Chesterfield Champions reflect on a challenging year and share messages of positivity for 2021
As we move towards Christmas and the new year, Chesterfield Champions have sent their messages to the local community as we look ahead to 2021.
If you’re interested about signing your business up to Chesterfield Champions, you can find out more by clicking here.
Destination Chesterfield has also been supporting local businesses throughout the festive period by promoting the Christmas In Chesterfield campaign. Click here to find out more about local Christmas shopping and events.
“The Chesterfield community has shown true compassion, resilience and innovation – pulling together to help one another in the exceptional times we’ve been living through in 2020. I’m truly proud and humbled by their spirit. We know that Christmas must feel a little different this year, but I wish people a very safe and happy festive period, and together we look forward to a brighter new year.” Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council
“2020 has been a tough year. I am immensely proud of the council’s staff who have gone well above and beyond their daily roles to put Chesterfield’s communities first. We have the beating of Covid-19 and with lots of new developments underway or planned, the priority for 2021 must be to make sure that local people benefit from the jobs that are created. We must be fully focused on addressing unemployment and improving people’s quality of life.” Huw Bowen, Chief Executive, Chesterfield Borough Council
“2020 has been a year of partnership, collaboration and innovation which has delivered remarkable results in challenging times. Working with Chesterfield Borough Council and Chesterfield Champions, we have seen some truly innovative virtual projects emerge, like Made in Chesterfield and the Christmas campaign, to connect and inform the community. We go into 2021 in excellent shape with a strong story of resilience and innovation to tell potential investors in the town.” Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager
“2020 has been characterised by some bold decisions which will shape the future prosperity of Chesterfield. Once again, the town bucked the trend. When everyone else was battening down the hatches amidst the Covid storm, Chesterfield Borough Council forged ahead with supporting commercial developments at Northern Gateway and Chesterfield Waterside, which will deliver employment opportunities. Given the vaccination programme, we now can go into 2021 with hope, and an undercurrent of positivity and excitement.” Peter Swallow, Managing Director, Bolsterstone Group Plc
“Being a care home operator, this year we focused on maintaining the safety and security of our existing business. Reminding myself that we have a serious and pressing duty of care to keep the most vulnerable members of society safe and well has given me focus and purpose in an uncertain time. My hope is that we emerge from this with a newfound respect and value for what is most important – the people in our lives.” Brendan Kelly, Group Managing Director, Heathcotes Group
“Covid meant that plans to open a new shop to had to be put as the promotion of one of our apprentices. Despite these disappointments, seeing how the community has pulled together has really impressed me. Looking to 2021 I want the town to prosper as a result of it having amazing businesses within it. I want more businesses to see the benefit of working together. The worlds our oyster so let’s all get involved!” Martin Wallis-Keyworth, Owner, Less than Zero Barbers
“Covid has had a big impact on the hospitality industry within the town centre. Iit has also given us time to reflect on what we do well and how we can make things even better in the future. With the continued support of our loyal customers, we look forward to opening again soon. Next year I want to see every single one of our customers walk back through our doors, fit and healthy!” Claire Wood, Owner, Stephensons Tea and Coffee House
“Home took on new meaning this year, and I’m confident we have adapted to better support our customers and community in finding that. I’m endlessly inspired by my colleagues and the people of Chesterfield in overcoming 2020’s challenges and finding the good in everything. As a town we’re stronger and more supportive than ever – I know we can get through anything! Jessica Risorto Area Manager, Redbrik Estate Agents
“Edwards Employment Solutions is on track to have its most successful year ever. At the start of Covid we feared the worst, however the business has become stronger as the job market has grown. There are many jobs available locally and this is hugely positive for the town and people whose jobs may have been a casualty of the pandemic. There are lots of positives to push both Edwards and Chesterfield forward in 2021.” Izabella Edwards, Managing Director, Edwards Employment Solutions
“The sense of community and resilience shown in Chesterfield throughout the crisis has been outstanding and makes me proud to both live, work and have a business based here. We refused to let Covid get in the way of our business plans, moving to a larger office and recruiting new team members during 2020. Bridge Help goes into 2021 excited for the year ahead and with a strong platform for further growth.” Chris Sellars, Chief Executive, Bridge Help
“While many towns and cities shelved plans for construction projects, it is testament to Chesterfield’s forward thinking and resilience that it has forged ahead with high quality commercial and residential developments during 2020. The ripple effect of ongoing investment in the town has certainly been felt at DBCP where we continue to develop the team and are recruiting further ensuring we go into 2021 in a strong position and ready to support developments across Derbyshire.” Neil Johnson, Managing Director, Derbyshire Building Control Partnership
“It is fair to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for the skills and training sector however, out of adversity has come innovation. The industry and NLT have developed new ways of working and delivering courses which I am confident will benefit us all going into 2021 as we look to grow the business.” Sarah Temperton, Chief Executive, NLT Training Services
“2020 has been a terrible year for most, but the festive season will give us the chance to see family and friends and bring us some joy for Christmas. My wish is that business picks up for those companies struggling and those that are still thriving continue to even greater things in 2021! Growing businesses bring jobs to the local residents building a better economy for our fantastic town.” Lee Ashley, Director, Spire Recruitment
“As we leave one of the most challenging years the world has ever faced, we look forward to a new year and the possibility of getting some normality in the year ahead. We know economically times will be tough, but we hope that the Business Crime Reduction Partnership will help keep our town a safer place to shop and do business and we can’t wait to get out and see everyone face to face once more!” Jackie Roberts, Business Crime Reduction Partnership Manager at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).
