SARAH WARD AT THE BANK OF ENGLAND

The GA at BOE 3

(From L to R: Sir Ronald Halstead – EIA; Aslam Merchant – Pelican Manufacturing; Sarah Ward – the GA; John May – Chairman, Genesis Initiative; Nick Levine – ICAEW; Paul Green – Galpeg Ltd; Rob Elder – Bank of England)

The Giftware Association’s CEO Sarah Ward once again attended the Bank of England Genesis Initiative meeting, armed with our members’ views to discuss SMEs’ capital intentions and more.

On Friday 21st September, Sarah Ward along with other trade associations and other big UK businesses met up at the Bank of England for a Genesis Initiative meeting, to discuss lending to SMEs and economic reform amongst other subjects that affects today’s business environment.

The Genesis Initiative was formed to improve the quality of debate amongst SMEs, driven by SMEs and supported by Parliamentarians their joint efforts contribute to the continued growth of the SME sector within the United Kingdom.

John May, Chairman of the genesis Initiative states “Small business is the backbone of the British economy and when it does well the whole country does well. The role of Genesis is to act as an umbrella organisation, working on your behalf to optimise potential growth in the SME sector by fostering a “can do” culture. We aim to participate fully in achieving economic and structural reforms that will enable business to flourish.”

The Giftware Association recently sent out a survey, and collated our members views which Sarah Ward presented at the meeting, and recognising the amount of information and big data that the GA had collated, Sarah led the meeting into discussions with other trade associations about the current economic state, who all agreed that the present climate and the struggles that all businesses across all sectors are facing everyday are very real.

The main findings of the day were that companies were relying on cash flow and reserves in the future of their business, rather than to rely on borrowing, and of course, there was a lot of uncertainty around Brexit with data showing that companies are sitting on the side of caution and waiting it out with a lot of areas of their business not being impacted over the last 12 months.

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The GA at BOE 4

The Giftware Association has certainly made an impact in having been invited back for the forth year in a row and is now being invited to other events at Government that will raise the profile of the home and gift industry as well as take our members views and voices further and be heard by those that can make a difference. Sarah Ward said “Obviously Brexit is the talk of the table in most of these meetings, and now that we have established a connection as a respected association we want to be able to bring our members views to the forefront on how the giftware industry is surviving and adapting but also the worries that we all face”

The Giftware Association relies on its members’ views to create these opportunities. We will be working more closely with the Genesis Initiative so look out for more surveys and have your say.

If you would like more information or the full survey results please contact a member of the team on enquiries@ga-uk.org.

The GA at BOE 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GIFTWARE ASSOCIATION TAKES YOUR VOICE TO THE HOUSE OF LORDS

House of Lords Visit

Sarah Ward, our CEO, attended the House of Lords on 27th March 2018, after an exclusive invite to present the home and gift industry’s views at a Genesis Initiative meeting. The views were gathered through a survey sent out to the wider home and gift industry about their experiences in getting access to finance either through bursaries and grants or normal lending from their business banks.

Sarah is no stranger to the Initiative, having visited the Bank of England to present the thoughts and concerns of our members over the past few years, discussing the issues that the home and gift industry has faced. This is the first time she has had the incredible opportunity to take the results to the House of Lords and a discussion focussing on getting access to Finance.

The Genesis initiative is a senate set up to consult with business throughout the UK and feed its results back to government in an effort to guide policy that favours SMEs.

Sarah Ward said: “I am incredibly honoured to have been invited to such an exclusive event and be able to present, with various MPs, lenders and associations, our industry’s views on how they have accessed finance in the past, whether there have been barriers to it, or if there needs to be an education around it.” She continues, “It is massively important that the Giftware Association has been invited to this event as we are the voice of the industry we serve, and we can take your views and hopefully shape government policies with it.”

The results from the industry highlighted a need for further education around the process of accessing finance and where to look for it, with a large proportion of the survey respondents aware of some finance options, but not all, that would be suitable for them and an overarching theme of a lack of trust In the UK’s economy and banks. Some of the conversations and discussions had will create further projects amongst the Genesis Initiative about helping promote the UK lending market and to ensure every business has the right finance for their needs.

