SOLIHULL needs to be ahead of its competitors when the UK comes out of the recession, says the businesswoman leading the town centre’s business improvement district initiative.
Sandra Grinnell, manager of the project, says Solihull is already a successful shopping and business attraction but it will have to hit the ground running when the country recovers economically.
Neighbouring towns have already gained or are in the process of obtaining BID status, and will be trying to improve their trade by boosting the commercial offer.
She said: “The object of a BID is to form a partnership between businesses and the local authority to develop projects and services that benefit the trading environment.
“If Solihull town centre’s competitors who, after all are just a few miles away, can develop their shopping and professional business environments, then the borough will need to up its game to keep ahead.
“If Solihull town centre achieves BID status it will be wholly driven and paid for by the businesses themselves.
“The process has reached the stage where we are trying to get the message across to businesses on a one-to-one basis at meetings being held almost daily until the middle of August at St John’s Hotel, Touchwood and the Ramada Solihull.
“Some BIDs in the country are already going for a second five-year term, which shows how successful they have been and Solihull town centre could be at a disadvantage if it does not build on its achievements when the upturn comes.”
The BID can only go ahead after a majority ‘yes’ vote early next year and Sandra is keen to attract as many businesses as possible to the meetings.
“The meetings, held three times a day, are all-important. Not only can we get our message across but businesses can tell us what they see as priorities to improving the trading environment in the town centre”, she said.
So far marketing and promotion and safety and security have been identified as top of the business list of areas to be improved.
For more information on the meetings contact Sandra Grinnell on 07867537134.