Quite recently a small group of retailers in the town of BoS have come together to discuss how they see the recovery of the town taking place in the very near future.
They believe that they are about to enter a relatively short window of time that will see smaller towns and independent businesses favoured as shoppers prioritise small businesses when choosing where to place their support, and spending, once the opportunity arises with the reopening of our high streets.
With this in mind they feel it is imperative that, as a matter of urgency, they take the opportunity to pull together an effective group of traders, with the intention of, not only their survival as high street retailers but with a view to overhauling the way local residents view the shopping facilities on their very own doorstep elevating the towns profile by way of some form of ‘reinvention’. This they believe will serve to create a new found hope for longevity against the background of such significant changes in their present retail environment.
There are a number of actions the group have recently discussed that they feel are required in order to achieve this:
- The laying of a foundation for a more inclusive environment, inevitably breeding confidence amongst traders in the suggestion that each of their opinions will at least be considered when significant decisions and discussions, that could well have an impact both positive and negative on their businesses. are afoot. This would be achieved by closer collaboration and a continual, more easily accessible, streaming of information between the Town Council, Chamber of Trade and Retail traders of the entire town.
- The group would look to organising various events promoting the town throughout the year whilst encouraging the participation, particularly, of local residents with a view to building a solid, long lasting relationship with the, year round, audience they find in their immediate vicinity. This would be achieved by encouraging the input of the hugely resilient retailers bank of knowledge and as yet untapped combined skillset. As they see it there are already a number of potentially lucrative annually organised events that would undoubtedly benefit from the input of the traders in order to maximize their efficiency with regard to both the economic and elevation of the overall status of the town. The Christmas Lights switch on and the Carnival weekend immediately come to mind as most obvious.
- The group would look to seek, source and notify all businesses, local charitable organisations and community led projects, of grants and revenue streams offered by local government and corporate companies that are looking to move into the area. This would deliver clearer visibility of much needed financial support, currently already on offer but often overlooked. In turn proving beneficial, not only to the businesses of Burnham on Sea but, to the entirety of the local community.
There has been a certain amount of investigation over the last few weeks with regard to seeking other towns which have pulled together such teams and are achieving success. Bridgwater, being the closest, certainly appear to have formed an effective responsive team that continue to build good relation between the Town Council, Chamber and the Towns traders. This appears to have
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been achieved by gathering input and working very closely with their Town Council. With this success in mind it is suggested that it would likely favour us all to take advantage of their experience and emulate their success by following their already tried and tested method and in that would very much like to request the support of the Town Council in presenting a guiding hand, possibly even taking a lead, in the formation of such a team. Aside the obvious benefit of having the support of the Town Councils experience in, the very least, the administrative they feel this would offer, from the offset, a fair and proper foundation on which to build such a team.
We very much look forward to hearing your thoughts on such ideas.
The Burnham Retail Group.