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Q&A with Rachel Edwards, the business development manager at Newbury Weekly News & Media

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role…

A: I’m Rachel Edwards, the business development manager at Newbury Weekly News & Media.

Newbury News & Media business development manager Rachel Edwards
Newbury News & Media business development manager Rachel Edwards

For the past year or so, I’ve been getting to know local entrepreneurs, established businesses, and thriving startups across our region to support their growth.

There are so many incredible businesses in our local area, and it’s my job to spread the word and make sure as many people know about them as possible.

Whether it’s a new product launch, the reopening of a restaurant, or a major milestone, you can bet that I’ll be there to fly the flag!

Q: Tell us more about the NWN Best In Business Awards?

A: Our team has been working hard on some exciting plans to build stronger business connections within West Berkshire. The NWN Best In Business Awards is a big part of that.

We relaunched the awards earlier this year after a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we had some serious fun at the Newbury Racecourse in late March.

The awards are about celebrating local businesses.

We had over 100 nominees with 240 attendees thanks to sponsors like Visit Newbury and Apple Print & Creative, with winners including Falkland Grange Care Home as West Berkshire's Business of 2022/23, Hungerford Bookshop as Best Independent Retailer, and Lifestyle Coach UK as Best Online Business.

I’m already working with the team to plan next year’s awards – bring on March 2024!

Q: What is the West Berkshire BusinessInsider?

A: The West Berkshire Business Insider is a new 28-page quarterly news supplement for business news in West Berkshire.

The aim is for West Berkshire businesses to take ownership of it.

The first issue will launch on June 8 and will have expert articles covering all aspects of business, giving useful tips, and keeping people up-to-date with everything going on in that sector.

The West Berkshire Business Insider will cover a variety of sectors, including the environment, property, coaching, accountancy, mortgages, interior design, corporate law, technology, HR, and so much more – and it will evolve over time as we do.

Any businesses that want to join the West Berkshire Business Insider for our upcoming editions can contact me at rachel.edwards@iliffemedia.co.uk.

We’re already attracting more than 1,000,000 website visits per month, social media campaigns, and in-person networking.

As the leading media outlet in West Berkshire, we’re committed to leading the push for creating business communication platforms across the region.

We’re excited about what’s ahead in 2023, especially the Insider supplement!

Q: Why’s it important to support local businesses amidst the cost-of-living crisis?

A: With the cost of living increasing, it’s never been more important to consider local businesses.

I’m so proud of our local communities – there’s something for everyone on our high streets, and small, independent businesses can only survive with our support.

I know that times are tough right now.

When I speak to entrepreneurs across the region, they don’t ask for much; even if you cannot splash the cash right now, sharing posts on social media, recommending products to friends, and buying gift cards to give back.

Novuna Business Finance found that 92 per cent of small business owners are concerned about the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on their future – I know I’ll be doing what I can to give back and ensure some of our most important businesses are still here in five, 10 and 20 years’ time.

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