Small businesses radio station

Six months ago 107 Meridian FM made a commitment to back local business. Today the show is booked up 10 weeks in advance.

Every week, a national brand comes on air to discuss a topical big issue and this is followed by a local business owner enjoying an hour of airtime to tell their story. The show has proven to be a big hit, giving local start-ups a media platform that backs innovation and enterprise in the community.

The team at elephant communications presents the show. The team creates the interview schedule for local firms and conducts the interviews. The show is an extension of the elephant’s own pro bono CSR programme to give free support to local business start-ups, which has been running for three years.

Recent local businesses that have appeared on air each Monday drive time include:

Charlotte Wright Photography

Charlotte spoke about her most recent photography, especially her signature bluebell photo shoots. She also discussed the challenges she faced starting up her company and her passion for the job. She also talked about how to strike a healthy work-life balance. 

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Coles Estate Agents

Matt Cole who is a Partner at Coles Estate Agents came in and gave an interesting talk about the current situation with the housing market in and around the East Grinstead area. Being based in the area, Matt will be back on air next month to discuss seasonal home buying trends.

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Managing Director, Roger Martell, told us a lot about the history of Martell’s and his grandfather’s ideas and business vision, which still live in the business today. Roger also spoke about the personal approach you get with his company and how they have expanded their business based on building relationships.

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Buss Merton

Alex Lee, a Partner at Buss Merton Solicitors spoke to us about the range of everyday legal issues facing both consumers and small businesses. He shared his firm’s vision and reasons why they decided to open a branch in the town. He also told us about the expansion of the company.

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Cath Adam Jewelery

Cath Adam talked about the innovative hand made silver jewellery she makes and how she is thriving as a small business and marketing it well on social media. She also told us about her design of an elephant for Rylan Clarke during the 2014 Elephant Parade national tour.

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RHRW Clutton

Oliver Harwood who is a Partner at RHRW Clutton spoke on air about national consumer research on home buying and issues that often confuse consumers.  He told us about all the services that the firm provides - and why they set up in the first place.

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Martin Bannister, Managing Director at KOGO, spoke about cyber crime and problems online. Martin told us about his firm’s unique selling points and the big IT challenges that small businesses are currently facing. KOGO LTD Are based in East Grinstead and are growing quickly.

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The Green Light Company

James Moore who owns the company spoke about different types of lighting and how he runs his small business. He told us about his past before setting up the company. James told us about the inspiration for his company and what makes them stand out to bigger businesses.

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If your small business is interested in coming on the radio and having some fun send an email to


Live broadcast on the local hustings

The Jubilee Community Centre in East Grinstead was clearly the place to be on Wednesday evening. It saw the first hustings meeting of the Mid Sussex Parliamentary Candidates and if anyone was in any doubt that interest in politics is on the out, then the turnout of nearly 200 residents and more than 20,000 listeners tuning in to Meridian 107 FM, clearly put that myth to bed. With a professional set up provided by the radio station, it was one worthy of any national radio outlet.  

Out of office hours, Guy and I joined Meridian station MD Peter Monnery to help the radio station with the live two-hour transmission. In addition to the live broadcast, the station’s energetic team was busy interviewing the public, taking photos and posting social media updates.

Seven candidates were in attendance and chaired by Simon Elliott, Conservative - Nicholas Soames, Green - Miranda Diboll, Independent - Beki Adam Independent, Labour - Greg Mountain, Liberal Democrat - Daisy Cooper, UKIP - Toby Brothers, and The Monster Raving Loony Party – Baron von Thunderclap.

Each candidate was given two minutes to set out their case and this was followed by six questions provided by the audience given in advance. These questions covered a range of issues including: housing, immigration, the situation in Syria and the UK’s response, climate change, fracking, a question on faith and the vision for the future of the British Isles.

The evening was hugely engaging. What is worthy of overall note is how the session was conducted. The audience was positively engaged and all of the candidates were respectful of one another. Meridian 107’s broadcast ensured the debate reached the broadest possible audience in the broader community - and the station will be broadcasting a follow-up in the weeks ahead that will capture people’s reaction to the evening. 


National insights

National insights on business drive time

On Monday’s business show, the drive time team will be discussing a piece of national research - shared exclusively with 107 Meridian FM - that sheds light on how small business owners across the UK promote their businesses – the advantages they utilise and also the challenges they face. The poll of more that 500 small businesses touches on a number of topics discussed by the small business guests that join us for the weekly business show, every Monday 3-6.

The national poll asked small business owners what things their business did well – things they could be proud that gave them an advantage in the market:

Having happy clients                                  77%

Providing excellent customer service         77%

Having good value for money products           60%

Having exciting services to offer                           32%

Demonstrating a good track record for innovation 30%

Supporting green/ethical issues                        16%

Investing in young people/equal opportunities       13%


Asked what they had done to generate external interest in their business, 22% mentioned getting online coverage for their business and 17% talked about attending a local networking event.

