Market Shoppers Blog on the NMTF: Part 3

The future

To conclude the series of the NMTF, we will look into what the NMTF has coming up, what is the future for NMTF and how this can benefit the market traders. From the introduction to the NMTF in part 1, and then the first pitch campaign amongst others being highlighted in part 2, it is only right we look into what this great company has planned, and find out what we should look forward to.

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Well to begin with I think it is important for the readers to know that the NMTF recently has become incorporated as of July 2016, which will play a big part in the future of the NMTF, as this means changes have/will happen both positive and negative, such as the loss of branches which were not compatible with corporate status, but this has been quickly rectified by replacing these with groups which is beneficial because of the flexibility of how groups can work. On the positive side NMTF being incorporated means that they are registered by Companies House and hold a company number, which makes it easier for them to access government funding and secure the best interest rates which will definitely play its part in the future of this organisation and our markets.

“The purpose of an NMTF Group is to offer mutual support to its members, to represent their interests at a local level and to work together to achieve common goals” NMTF

Another factor on the NMTF’s future is their collaboration with NABMA on the Mission for Markets campaign and the National Youth Market event, which I will touch on briefly as I have already spoken about these in part 2 and Back to the future blogs. Since NABMA and the NMTF have joined forces for these projects, they have conducted the most in-depth survey of the market industry, which shows the lengths that they are going to so that they can gain the best understanding in order to implement the best changes and practices. Also, the continuation of the National Youth Market, which is preserving the future of our markets and traders by giving our youngsters a chance and a platform to shine and giving our markets new blood.

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The Mission for Markets website has been built for longevity, so that they can keep producing this high level of research, log it, display it, compare and analyse it, which can only help the market industry as a whole. This year, NABMA and NMTF have undertaken a survey of the industry again. Results of the second Mission for Markets survey will be published at the NABMA Conference in September 2016 – an update to the publication is expected and results will be shared on the website.

With the above being mentioned, the NMTF distribute Market Times which is a magazine distributed directly to 22,000 NMTF members and 1,000 key decision makers within the industry; this magazine keeps everybody up to date with what is happening within their markets and changes that could be happening to the market place or the NMTF themselves. Market Times is the only magazine of its kind for market traders, and clearly going forward this is great way to keep everybody involved, I should imagine Market Times will be instrumental to the future of the NMTF and their members.

NMTF and their involvement with Streetzine (a street food magazine), is good for the future as street food has always been a part of markets ranging from the hot dog van, to the crepes man, to the ice cream man, to the Indian cuisines and the Caribbean cuisine. Over the years we have seen a growth in different street food coming to our markets, and I don’t know about you but I am grateful and need the enjoyment of some sort of street food, to get a taste of different cultures and flavour. I love when I can experience this on a market – after all shopping makes me hungry, what with carrying all my girlfriend’s bags, these food vans give me a nice welcome break! With the NMTF involvement in the Street Food Live event and Streetzine this goes to show NMTF love markets and are looking to the future, which clearly makes the statement that they are looking to keep this street food a part of the markets future, to sustain the market atmosphere, and also keep traders and shoppers bellies going forward.

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Now I think this is my personal favourite; the NMTF working with the government, Jobcentre Plus, to promote market stall work experience can only be good for the industry, (this is something I have blogged about previously), as this a way of encouraging potential young market traders to get involved with markets which is a very big deal. NMTF working with Jobcentre Plus is good for the economy in general as it is encouraging more people to consider being a market trader or working on a market stall. This is a big move to get those who may not have considered this option, and give those who are in two minds, an experience of being a market stall trader before they make the decision whether it is for them or not. This clearly can play a part in bringing unemployment down and creates more jobs for more people just trying to feed their families, whilst giving the market traders more help, for no cost at all.

NMTF working with Jobcentre Plus is huge for markets because for me, this addresses issues of unemployment, it boosts market trading profile with more people getting a feel for it, they can respect the work and the trader more, and bring market trading to the interest of the younger generation which can also exercise their inner entrepreneur. I for one love this partnership and feel it gives market jobs more authenticity and for the traders, if utilised properly, could be the difference between their market stall growing and closing.

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In addition, the NMTF is a Referral Partner for the government-backed, Start Up Loans UK. The NMTF recognises that the biggest barrier for new market and street traders, events retailers and mobile caterers is access to affordable finance. Start Up Loans UK provides loans and business mentoring to new micro and small businesses across the UK. You need to be over 18 with less than 24 months trading experience to apply – it’s not just for young people! The average loan size is £5,500 with a fixed rate of six per cent the loan is repaid over one to five years. The loan is a personal loan given for business purposes. To make an application for a Start Up Loan, click here. There is no application fee. You can read case studies from NMTF members who received a loan from Start Up Loans UK here.

Commenting on the partnership with Start Up Loans UK, chief executive of the NMTF, Joe Harrison, said:

“By working with Start Up Loans UK, we are able to offer our members the full package: expert advice, liability protection, supplier discounts and financial support – if you’re thinking about trading on markets, festivals and fairs, join the NMTF.”

So what do we have to look forward to? We have the NMTF collaborations with companies such as NABMA, Streetzine, Job centre plus shaping our markets future, we have NMTF just becoming incorporated which should make for a better future in terms of growth, we have the National Youth Market event which will showcase the very best of our next generation of market traders, and the Mission for Markets campaign which will allow the markets to be analysed and assessed to get the best out of the market industry. I look forward to the great work the NMTF contribute, and have a lot of faith in this organisation which I believe will successfully shape the market industry for a better future.

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