After recently taking over as new chairman of Grantham Business Club, Stuart Pigram is striving to make the organisation more inclusive and its members more aware of the need to support local companies in the continuing economic downturn.
Married to Sharon with two children, Mr Pigram, 39, who is group sales director of The Trust Insurance Group in Guildhall Street, moved to Grantham 12 years ago.
Away from his business interests, he plays golf at Belton Woods and is preparing to run his third London Marathon on April 21, when he hopes to raise £2,000 to be shared between the National Blind Children’s Society and the Rainbows hospice. Anyone interested in sponsoring him can do so online at www.uk.virginmoney.com/stuartpigram
How did you get involved with the Grantham Business Club?
I joined as a member and went to a few meetings but I felt it was a little bit cliquey, like an old boys’ network. I stopped going because of this and at the time I was also developing my own business. At the end of 2011 I was asked to join the executive committee and in February 2012 became vice-chairman before taking over as chairman a couple of months ago.
What major changes have you made to the club?
When people arrive at a meeting now they are handed a ticket for a table which means they will be sitting with people from the executive committee and others they might not have met before. As a result it is no longer cliquey and it is much easier for members to network.
We have 130 members but only around 40 regularly attend meetings. I would like them all to attend. Some members say they cannot make meetings because they are on a Tuesday so from May I hope to begin organising breakfast meetings as well. We have reduced the annual subscription fee to £55. Considering members get a combination of networking opportunities, lots of local information and guest speakers for less than £5 a month I think that is great value.
How important is a business club at a time when the country is going through such a biting recession?
One of my strong passions is to inspire more businesses to buy locally when it comes to using services. Members will look at the top half-a-dozen of their purchases and see if they can get a better rate locally. We have representatives from most of the professional services in our membership so there are possibilities for members to buy locally.
What do you think of Grantham as a town and a community?
I love Grantham and I’m really privileged and honoured to be chairman of the town’s business club. I do strongly believe in Grantham as a business centre. It has become home for me and my family.
If any business people would like to join the club, how do they go about it?
They can come to our meetings, which are the third Tuesday of the month at Belton Woods or they can give me a call on 01476 434052 or 07903 839686.