ASHBURTON CHAMBER OF TRADE Chair Nigel Ward sat down with the town’s Member of Parliament on Friday (22/04/22) to brief him on exciting new plans for the Chamber. The pair met at Coljan – a café, wine bar and restaurant in West Street – owned by Nathan and Michelle Siddle, with Nathan serving as the Chamber of Trade’s Secretary.
Speaking after their meeting Nigel said:
“It was great to update Mel with some of our ideas to provide greater support to businesses in Ashburton. These not only include greater publicity for local businesses but also more behind-the-scenes support, for example through advice and support with HR, legal, commercial, strategic and even technical issues.”
Mr Stride, who served as a treasury minister from 2016-18 and was instrumental in reducing business rates for the majority of small high street traders by a third, added:
“Ashburton has a fantastic variety of independent businesses, selling high quality local produce, goods and services. But many businesses are still feeling the impact of Covid-19 and need our support to get back fully on their feet by shopping locally as much as we can and enjoying the odd lunch or dinner out. The new plans the Chamber has to increase footfall and provide more support to their members are very positive.”
The pair also discussed the resounding success of Ashburton Repair Café, with volunteers gathering once a month to repair items brought in by members of the public for a small donation. Nigel, who serves as its Chair, added:
“The Repair Café has become a real community hub, helping more items avoid the scrap heap, which is good for the environment and particularly beneficial to those on lower incomes who might struggle to replace their broken item.”