Ondernemend Grijpskerk: de oude club met een nieuwe invulling

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grijpskerk handelsvereniging

GRIJPSKERK – De Handelsvereniging Grijpskerk is een club met een rijke historie. De laatste jaren echter, raakte het allemaal wat in het slop. Nu het ledenaantal terug blijft lopen, was de maat vol voor het bestuur. Voorzitter Erik Steller, penningmeester Johan Arkema en bestuursleden Els Eeuwema-Drint en Gerrie Houkema staken de koppen bij elkaar en presenteerden onlangs Ondernemend Grijpskerk. “De oude club, maar dan met een geheel nieuwe invulling.”

“Als dit zo doorgaat”, vertelt Steller, “dan is er tussen de nu en de tien à twintig jaar nog maar een heel select clubje lid van de Handelsvereniging.” Een scenario wat het bestuur met enig leedwezen tegemoet zag. “Een groot struikelblok is dat men zich afvraagt, waarom je lid moet zijn van de vereniging. De vereniging is ooit opgericht met als doel om festiviteiten te organiseren die in het algemeen ten goede komen aan de regio. De laatste jaren richtten deze activiteiten zich voornamelijk op de winkelstraat. Denk maar aan de Koninginnemarkt of de jaarmarkt. Het lidmaatschap werd daardoor steeds minder interessant voor ondernemers buiten de Herestraat.”

Na een grondige brainstorm-ronde besloot het bestuur met iets heel nieuws te komen: Ondernemend Grijpskerk. “Een naam waar elke ondernemer in Grijpskerk iets mee kan hebben.” De invulling wordt geheel vernieuwd. “Het belangrijkste is een groot platform te vormen waar ondernemers kennis en ervaring kunnen delen en welke een goede gesprekspartner richting de gemeente is. We willen een aantal keren per jaar gaan vergaderen en dan eventueel een gastspreker uitnodigen.” Het dorp hoeft niet bang te zijn dan alle activiteiten waar de Handelsvereniging achter stond verloren gaan. “De Koninginnemarkt blijft, maar wordt alleen nog gefinancierd vanuit die leden die meedoen eraan. De midzomermarkt besteden we uit en de Sinterklaasintocht willen we in een aparte stichting onderbrengen.”

Onlangs werd al een eerste bijeenkomst gehouden. “We hebben eens een lijst opgevraagd bij de Kamer van Koophandel opgevraagd en schrokken dat er zeker 150 mensen op stonden die op de één of andere manier iets ondernemen in Grijpskerk.” Er werd positief gereageerd op de omslag. “Ja”, beaamt Steller, “we hebben zelfs al 19 nieuwe aanmeldingen mogen verwelkomen.” De nieuwe invulling was direct merkbaar. “We hebben iedereen ook specifiek gevraagd om ideeën en suggesties in te vullen en er is gelukkig best wel veel op papier gezet. Als bestuur zoeken we nu een gemeenschappelijk raakvlak hieruit, zodat de hoofdlijnen van Ondernemend Grijpskerk zó worden dat alle ondernemers het lidmaatschap ook als nuttig ervaren.”

Een dorp zonder Ondernemend Grijpskerk, dáár moet Steller niet aan denken. “Het is zo belangrijk dat stukje saamhorigheid met andere ondernemers, maar een club als deze is ook belangrijk voor de leefbaarheid van het dorp. Wat sommigen als een struikelblok zien, de markten bijvoorbeeld, draagt wel bij aan het dorp en al ben je bijvoorbeeld houthandelaar en sta je niet op de markt; een markt geeft wel jouw personeel en klanten de lol om hier te wonen." Steller ziet het voortbestaan van Ondernemend Grijpskerk zonnig tegemoet. “Dit is een klus die we gaan klaren.”

 

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