Presidents Blog Stardate 11th October 2011

11th October, 2011

So we are now entering the Peak season for trading and the nights are drawing in.

Being in the lighting trade I consider myself slightly odd in wishing for dark ,wet,miserable nights so that everyone realises that they need new reading lights and better bulbs.

Although business has not been good through the summer, we are still here and looking forward to a bit better winter than last year.  As we approach the opening of Booths and Sainsburys in the town it is more important than ever that we all look at what it is that makes our businesses work and why customers come back to us. Is it that you provide better service, better prices or better quality than the larger shops and if ever there was a time to concentrate your efforts on your own business it is now.

It has been said many times that when these Supermarkets open we will see an influx of new customers to the town and whether that proves to be true or not, we need to be ready. 

There is still plenty happening in the town regarding businesses and I can report back that following the information provided about forming a BIDS district we have secured funding to appoint a canvasser to liase between the business community and the Council and interviews are taking place on Thursday to appoint someone to  take the idea through to fruition (if the businesses decide they want it!!)

It is therefore imperative that we have people who are prepared to sit on the Board of Bids.  This will ultimately be the group of business people who decide how the raised funds should be spent. Please contact myself in the first instance if you are interested.

The signage strategy continues to rumble on and provoke debate and comments both good and bad but the new logo for Penrith as the heart of Cumbria has been endorsed by The Vitality of Penrith Group.  At last we have a marketable logo to work with.

I continue to attend meetings on your behalf and I recently gave the opening address at Ullswater Community College during the opening of the Applied Learning Centre and I pledged the support of The Chamber and its members in helping to develop the retail side of this facility.

I am aware that some of our events as published on the calendar have changed and that this has sometimes made it confusing for members to attend, but now is the time to tell us what structure you wish to have for next year.

Are 2 meetings a month too many? Should we have more business meetings? Are you enjoying the various business to business events and would more people attend if they were less frequent? Do tell us what you want because it is important that when we meet we have sufficient numbers, whether it be a social event or a business meeting.

Remember it is your chamber and we want and need your input to build on the success we have had this year in changing things.  Remember to book your place at The Sainsburys event on the 7th November, places are strictly limited and I am sure you would wish to see this before it is officially opened.



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