Grantham Business Club is to be re-launched to be more inclusive and representative of business interests in the town and surrounding area.
The proposal was made at the annual meeting of the organisation at the Ramada Hotel in Grantham on Tuesday, by chairman Stuart Pigram, who was elected into the post for a second year.
It was accepted by around 40 members, who were told a new direction was required and that Mr Pigram’s vision had been backed by the economic development team at South Kesteven District Council. The authority will provide sponsorship of topics and speakers for future meetings.
Mr Pigram said he hoped to attract as many as 100 people to future meetings within a 12-24 month timeframe and his decision had been influenced by a poor turnout at November’s monthly meeting.
“I realised that although we had speakers and lots going on, apart from the executive committee, there were about a dozen people there,” he said. “That really made me think: We have got to change.
“We are an independent club, and we have got to be more inclusive. Business people should be proud of their business, they should be proud of Grantham and they should be proud of Grantham Business Club and what it does for them.”
His proposal was to scrap the £55 annual membership subscription and instead allow free membership to every business which has an interest in Grantham.
He said meetings – which would move to bi-monthly – would be promoted better, the GBC website improved so members could promote and network better and there would be a monthly business-related online newsletter.
“Every business can be a member. All they have to do is connect with us,” he said.
“If we widen the access and connectivity, we can keep members more informed and lobby on behalf of the community. We will be in a position to offer more assistance, because there will be more of us.”
He said the role of the club would evolve with the wishes of members and the club, and members: “Needed to make more positive noise about how good Grantham is.
“Something needs to change and we can do it.”
Theresa Duggan was elected financial controller of the club and the executive members will be: Simon Pell, Vinod Chadda, Amie-Leigh Claricoats, Andrew Buchanan, Keith Horstead and Kelly Jones.