Successful local businesses serving their local community will always be at the core of any effort to help the modern High Street survive and thrive.
Over the past two years, during my work at The School Yard, I have come to know many High Street retail shop owners and to relish the fabulous food and drink of ‘The Harborne Mile.’ But the customers who are the food and drink of retailers don’t appear magically overnight. A high street needs to promote itself.
And that’s where the Harborne Business Association, or HBA, can help. It’s becoming a popular association with more and more businesses seeing the value of joining. The HBA has worked hard with our local authority partners to become the recognised voice of business for the area. We are a non-profit organization and our committee members are trustworthy, reliable and professional.
Forging that kind of relationship has enabled the HBA to access grant funding from Birmingham City Council. Part of this funding is going towards an upgrade of the website and a bi-monthly email newsletter to HBA members to help companies keep in touch and promote local events and news.
We are actively looking for more revenue streams. We are also bidding on funds to improve signage for Harborne as well as access to car parking. It’s important to make a high street safe and secure for shoppers and we are getting the Retail Radio system back up and running. We now have control of the system thanks to Cllr John Alden and HBA committee member Elaine Cunningham, of the Harborne Retail Crime Prevention Initiative, and passed us their surplus funds.
For this to really succeed and to grow and attract future investment, we need memberships. This is a great opportunity for the businesses of Harborne to promote their offer – and I would urge people to join. I think it’s fair to say that Harborne hasn’t promoted itself as well as neighbouring suburbs such as Moseley and Kings Heath. It’s time for that to change and the HBA is there to support you and to promote Harborne in the local community and to visitors further afield – all customers that ultimately we rely on for business.
CONTACT: Mary McGarry (Mulberry Lettings) HBA Membership Secretary T: 0121 426 3951
(Words courtesy of Phil Brown of Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life)