have organised over 150 events, monthly meetings, summer socials and Awards during that time. And we evolved to offer zoom meetings over the past two years and restructured to ensure we were financially viable during this difficult time as a purely volunteer run organisation.
It was great that we were able to hold the 15th Annual Business Club Awards at the beginning of March and so good to see many of you in person. It was over two years since we met last for the awards in January 2020 and then we only had a small inkling of what was about the come with the pandemic and its effect on individuals, families, businesses and the world.
Even this year there were some wondering if there was an appetite for the Awards but we had as many entries as in 2020 which was a bumper year and particularly impressive were the new businesses that had started just before or during the pandemic and are continuing to grow and survive.
Last year, despite the pandemic and the lockdown at the time of the awards, we decided that businesses needed highlighting and showcasing even more than in previous years. Despite the naysayers we went ahead. We evolved as many organisations had so we held a ‘virtual’ awards ceremony.
I spent three hours in the studio at the Barn Theatre recording the event, it was really sad with no audience to laugh at my bad jokes but it was a great success with a huge number of views of the video on social media and people joining in on the night with comments and those that were finalists and winners greatly appreciated the recognition and publicity.
The Awards have been going for 15 years now and hopefully will continue for many years to come. When first I joined the club in the spring of 2008 the awards had just been started, (note to self, don’t offer opinions at meetings as you will find yourself involved and shortly after was co-opted onto the steering group!).
With a just two categories there was huge potential, so I decided to expand it and define a range of awards that gave opportunities to many more businesses and as we lost some of our founders and influential figures, we created awards to honour their memory. I’m not going to deny that it hasn’t been a lot of work but supporting, promoting and recognising local business is a worthy cause.
And that is why the volunteer Steering Group do it! We have an amazing group of people; Shirley (your Vice Chair), Ian, Nick, Camilla, Miriam, Richard and Victoria. They all run their own businesses to their commitment is much appreciated and without them the club would cease to exist.
So, to finish, thank you members and supporters. It has been my absolute honour to be involved in the club since 2008 and your chair for the last 6 years.
See you at an FLBC meeting soon!