A tour of Bedford’s small businesses has been made by Mayor Dave Hodgson during a campaign to keep trade local.
He was accompanied by Ian Cording,Bedfordshire branch chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), to raise awareness of the FSBs ‘Keep Trade Local’ campaign and promote the range of small businesses the town has to offer.
The party visited a number of businesses around the town centre.
Mr Cording said: “I really enjoyed meeting and listening to the businesses along with Mayor Dave.
“Small businesses are the heart and soul of a community. Not only are you likely to get a better, more knowledgeable service from a small, local business but money spent will recirculate in the local economy.
“Our national Keep Trade Local campaign, came out a local initiative pioneered here in the Bedfordshire Branch in 2000 called ‘Be Vocal, Shop Local’, an ongoing campaign which has ensured that the value of independent businesses is highlighted throughout our communities.
“Today has underpinned the engagement we have with local authorities where we constantly look at business issues including business rates, parking facilities and charges. To ensure that our town centres both survive and prosper, we must collectively ensure that consumers are not driven to use out of town retail parks by making our town centres attractive, affordable, diverse and accessible.
“We also want to use this as an opportunity to build on the work with Bedford Borough Council to improve our town centre and make it an even better place for small businesses to thrive.”
Mayor Dave added:” “Keep Trade Local is a great initiative which recognises the pivotal role of local businesses at the heart of communities and within the local economy.
“It highlights the fact that we have a wealth of small, local businesses offering excellent goods and services that deserve to be supported by the local communities that they serve. They provide vital local employment and are crucial to ensuring that we have a thriving, local economy. The bus station improvements, together with the heritage work on the High Street and planned Riverside North development, will really transform our town centre.”
The FSB members visited by the Mayor and Mr Cording were; Sharman Law, Interphase Interiors, Harrison and Simmonds, and Wrighton and Barker.