NatWest launched its Working With You programme at the end of last year for all relationship managers in England and Wales who look after businesses with a turnover of up to £25m. Due to the success of the programme, the bank has tasked relationship managers to repeat the process throughout 2012.
Working With You aims to provide NatWest’s relationship managers and other staff with a greater insight into the workings of SME businesses and the pressures their owners or managers face on a day to day basis.
The latest participant in the programme was Darren Taylor, Business Banking Manager for NatWest based in Ilminster and Crewkerne. Darren spent the day working for Piccolo di Piazza, an Ilminster-based restaurant. The owner, Jonathon Tremlett, received funding support in 2011 from NatWest to open and refurbish the restaurant after relocating his wife and four children from Leeds. The restaurant is doing extremely well in the current times and has been well received by the Ilminster community. Darren was completely hands-on during his time spent at the restaurant whereby he participated in taking orders, waiting on tables, washing up and spending time with Jonathon to fully understand the pressures he faces on a day to day basis.
Commenting on the day Darren said: “When I approached Jonathon at Piccolo di Piazza about spending a day with him, I was delighted at his enthusiasm. There is only so much that the bank can communicate through paperwork and meetings - there’s no substitute for seeing first hand how he runs his business. Spending time with the restaurant team less than a year after they established themselves in Ilminster made me realise that we don’t always understand the practical issues that can give the management team a sleepless night. I am delighted the restaurant is proving a success and I wish Jonathon all the best as his business flourishes in 2012."
Jonathon Tremlett, Owner of Piccolo di Piazza added: "I am very grateful for Darren taking the time to come and spend the day with us with no agenda other than wanting to help us, get his hands dirty and understand the challenges we face on a daily basis. Hopefully he might have learned a few things from us too! We are so pleased at the loyalty we have received so far from the East Somerset residents and confident we will continue this as we look to maximise the use of our function room and take on board what the locals are telling us."