TERRY Taber, Essex regional organiser with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has retired after 27 years.Mr Taber, of Benfleet, is known to thousands of Essex business owners as “Mr Essex FSB” for his service to small businesses in Essex, voluntary roles at branch and county level before becoming one of the first full time members of FSB field staff in 1995 when he was appointed Essex regional organiser.
TERRY Taber, Essex regional organiser with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has retired after 27 years.
Mr Taber, of Benfleet, is known to thousands of Essex business owners as “Mr Essex FSB” for his service to small businesses in Essex, voluntary roles at branch and county level before becoming one of the first full time members of FSB field staff in 1995 when he was appointed Essex regional organiser.
His successor is Kelvedon Hatch businessman Keith Brown who was previously regional secretary for Essex FSB.
Paying tribute to Mr Taber, Essex FSB chairman Iain Wicks said: “It seems that Essex FSB has never been in existence without Terry offering calm, thoughtful and useful advice and guidance which, coupled with his marvellous capacity for handling many different tasks simultaneously has brought Essex FSB to its current position of being the leading business organisation in the county with some 3,500 members.
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“His diplomacy and commitment to small businesses is legendary and has helped Essex FSB develop excellent working partnerships with local authorities, Members of Parliament and many other organisations that have an impact and influence on the local economy. That partnership has meant that the voice of small business has been heard by those in power and more importantly has been listened to and acted upon.
“There is no doubt Terry will be a very hard act to follow but we believe that in Keith Brown we have the right man for the job.
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“Having been Leader of Brentwood Council, his knowledge of local authorities and the political process is considerable. In his business life he ran a public relations and events management company so is ideally placed to build on Terry's first class work in those fields and, having been Essex FSB secretary for four years, he has worked closely with Terry and has seen him in action.
“We are all looking forward to working with Keith and helping him further develop the strength and influence of Essex FSB for the benefit of small businesses in Essex, Havering and Redbridge.”
Mr Taber said they had seen “a vast change” in the way the FSB was run.
“It was pretty amateurish in the early days but the foundation of the organisation it is today were laid by those pioneers,” he said.
“By and large, I've thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with the FSB and, with a slight variation of a famous quote 'I like the organisation so much, I've joined it'. So from April I'll become a member again, paying my �120 annual subscription so I can benefit from the very high level of protection and promotion plus the member services available to all small businesses.
“Keith brings a wealth of experience in the business world and I can confidently predict that Essex FSB will become even better in the future.”
Mr Brown said Mr Taber would be “a very hard act to follow” but the legacy he had left was an excellent one on which to build.
“We have a first class team of officers leading Essex FSB and our five branches, supported by around 70 individuals who work with us to represent the voice of small businesses on a wide range of organisations from Bank of England consultative panels through to Local Strategic Partnerships and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships,” he said.
“I am looking forward to working with them, expanding the team and providing the support necessary to ensure that the voice of small business is heard loud and clear - something which I believe is particularly important in the current economic climate.”
Mr Taber will be keeping busy by starting a public speaking business drawing on his previous business experience to offer a talk to clubs and societies across the county as well as offering a targeted business session for commercial groups. He will continue to represent the FSB on Castle Point Local Strategic Partnership.