Frank Levett, chair of the OBF**, introduced the sponsors of the awards: BNI Orpington (a newly started branch), Perry's Accountants, News Shopper and TownTalk. Rachelle Harte of Lollipop Events Ltd organised the ceremony.
Chandra Sharma (OBF**) and Naz Chowdhury of TownTalk spoke about the recent media coverage giving a rather unfair perspective of Orpington. However, the local media did print an article countering this. Naz explained how the first Explore Orpington meeting in July produced some great ideas for improving Orpington and its image. Four theme groups - 1st for Access, 1st for Look & Feel, 1st for Customers, 1st for Change - suggested a range of proposals to create a new vision for Orpington. (**Orpington Business Forum)
Jane Webb, from JW Marketing Ltd, the newly appointed marketing company, announced that a new strategy was being developed, with a calendar of events to increase footfall in the high street. She asked 'What is the purpose of Orpington? What will bring people into the town centre?' She went on to confirm that Orpington high street has everything it needs to be successful - vitality & viability are present. The first major event will be Christmas. The Christmas Lights switch on will be on 20 November. Businesses were asked to recommend what they think is needed to make this a memorable and attractive event, to draw crowds to the high street.
The Awards 2013
Winner Runner Up
Customer Service: McDonald's Makcaris/KCs
Customer Service Retail: Groom Barbers Thornburrows
Community Group Harris HospisCare Tangent Office Supplies
Environmentally Friendly Business Tangent Office Resources Makcaris/KCs
Favourite Business Person Owner Makcaris/KCs VTB Mobility
Overall Contribution to Orpington Ray Bell (Street Pastors) Cheryl Curr (Town Centre Manager until BID)
Special Honorary Achievement Award: Gary Morris (previous Chair of the OBF)
See News Shopper article 13 September here.