Sunday, 05 April 2020

New Year Message: Niki Schafer, chairman, Henley Business Partnership

Niki Schäfer, chairman, Henley Business Partnership

THERE has been much uncertainty during 2019, making the process of planning more difficult for some and the need to adapt more quickly than anticipated necessary at times.

In the Henley business world both planning and adaptation were visible.

Henley has a superb series of events that we set our clocks by — the arrival of the striped boat tents bringing the summer season and the lighting of the Christmas tree, welcoming a month of winter celebrations.

I am hugely grateful for the entertainment and festivities provided by the town and festival organisers and appreciate how much work and planning they entail. They are a true reflection of what the town has to offer and it’s wonderful that residents support them, Henley charities benefit from them and the local economy is boosted as a result.

Adaptation is also vital to our town and as we say goodbye to some well-known shops and restaurants, we are pleased to try out exciting newcomers.

The Henley Business Partnership has grown steadily over this year and welcomed many new businesses to the group from Honeys of Henley, an artisan honey producer, to Zzoomm, which promises to make Henley the town with the fastest broadband in the country. So much for a slower, bucolic pace of life.

I continue to support Henley Rugby Club and whilst I’m a self-confessed fair-weather fan, I adore the community there. It’s Henley at its best: healthy competition and rivalry, excellent food and wine, friendship, organisation, local business sponsorship and a venue home to all kinds of clubs, events and groups. Go the Hawks!

The second Henley Heroes Awards were a highlight of the year, celebrating our unsung heroes and those who have contributed to the town in a variety of ways. It was lovely to see Carolyn Molyneux recognised for her years of hard work. The awards support Nomad and I continue to be impressed with the amazing work they do for local families.

And so next year I wish you more music, more reasons to celebrate, an ability to adapt when needed and the strength to make plans that inspire you and support those around you. Happy New Year.

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