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Aldeburgh Business Association
Summary of Annual report given to AGM 2.5.18

Being a member of the ABA offers meetings every other month which have been very well attended and have had a wide variety of speakers.  I very much see the role of the ABA as a signposting one and as you will hear by examples in this report we are more than happy to listen to our members and work on their behalf, helping them access services and advice to make their businesses successful. For example the speaker we had from the business rates department explained how to obtain  small refunds for the current year.

During 2017 we raised concerns of behalf of the town's businesses to the Hightide festival's suggestion of bringing in a food court near Moot Hall for two weeks. We felt this would impact on all retailers and would deter visitors from exploring the town or enjoying its food and drink offerings. In this we had a successful outcome.

Early in 2018 the caravan site put in for planning permission to change from 85 touring pitches to 34 holiday lodges. We canvased business owners who were worried about the impact on trade so I wrote to SCDC raising my concerns and am pleased to say the Council rejected the application.  

The town hosted a finishing stage of the Men's Tour of Britain cycle race, our businesses had mixed feelings as to just how valuable it was.  We are pleased to hear that TA Hotels are bringing Music by the sea back to the town, on the Kings Field on 30 June.  

No report would be complete without mention of Christmas and the lights, we managed to raise the money needed to light the town and would like to thank everyone who contributed and our local MP Dr Therese Coffey for writing to the CEO's of the multiples on the High Street asking for small donations, with a degree of success. This year the committee will organise the lights and trees but cannot manage an event.  Anyone that would like to co-ordinate the event this year should get in touch with me.

We have recently seen two new independent shops open in the High Street and we welcome them to the town and wish them successful trading,  it is encouraging that generally we don't seem to have empty premises for very long.

As you know we successfully applied for a grant to rebuild the ABA website, our thanks to Ella from the Red House who is pulling ideas together for us to go out to tender.

We are also actively looking at ways to reduce plastic usage and would love it if all businesses could think of one source they could change... be it straws or water bottles, let us know and we will try and generate some publicity.  As mentioned in previous meetings we are looking at reusable coffee cups for the town which not only help with reducing plastic waste but will also act as a marketing message for the town as a whole. We have finally found a supplier whose design we like and will be talking to the coffee shop owners in the next week or so.

Please keep liking the ABA on Facebook and we will share your posts for you. We do get a lot of activity and love spreading news of our members' offers and events.  Also if you know of any other businesses who might like to join us feel free to pass my details on, we are happy to represent our members' views on any issues that affect the town.  One current issue we have been approached about is the parking on the High Street and lack of enforcement of the two hour limit. With the summer season approaching it is important that this parking is available for tourists, we would ask that business owners encourage their staff to park on the edges of the town and walk in rather than taking valuable spaces.

Finally I would like to thank my Vice chair Sarah Fox for her endless cups of coffee and letting us use Aldeburgh Market for our meetings and our secretary come treasurer Sarah Whitelock for the huge amount of work she has put in to keeping our records straight and for always being there with a listening ear.  With the help of David from Five Acre Barn who has set up new membership spreadsheets.  Thanks also to Chloe King from the Ipswich Building Society who has sent out the invoices.

Finally, we do need to find some new members for the committee. We have short meetings on an ad hoc basis and we have all benefited in different ways from our roles. If nothing else, it's a good way to get to know fellow business owners and feel part of the fabric of the town. If you feel you would like to do this please give me a ring or drop me an e mail.

sal.ogden@btinternet.com
07702 476063

Aldeburgh Business Association offers the ultimate free guide to visiting Aldeburgh in Suffolk. The A to Z listing contains the most up to date information on the Best Places to Stay in Aldeburgh, including Hotels, Self-Catering Accommodation, Bed & Breakfast and Campsites. The guide also covers Eating and Drinking in Aldeburgh, Shopping on the High Street, Public Services and all the latest Things To Do in Aldeburgh as well as news from this stunning Suffolk seaside town.

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