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News from

Axminster Chamber of Commerce


April 2022

Your newly relaunched Chamber is gathering pace! Over recent weeks we have been busy planning events, discussing local issues, investigating training and skills opportunities and building good working relationships with others involved in regenerating Axminster.

But perhaps the most important bit of immediate news is that we have recognised the severe financial pressures facing local businesses right now and have decided to waive membership fees for the year ahead. If you have received this newsletter by email then your are already effectively signed up from your involvement in our previous activities. If you received the newsletter as a social media link please now give us your details below and play your part in Axminster’s future.

Sign up
SPARE SOME TIME FOR OUR AGM

Please support us by taking the time to come along to our AGM and contribute your comments and ideas. Watch our facebook businesses group for the agenda. We promise it won’t be boring or long!
 
Monday 16 May - 6.30pm
Axminster Inn
JUBILANT IN JUNE

It’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and there will be much going on in Axminster. The long bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June is just the beginning of a really special month. The Chamber and Totally Locally Axminster will be very much playing their part. Please join in where you can to make June special in Axminster.

BANNERS ABOVE THE STREETS

Totally Locally Axminster is also planning to introduce street banners this summer. They will appear above premises in West Street and Trinity Square as the first stage of an initiative that we hope will spread to take into wider areas of the town centre. The great majority of the work is being done by volunteers who are making the fabric banners, designing images and hand painting them. 
SHOP WINDOWS COMPETITION

We are planning a shop windows competition for the Jubilee and urge town centre retailers to do their bit to help Axminster put on a show. In addition to our own large banners, Light Up Axminster is planning to produce new bunting (info from Cindy Furse). We will be issuing numbered crowns for each participating business to display and asking children to collect the numbers and vote for their favourite. Displays will need to be in place by 30 May. 
AXE VALE SHOW
 
We are planning a stand at Axe Vale Show on 18 and 19 June which will serve as a focal point to promote both the Chamber and the individual businesses of Axminster. Let us know if you have any literature, vouchers or special offer material you would like us to display.

 
FIVER FEST PLUS
 
Totally Locally Axminster's popular 'Fiver Fest' returns for a fortnight in June to help celebrate the Cherry Fayre Festival. But this time we are playing with the format so that you can run with £5 offers if you wish, but alternatively opt for or any other denomination or type of offer that works for you. It simply needs to add up to a good deal. Watch our Facebook Business Group for more details.
Things are happening
It is time to feel positive about Axminster’s future! The Chamber and Totally Locally Axminster are contributing to two projects that are exploring opportunities for both short and longer term investment and with each of the tiers of local government fully engaged.

The Axe Valley Project led by East Devon District Council involves consultants in feasibility studies on ‘placemaking’ projects in the wider Axe Valley. They are preparing a report on the options for a number of key sites in private or public ownership that will pave the way for funding bids from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. 

​Meanwhile, the Coastal and Market Towns Project from Devon County Council is exploring a more overarching strategy involving eight ‘underperforming’ towns including Axminster and Seaton. The current stage involves consultants working with the towns on a regeneration strategy and preparing business cases for action. It will also identify some ‘quick win’ projects and the creation of project groups or a regeneration board for each town. 
Which issues worry you?
Which of Axminster’s issues worry you most? It might well be the heavy traffic that flows through the town centre? Or maybe it’s empty, boarded-up shops with no apparent momentum to bring them back into use? Business rates are another hot topic. Whatever it is, you can help us in presenting the voice of business to those who make the decisions by contributing to our survey, which also gives you the opportunity to tell us what you want from your Chamber. Please take the few minutes involved to complete it. 
Survey
Do you have some time to help drive the work of the Chamber? Or know someone retired with valuable skills? Assistance on any front is welcome but especially with managing small projects, liaising with businesses and driving social media. Please email secretary@axminster.biz.
Become a plastic free business

An appeal from Plastic Free Axminster: ‘We are a community group and not-for-profit organisation, working under the umbrella of marine charity Surfers Against Sewage. Our aim is to gain plastic-free community status for Axminster. We are committed to helping our town become plastic- smart, working with local businesses, schools, groups and individuals to make simple, sustainable swaps in everyday life. If you would like to know how your business can achieve Plastic Free Champion status, please email us on sasplasticfreeaxminster@gmail.com and have a read of the 'how-to' toolkit. Businesses - Plastic Free Communities. The first step is to undertake a plastic audit of the business (we would be happy to help) and then initially to swap three items of single-use plastic for eco options (again let us know and we can give you a list of suggestions or put you in touch with a business that has already gained the award). We look forward to working with you.’

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