The Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce is aware that rapidly-changing developments relating to the coronavirus are having a severe impact on local businesses. It is clear there are challenges ahead for our town. In response, the Chamber is re-focussing its work to give maximum support to all those who live, work and do business in Haslemere.
Working for Chamber members
Over the last week the Chamber has:
- co-signed a letter with Haslemere Town Council to the Business Secretary appealing for further financial help for small businesses;
- been in regular contact with Waverley Borough Council to highlight the impact on local businesses and where support is most needed;
- reduced the rent at the Haslemere Business Centre by one third for April, with a commitment to reviewing this on a monthly basis;
- written to local landlords appealing for help in respect of rent, (a move that has elicited sympathetic responses from several landlords); and,
- taken the decision to suspend work on the Haslemere Business Improvement District (BID) submission until later in the year.
Priorities for the future
Over the coming weeks the Chamber will focus on:
- listening to local businesses about the issues they are facing;
- lobbying local and national government for additional support;
- signposting reputable sources of advice and information through our online networks;
- working with the wider community to support local people in Haslemere; and,
- developing more practical ways to support local businesses.
Our programme of face-to-face events, including our monthly networking drinks and the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting, will be suspended until government advice about social distancing changes. We are placing even greater importance on our digital and online networks and encourage everyone to join the conversation on our Facebook page, Twitter and by visiting our website.
President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Craig McGowan said: “We know that local businesses are feeling the pressure like never before. Retailers, professional service providers, bars, restaurants and venues have done everything they can to keep going – moving to delivery rather than in-store browsing, shifting their operations online and offering takeaway services. We’re seeing real creativity and resilience, but drastic measures to keep people safe will, inevitably, take their toll and it’s vital we do everything we can to help businesses now.
“Our primary message is to keep safe and look after yourselves and your loved ones. The Chamber is focussed on getting local businesses the right support, in the right place, at the right time. We want Haslemere to be in a good position to get back to business as soon as possible. We’d like to thank the wider community for continuing to support our local businesses.”