When it came to getting help in marketing their ventures a number of the small businesses polled said they didn’t know where to turn to in order to get help on a number of things. These included:

Getting on local radio                                                 26%

How to do an interview                                              23%

Improving search engine optimisation                        21%

Building a website                                                      15%


Looking ahead, small businesses were also asked which skillset they would most like to bring into the business – assuming cost was not a problem

Marketing manager                                                   32%

Sales manager                                                          30%

Web designer                                                            18%

Publicity manager                                                      17%

Research manager                                                     12%

Social media manager                                                 11%

IT manager                                                                 10%

HR manager                                                                5%


Celebrating small business success 

We have three of the ten clips we featured on our Bank Holiday special, revisiting and celebrating small business success this includes :-

Liz Leatherdale
The Mug Tree
Karen Bach


Showcasing small business

107 Meridian FM is serious about backing local business. As the country comes out of a challenging period, small businesses play an essential part in rebuilding confidence and growing the UK economy. Our own local business community is thriving and boasts richness and diversity. To encourage and capture the spirit of enterprise and innovation, our business team invites a small business owner in every Monday between 3-6 to tell their story, to reflect on their achievements and learn from their experience and perhaps even inspire others. Below, we recap on a selection of businesses that have joined the show in recent months and provide details of how you can find out more about them.

If you are a small business and would like to tell your story on air – do get in touch. And do follow the business drive time show every Monday 3-6 on 107 Meridian FM.


Karen Bach, founder of KalliKids joined the show in February and talked about her journey in setting up a new business. She talked about taking a positive approach to learning through mistakes but also, and most importantly, to stay focused on the goal. She said: “There are probably a thousand and one things that I would do differently but no one big thing …you have to be optimistic. Mistakes happen through trial and error but you have to go through the learning curve, you have to go through the process of learning from your mistakes.’

KalliKids today is a market leading parent-led accreditation company for children’s activities. They help parents to find recommended and favoured places to go, tutors to use and overall services for children from their base in Sussex.                                                                                                                                                                                  

Find out more at

Charlotte Wright Photography

Charlotte, who started her own photography business five years ago, talked about the importance of understanding your target customer – and also having a ‘big picture’ view on what you want to achieve. She said: “You need to have a vision on where you are going and move beyond your usual boundaries. I’ve had to learn to be flexible.”

To make a career change that would work around her family, Charlotte left behind her TV career five years ago to specialise in family and child photography, creating Charlotte Wight Photography. Keeping her experience with TV in the mix it was a natural next step for her. 

Find out more at

The Mug Tree

Katherine, owner of traditional tearoom ‘The Mug Tree’ joined the 107 Meridian FM business show at the end of March and talked about the importance of not rushing into setting up a business, but to thoroughly research your business before taking the plunge.”

The Mug Tree first opened in December 2014, led by Katherine Hubbard-Little with her family, serving loose teas of several varieties and traditional sandwich cakes. The Mug Tree can be found at ‘Old Stone Link Ship Street, East Grinstead’

Follow the Mug Tree on Facebook -

Colchester Classics

Liz Leatherdale, Colchester Classics founder talked about her engagement with audiences through social media, building a strong customer base in Sussex. She stressed the importance of benchmarking success. During her interview with the business show, she talked about the importance of “building social foundations and getting involved with similar businesses to understand how they do things. Business schools are also a good start for courses and research.”

Liz founded Colchester Classics in 2006. She has built a business specialising in mail order classical music and offers a nationwide classical music service with the personal touch - as well as having associations with choirs and music groups.

Discover more at


Anthony Mullally, one of the founders of Tinymo, advised others thinking of setting up a business to “have belief in yourself and take the plunge.”

Set up by three hard working dads, Tinymo is a safe and secure website that enables families to connect around the world by sharing moments captured by camera. It’s as simple as making a digitised photo album and sharing it securely with grandparents, uncles, sisters, brothers and relatives far and wide. So no matter what the hustle and bustle of the every day life brings, Tinymo ensures that meaningful moments won’t be lost.                   

Find out more at

The Mac-Man

Matt Edbrooke, founder of Sussex-based business the Mac-Man offers an affordable and jargon free MAC service to people who need an IT problem fixed. Matt originally started his small business by offering guidance and training to people. Today, he and his team offer technical support to business users, providing hardware support, trying to help where they can.

Matt talked about the importance of self-belief when setting up a business and his advice to others was to “just do it.” Reflecting on the fulfilment he gets from the business today he said: ‘it’s rewarding to be able to fix peoples problems – and to be needed”.

Find out more at:

Sarah Wrigglesworth

Sarah set up Time to Talk, her own counselling practice. She talked to the 107 Meridian Business team about her journey to where she is today. She commented: “Working with people, helping them is immensely rewarding. I’m passionate about it.”

Time to Talk is an approachable and friendly business, offering advice and therapy for people who suffer from medical conditions such as stress, depression, phobias and anxiety. Taking the view that everyone is individual and has different needs; Sarah offers specialized counselling service with a trained specialist ready to help an individual through their psychological journey.

To get in touch with Sarah, contact the 107 Meridian office team. 

Jeroen Markies

Jeroen is a specialist antiques expert and during his interviews advised other start-up entrepreneurs to focus on the quality of their product; ‘be honest with what you’re selling.’ Jerown Markies Art Deco specialises in selling original Art Deco antique furniture of all shapes and sizes from tables, chairs and bedside cabinets.         

Discover more at 

Wiseman Industries

Harvey Wiseman, founder of Wiseman Industries has said that, “most small businesses are based on great ideas, however, many need financial support. Make sure you have this and remember to have enthusiasm and share that with others”.

Wiseman Industries Ltd, manufactures a range of high quality branded and speciality products for use in a broad cross-section of industries. Their products help to maintain water supplies and heating whilst trying to look for organic alternatives.

More information at