Adam Tyler, the Genesis Initiative director said: “We now need to consider the next phase and that will be to bring in the opinions of the Genesis Members, totalling around 1.2 million. The most straightforward way to get this started will be to ask a number of suitable questions to each audience.”

The central question the meeting was based around was: How can we make a change to ensure that the overall UK economy benefits from today’s positive business lending landscape?  With the outcome being that SME’s need help with moving forward, and questions need to be asked to a wider audience to learn about SME’s needs and wants regarding finance, watch this space as we hear more about how the Genesis Initiative is committed to helping the business world.

The Giftware Association would like to thank all those that completed the survey for your thoughts and views.

Sarah will be attending another meeting at the House of Lords next week: the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. During the week commencing 16 April, at various locations in London, and across the country, leaders from business, politics, academia and culture will showcase the Commonwealth’s diverse network, exploring the prospects for collaboration and opportunities for trade among the 53 commonwealth countries. This meeting will also discuss business finance, among other issues, and we will report on the results of that meeting in May’s Giftwrap.

 

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YOUR LAST CHANCE TO COMPLETE OUR HOUSE OF LORDS SURVEY

House Of Lords Survey Instagram

Sarah Ward has been given the exciting and rare opportunity to give the home and gift industry a voice in the House of Lords, discussing businesses access to finance, and this is your last chance to get your voice heard.

Sarah is no stranger to visiting the Bank of England to present the thoughts and concerns of our members through the Genesis Initiative, having attended the last four years this time she takes your views and opinions to the House of Lords and presents the issues that the home and gift industry has faced. The Initiative is a senate set up to consult with business throughout the UK, and feed its results back to government in an effort to guide policy that favours SMEs.

The meeting on the 27th March, which will be taking place at the House of Lords, will involve discussion of the merits of lending and how new opportunities can help future SMEs increase business within the UK, as well as discussing findings from our members.

Since the financial crisis of 2008 we have seen a sharp rise in the number of business lenders in the UK, however the majority of UK businesses, around 80%, will still approach their local high street for lending as a first port of call. This means that many businesses might not be receiving the right type of lending for their needs. The view is to create more awareness and confidence about the lending industry so businesses can assess and meet their needs more effectively.

The central question the meeting will be based around is: How can we make a change to ensure that the overall UK economy benefits from today’s positive business lending landscape? The meeting will be attended not only by association and industry managers, but also around two dozen business lenders.

All GA members have the opportunity through to let Sarah voice their opinions and experiences with lending. This will be a great chance for members to give voice to their concerns. While it is a privilege for the GA to be included in this panel, in order to make the most of it we want to consult with the industry.

To that end we have created a short survey which will help us collate your views so that we can present as accurate a representation as possible of our industry’s needs and concerns. If you are a retailer, designer, wholesaler or manufacturer in the gift and home industry, we hope you will take a few minutes to have your say. You can take the survey here:

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BIG THUMBS UP FOR GIVING AND LIVING 2018

 

 

Giving and Living 2019

It looks like this year’s Giving & Living trade show was a win win win for South West retail trade, with happy visitors placing orders, satisfied exhibitors finding new customers and leads, and one lucky visitor winning a Taste of the West hamper!

The visitor survey carried out by Hale Events, the show’s organisers, showed that 90% of those who attended said they’d recommend the show to a colleague or related business. Almost 70% were very satisfied, or satisfied, with the variety of exhibitors and, best of all, over 93% of visitors said they’d be back next year!

Compact, close to home, good opening hours, excellent range of suppliers (not overwhelming, as other larger exhibitions can be!!). I usually find 2 or 3 new suppliers and if I do, then I’m happy”. Caroline Taysom, Small Matters Ltd

Such a great chance to see what’s available in reality rather than on websites”. Sharan Bettridge, Aunty Em’s Gatehouse

It’s a good show to find smaller suppliers and also more bespoke/personalised items.” Marnie Edward, Box of Delights.

