Grantham Business Club has a new leader, businesswoman Sue Hodgson.
Sue, who runs Flowers from Holland in St Catherine’s Road, took over from husband Andy Hodgson.
The former vice-chairman of the club told last week’s club of how she grew up in the town and had seen much change. She told the annual meeting at Belton Woods Golf Club, what she brought to the organisation, a career that stretched back declades with roles in training, HR, college lecturing, working at a jobcentre and now as a retailer and florist.
Sue likened Grantham to being a doughnut, with an empty middle as many people prefer to shop elsewhere.
She told those present: “I want to work with people in Grantham to try and start a reinvigoration of people coming into Grantham.
“I want to maximise opportunity,” she said, citing events at Belton House, the Grantham Carnival, Gravity Fields, the Christmas market and Small Business Saturday, a December event she would like to see happen monthly.
“I would also look to have a trade fair in the summer and look at how to link it to town centre businesses, to bring people into town,” she said.
“I would also assist SKDC and town centre development plans.”
The meeting featured presentations from town businesses and members also heard of upcoming events they could use to promote their businesses such as Gravity Fields and the Belton Horse Trials, which will be held from April 13 to 15.
Sue told the meeting the horse trials attracts more than 15,000 spectators and features more than 100 retail outlets, classic cars, a 10km trail run, dog agility and other attractions.
It presented a range of opportunities for firms seeking sponsorship and also opportunity for town businesses to try and lure visitors into Grantham town centre.
After discussion, the club agreed to look into having a marquee to promote Grantham businesses, produce a booklet of discount vouchers for its visitors as well as have shop window display competitions during the event.
Earlier, outgoing club chairman Andy Hodgson said he had enjoyed his year as chairman, with a highlight being the Expo, which was Sue’s idea.
He told the meeting the club had the support of many enthusiastic volunteers and he wanted the club to be a lot of fun.
“This is a way to make a difference in Grantham. There are lots of exciting things coming ahead. We have gone from strength to strength.”
Afterwards, Andy, who runs Hodgson Wealth Management in Avenue Road, Grantham, said Grantham has much going for it.
“It needs all the stakeholders to come together. I look forward to being part of it.”
He added of his wife Sue: “She is great. She has a lot more ideas than I certainly have. She will bring energy to it, which will only make it thrive.”
Chris England, who runs photography and social media/marketing businesses, was appointed vice-chairman of Grantham Business Club.
An old boy of King’s School, Grantham, journalist and former communications officer for South Kesteven District council announced plans to attract smaller businesses to the club.
Tom Price, wealth management consultant for Hodgson’s Wealth Management, said he would try and organise events to attract under 30s.