March 16, 2023

BID Business Networking Event

Date: Wednesday 8th March 2023
 Venue: Plant’n’Plate, 55 High Street


Despite the suddenly unseasonable weather, we had a reasonable turnout for our latest business networking meeting, which took place at our vegan restaurant, Plant’n’Plate.

Nick Birch from Birmingham City University told those present about two initiatives currently being offered to businesses for free by the university:

STEM-UP is a project offering free workshops, classes and courses in STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Higher Level Skills Match is open to all SME businesses across Birmingham and is designed to find opportunities to deliver growth within their businesses.

These initiatives are free to all qualifying businesses – to find out more and sign up, click on the links provided above.


We were then introduced to Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Birmingham-based BIRA (the British Independent Retailers Association). BIRA is a national organisation supporting tens of thousands of business-to-consumer facing businesses.

Their suite of benefits is extensive and moreover they represent independent businesses directly to government.

Membership to BIRA is £205+VAT annually, but the BID has an agreement with BIRA that any of our businesses joining can do so with a 30% discount, paying just £143.50+VAT.

One attendee, who was already a member, was adamant that the card-processing services BIRA offer more than paid for their annual membership and would take a chunk out of their annual BID levy too!


Next, we heard from Jay Adkins and Dan Hadley from Kings Heath’s very own Brumside Radio. A DAB radio station based in the All Saints Centre, broadcasting globally. They have a growing audience and frequently champion Kings Heath live on-air. Brumside Radio also has some excellent advertising packages at the moment (I’ve been listening in and at least one of our businesses is featured regularly!).

Alex from Plant’n’Plate was invited to talk to everyone about the journey that she and business partner Lily have been on, getting the business to where it is today. A fascinating story that it’s worth popping in to find out – over a vegan cake, of course!


Matt rounded off the formal part of the meeting with a reminder that the BID is out to ballot and that we are all hopeful of a successful outcome so that the BID can continue to support businesses to take advantage of the vibrant high street that we all love as it continues to evolve over the coming years.

He informed attendees about the BID’s Employee Reward Scheme and talked also about the BID’s current project with Place Support Partnership, a company that sets out to save businesses money across a range of cost centres, focussing mainly on utilities.

Following these presentations, everyone tucked into some very tasty vegan buffet and enjoyed some informal networking before heading home in the snow.

Assuming that the BID has a successful ballot result on 6th April, we’ll begin planning the next event, and if you’d be interested in opening up your business and hosting an event, please do let us know.





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