Very convenient venue with plenty of suppliers attending, particularly smaller ones who don’t attend the larger trade fairs such as Spring & Autumn Fairs”. Maggie Jee, Peak Hill Llamas.

We have a small seaside gift shop and basically we do all our buying for the year at the show, we don’t buy elsewhere. We can see it, feel it, discuss it and there are always new products every year. If you close this show we close our shop!” Niki Tait, Appledore Quay Gift Shop.

Giving and Living 2019 1

The show got the thumbs up from exhibitors too.  The survey showed that 87% of visitors placed orders at or shortly after the show, which would explain why nearly 100 companies are already booked in for the 2019 show:

Donald Clark of Proctor & Clark, who offer imaginative gift and homeware ranges to the trade, commented that “It’s a good show for us, with a great atmosphere. We like it because it attracts buyers with a very specific interest in coastal themed products. This year we certainly generated some interest from a type of customer that we haven’t seen before, so that was good”.

Corrie at Yellow Publications, suppliers of user friendly walking and cycling maps, adds that “We have exhibited at Giving & Living for several years now and we always look forward to this particular show. We regard it as our local show because we work out of Bodmin….but we are always surprised how far some of our visitors come. Not only are the staff of Hale Events a pleasure to deal with, but the show itself is a very friendly affair. We see many faces, old and new, amongst both the exhibitors and visitors and we always go away with good leads and good ideas”.

All the visitors who completed the survey were entered into a prize draw with the opportunity to enjoy a hamper filled with goodies from Taste of the West. We’d like to congratulate Julie Williams from A Dimond & Co, who was the lucky winner.  Independent stationers & newsagents, A. Dimond & Co. have been trading at the same address in Honiton for over 115 years. The company is owned by directors Anthony and Janet Dimond, the 4th generation of the family to run the business, and it was Julie’s first visit to the show.  First time lucky!

Next year Giving & Living takes place from Sunday 13th to Wednesday 16th January 2019 – why not put those dates in your diary now? Maybe you’ll be a winner next year too!

For more information about the show, to book a stand, or register to attend, please call 01934 733433, follow @giving_living, or visit www.givingliving.co.uk.

 

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THE GIFTWARE ASSOCIATION NEEDS YOU

House Of Lords Survey Instagram

Sarah Ward has been given the exciting and rare opportunity to give the home and gift industry a voice in the House of Lords, discussing businesses access to finance.

Sarah is no stranger to visiting the Bank of England to present the thoughts and concerns of our members through the Genesis Initiative, having attended the last four years and presented the issues that the home and gift industry has faced. The Initiative is a senate set up to consult with business throughout the UK, and feed its results back to the government in an effort to guide policy that favours SMEs.

The meeting on the 27th March, which will be taking place at the House of Lords, will involve discussion of the merits of lending and how new opportunities can help future SMEs increase business within the UK, as well as discussing findings from our members.

Since the financial crisis of 2008 we have seen a sharp rise in the number of business leaders in the UK, however, the majority of UK businesses, around 80%, will still approach their local high street for lending as a first port of call. This means that many businesses might not be receiving the right type of lending for their needs. The view is to create more awareness and confidence about the lending industry so businesses can assess and meet their needs more effectively.

The central question the meeting will be based around is: How can we make a change to ensure that the overall UK economy benefits from today’s positive business lending landscape? The meeting will be attended not only by association and industry managers but also around two dozen business lenders.

All Giftware Association members, including JDA and designGap have the opportunity to let Sarah voice their opinions and experiences with lending. This will be a great chance for members to give voice to their concerns. While it is a privilege for the GA to be included in this panel, in order to make the most of it we want to consult with the industry.

To that end we have created a short survey which will help us collate your views so that we can present as accurate a representation as possible of our industry’s needs and concerns. If you are a retailer, designer, wholesaler or manufacturer in the gift and home industry, we hope you will take a few minutes to have your say. You can take the survey here:

Survey Button

 

 

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