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Business Support

0 votes
We have an iconic village High Street with a wide range of independent retail outlets and a village pub which we have recently registered  as a community asset. In short, we feel we are failing the High Street because we cannot be sufficiently proactive and/or have no leverage in terns of access to the various business support schemes.

What has been your expereince?
asked by (400 points)

4 Answers

0 votes
Best answer
We have just set up an Economic Development Working Group to look at this issue and to engage with local businesses and support them as much as we can.  The challenge is that you need to treat the high Street as a whole and not favour some businesses over others.
answered by (13.6k points)
selected by
+1 vote
As a local council, you're more or less powerless to intervene directly, but what you can do is to gather information on funding and other support available to those small businesses and make sure that they are aware of every opportunity.

You also have powers to improve the public realm of the High Street, establish a market and promote tourism, all of which might contribute to the success of those businesses, albeit indirectly.
answered by (29k points)
+1 vote
Why do you feel you’re failing if it’s not your job?
The Town/Parish Council has the power to support the district or unitary authority with anything that may support the high street in ways you suggest.

The council also has the power to develop tourism etc so you could do your own initiatives as Dave has suggested and a marketing campaign etc.

Why not form a committee with external members and work on a plan of how you can work together. You’ll be surprised how welcoming the District/Borough/Unitary authority can be especially during times of hardship.
answered by (5.3k points)
Chloe is correct
A local Town Council is always getting money to improve their town centre they’ve just got another £1.2 million
My Parish is larger and hasn’t claimed a penny and it shows as the centre is barren and run down
I know where I would locate if I were opening a business
As an excuse it’s even been claimed that Town Councils have more power
In the Parish the County, Borough and Parish Councillors never ever meet or even pass the time of day
In the Town they work in harmony and that’s all that it needs
0 votes
I don't ptretend to have an answer to this but in terms of helping to increase business for the retailers, just a suggestion which appears, might possibly, maybe, hopefully, perhaps have helped us increase our high street footfall which all retailers need to survive.

We had a parking problem, still do relatively and don't think that will ever completely go away, but people who may have called at the shops when passing in their cars were understandable choosing to drive to a nearby retail park instead. When we studied it the parking problem was actually being caused by the staff and business owners of the retail premises. It was a catch 22 the retailers needed parking to operate but this left no parking for passing trade when the retailers and businesses were open; so only the very local people who were within walking distance visited the high street and of course they would only do this on occasions when they had a specific need of a particular item or service.

Discussions with the local authority resulted in the Parish Council, in conjuction with the Borough Council, finding additional reserved parking for the retail staff with short stay parking for customers then being introduced on the high street (some 1 hour bays and some 30 minutes). The Borough Council have also introduced a mobilised parking warden. The flow has improved and it does seem to have helped, fingers and toes all crossed but the Covid situation will have distorted this years results. Having a good coffee shop or better still an 'off the shelf' big brand like Costa, if you can temp them, will usually also increase footfall across all demographics both day time and evenings but of course there is no magic bullet for this old problem and I'm not pretending to have one.
answered by (890 points)
edited by
Thank you. We have a similar parking set up but in the absence of an alternative space have just been chasing worker's cars around the village as we tightened up free parking spaces!

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