Alex, welcome to Earsfield Talks. Congratulations on your appointment as Head of the Earlsfield Business Network!
Thank you. It is with great pleasure that I take on the role of chairman of the Earlsfield Business Network. I first joined the network 4 years ago and have seen two chairmen do wonderful jobs during my time on the committee so I do hope I can follow in their footsteps! As a local resident and General Manager at Tara Theatre I am passionate about all things Earlsfield so I hope to be able to pass this onto all attendees of our monthly events. I love to support the local business in our high street. For me, to bring together a network of people who also live, work in or love Earlsfield is just fantastic!
Why was the Earlsfield Business Network developed?
The network was developed as a stem off the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce a couple of years go. Terence Witten, a local business owner decided to start the Earlsfield Business Network to put Earlsfield on the map, improve trade, encourage local business support and to promote a shop local agenda. Steve Pinto (CEO, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce) has been a fantastic facilitator and supporter of this network. Earlsfield Business Network is here to keep you updated on local events and informed on issues that concern the local business community.
How has it changed since it was set up?
The idea of the network is still the same but it has certainly grown since its inception. We still hold the monthly events but we now move them around to different venues on the high street to showcase the wonderful local independent businesses that Earlsfield has to offer. Ben's Canteen, Bean & Hop, The Eclectic Collection and The Earlsfield to name a few, have kindly hosted these events.
What are its biggest achievements?
Terence Witten, original chairman did a fantastic job setting up the network and when Will Mckinlay took over as chairman last year he continued to make great progress by bringing in a monthly newsletter 'The Earl' and by continuously striving to make the network and events as interesting and advantageous to local businesses as possible. I personally feel one of the biggest achievements which we have all worked hard towards is bringing the first ever Earlsfield Christmas light fair and switch on to the high street in 2016. We have continued to run these events ever since and they have proven to be a huge success!
What challenges do you think you may face?
The biggest challenge is keeping the network alive and active and ensuring people are getting what they need from it, whether that be the social aspect or connecting with other businesses to promote each other and commerce in Earlsfield.
What advice would you give to businesses in the area?
My advice would be to keep on networking, supporting and promoting each other. We all achieve so much more with a collaborative approach. If you are not yet a member of the Earlsfield Business Network then do sign up by visiting the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce website. When you become a member of the Chamber you automatically become part of the Earlsfield Business Network. Lastly, I would advise them to join us for one of our monthly meetings, every 2nd Wednesday of the month