A group of Town Centre independent businesses have met with the recently formed Andover BID to form a Town Centre Indies group and to discuss ways that the BID can support them whilst helping their businesses to add vitality to the town.
The initial meeting was organised by the BID and agreed the terms of what an Andover Indie should like. An Indie to be a business owner run, based in Andover Town Centre with 3 outlets or fewer. The owner to have control and sole responsibility for branding, marketing, merchandising, staffing and sales.
The Andover Indies group is likely to be most beneficial to retailers, food & drink, leisure and accommodation providers, however all businesses will be supported, encouraged and welcomed to join the group.
Andover Indies is open to non-levy payers as well as BID members but only within the BID boundary. BID levy-payers will have priority when it comes to paid campaigns, but non-levy payers will be encouraged to join the BID as a voluntary Indie member with a charge being made.
The BID to agree a plan and promotional ways that Indies can be supported. Initial Ideas discussed included special promotions for Indies members, competitions aimed at children, trails around the town, an Indies map and a pre-Christmas promotion perhaps with entertainment and street theatre. The Indies group appointed Lindy Darmanin from Lindy’s Boutique as their chair and suggested that they consider ideas and projects and come together in about a month with the BID to firm up on plans.
Bev Botha of the Travelling Cup Cake says “ I am delighted to see the BID operational and supporting us, we have great independent businesses in the town but we are all so busy with the day-to-day running and organisation of our own businesses that we don’t always have time to look forward and plan in advance and we rarely get together to market and promote our businesses collectively. BID has come into a town at a time when we are under great pressure and competition, not just from other towns but from a changing trading environment so we need to be on the ball, competitive and attractive to our customers. We also hope that the BID will represent us and our ideas and support us when we need a voice particularly as the town centre is developed”.
Of the Andover BID members, at least 90 are independently owned and Steve Godwin BID Manager says that he is delighted to have been able to arrange this group to meet and he looks forward to supporting them in developing their initiatives.
Independent businesses are vital to a town and their passion and dedication often means that they often go the extra mile to ensure success. We are fortunate to have so many indies herein Andover and BID is keen to ensure that as well as national names, the Indies are given prominence and promotion in the town centre. Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.
Steve says that Andover is an attractive town with a good mix of national and independent businesses;we are very accessible, convenient and with a great deal to boast about.
The new leisure centre in the town centre is a real bonus for Andover, we have an easily accessible cinema, a refurbished library, Valley Leisure in Bridge Street with its bowling alleys and glow golf and our Lights Theatre with its full programme is punching above its weight.
We can sometimes forget the many benefits that we do have, even a police station and bus station in the town centre can sometimes be take for granted. Supporting our independent businesses is just one part of what a BID is.