“2020 was the year that Chesterfield’s big heart and amazing community spirit was needed more than any of us can remember. Residents, community groups, businesses and statutory services rose to the challenge and worked together to make a difference. Social connections are so important. Let’s make the time and effort to connect with each other, and to reach out to those around us who are isolated at this time of year.” Jacqui Willis, Chief Executive, Derbyshire Voluntary Action
“We want to thank you all for your support through 2020, having pivoted our business from live events to supplying home events through our hampers via our website. Covid-19 has made us dig deep, stay focused and plan. We have worked with other local businesses and are really impressed with the camaraderie. We would love to see this spirit continue into next year and look forward for the vaccine rollout to all be together again.” Natalia and Daniela Marchetta, Owners, Salute
“Although 2020 has been an unprecedented and incredibly difficult year, it’s also been one of the most heart-warming. We’ve had some lovely messages, conversations and acts of kindness from our customers and suppliers, that proves thar relationships throughout every aspect of business, are of paramount importance. ‘Shop Local’ has also come to the fore and we’re ever-grateful for our customers’ continued support and long-term, this support will help our independents become stronger than ever.” James Pogson, Director, Northern Tea Merchants
“What a year 2020 has been?! It would be easy to list the negatives, however, we’ve experienced a year of growth and seen our undervalued industry recognised as a key way of connecting with and being able to distribute ever-changing messages. Online communications and social media have allowed businesses to innovate and keep the conversation going with customers that would have otherwise been impossible. It’s important to keep this momentum going in 2021 and beyond.” Emma Loughlin, Director, eBusiness Works
“Sicily Restaurant is a young business which opened in August 2019. Me and my partner in crime run the restaurant together, it is our little dream! Obviously, it’s a very hard time for the hospitality industry but it’s a very hard time for everybody else too. We’re very positive and are sure that very soon all of us will be able to get back to our normal lives. 2021 will be a Great Year, Sicily Restaurant is always here to help you enjoy your special days. We’re sure that together, we can do it! Merry Christmas and a happy new year.” Monica and Peppe, Owners, Siclily Restaurant
“It has been so uplifting to see businesses coming together to support each other and the local community. So many have adapted their services or products, and they have worked closely with the team at Destination Chesterfield to promote the town’s achievements. It’s been a real pleasure this year to raise the profile of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire alongside 190 Chesterfield Champions. And we have seen more support than ever for the Chesterfield High Street Awards, in a time when it has never been more important to shop locally. Thank you to all the businesses that enabled us to reimagine our awards ceremony to showcase high street businesses for the first time via a live virtual platform.” – Tara Underhill, Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator
“2020 has been a tough year for many, here at S40 & S41 Local magazines we closed for three editions but were lucky enough to restart successfully towards the end of the year. Chesterfield has always had a strong sense of community and I’m seeing that more and more as businesses come together to support and help each other. Great examples are the Chesterfield is OPEN Signs used towards the end of the first lockdown and the more recent Christmas Elf, Advent Town and Paperstar Light trails that have popped up over Christmas. I am excited for 2021 after witnessing many ways in which the independent business community are working closer together, it can only mean good things for the new year.” Paul Chapman, S40 Local
“This year has been tough for everyone, we have all adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 and new ways of life. The highlight of 2020 for me has been how local businesses and the community have worked together to keep going strong. This year has made me appreciate where I live even more and I truly believe shopping and supporting local will be a high importance to everyone going into 2021.” Mollie Brown, Destination Chesterfield Coordinator
“Whilst 2020 has been a challenging year for many local people and businesses, I am proud to have seen first-hand the collective strength of our local community throughout this pandemic. It has been truly inspiring to see the creativity and innovation on display across all sectors and industries in Chesterfield. This year has gone to show that if we stick together as a community, we’re able to achieve great things even in the most adverse conditions. I am excited to continue working alongside the wonderful team at Destination Chesterfield and our Chesterfield Champions, as part of efforts to help the town bounce back even stronger in 2021.” Joshua Marsh, Destination Chesterfield Coordinator