Group to fight for businesses

A NEW networking group aiming to boost businesses buffeted by the recession will meet for the first time next week.

The KICK-start Kettering group, which aims to advertise services offered by businesses around the town and share skills to increase income, will meet at 6pm on Thursday.

Founder Tony Lucchesi, owner of Nautilus Natural Fitness Centre in Market Place, said: “The object is to increase footfall for this area of town.

“Nobody else, not the council or the chamber of trade, is listening or doing anything for this area of town so we are fighting our own corner.”

Already 42 people, who represent more than 85 businesses in the target area, have signed up to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Naseby Hotel or cafe Javajava, both in Sheep Street, depending on the final number.

Emerson Patton, of business training group Action Coach, will speak about growing a business in a tough economy at the meeting. The topic was chosen by firms attending.

It will hold monthly meetings with speakers for members to discuss matters affecting them.

The group, which costs firms £60 a year to join, is primarily aimed at independent businesses around Market Place, Market Street, Horsemarket and Sheep Street, but Mr Lucchesi hopes to open it out to all independent businesses in the town.

KICK-Start, which stands for Key Independent Commerce Kettering, has already launched a website designed by Scott Jones, of 123 Internet, through which it hopes to provide information to shoppers, such as the location of parking and toilets, to encourage them to the area. Members will have a page on the site to advertise their business and discounts or a link to their website.

For details visit www.kickstartkettering.com.