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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Group on verge of raising £1m

BUSINESS breakfasts are growing rapidly but one Barrow meeting is on the brink of raising £1m in revenue for its members.

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CONTACT: Scott Gomersall, chairman of Business Network International’s Barrow and Furness chapter MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50037975B004

Business Network International’s Barrow chapter has raised £983,000 in business referrals for members in the past three years and is on track to hit the £1m mark early this year.

The group meets weekly and work together to ensure local traders flourish.

From tyre repairs to sign writers, accountants and solicitors, each meeting is a microcosm of the South Cumbrian business world.

Nationally, there are 6,866 BNI chapters in the UK and in 2011, BNI members gave 6.9 million referrals, leading to £2.4bn of business.

Scott Gomersall, chairman of the Barrow and Furness chapter, said: “The referrals have been secured by quality businesses so it’s easy to pass a referral on because you trust them.

“It is a fantastic organisation.”

Martin Fowler, membership secretary, said: “There is the complete spectrum of businesses here but there are still people we’d appreciate having – a photographer and florist for a start.”

Only one company can represent each sector so competition can be tough but, with seats worth in excess of £9,000 to members, the committee is convinced membership fees are worthwhile.

Mr Gomersall said the group is due to reach its £1m of business in three years early in 2013.

Mr Fowler said the success of the Barrow chapter is leading to a new chapter in Lakeside, which will start up in the new year.

In the past two meetings there have been referrals worth £20,000 to group members, while the past six months have seen £117,000 of business referred.

Mr Fowler added: “This is all about keeping business local but having good quality businesses.

“People can come down to see how we operate – we are looking for other members.”

For more information on BNI and how to join email Mr Gomersall on enquiries@sdgaccountants.co.uk.

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