After reading on the VentnorBlog forum that the Ventnor Business Forum would be meeting last night, we thought it would be great to go along and be able to report back on the good work that has been taking place over the last year to help keep Ventnor on the up!
And we have to say that it was well worth a couple of hours on a Monday night. The meeting took place at the Thistle Cafe in Pier Street, with refreshments generously provided by Wendy.
Linda from Bizzy Lizzys chaired the meeting and kicked it off by going through the history of various business associations that had been in place over the last ten years. It was interesting to hear that despite many shops changing hands (and what they sold) that there were approximately the same number trading today as there were ten years ago.
As a side point, we heard during Fay’s talk to the Ventnor History Society on Friday night that there were around 140 shops trading in town during the year of 1950 – quite a difference, but we guess Ventnor had the benefit of the train service then!
Anyway back to the meeting. It won’t have escaped the notice of anyone who lives or works in the town, the effort that a certain group of people (who else spotted Wendy dragging countless xmas trees through town?) went to over the Christmas period to make the place look so great.
Think back to the fabulous mini Christmas trees, lights and the fun day. Would you believe that well over a £800 was raised that day? Well it was, and that’s despite the atrocious weather we had.
But the fund raising didn’t stop there, add in the recent hugely successful jumble sale (details of another on the 19th April coming up soon on the blog) and the easter fun day and the end result is over £1000. This large wad of cash is going to good use and will be put towards providing over sixty hanging baskets for shops around the town. Making the place look far more attractive and welcoming to visitors. Money well spent and something we reckon will look fantastic and well worth supporting.
Eleven business were represented at the meeting tonight as the informal group, ‘the Ventnor Business Forum’, formalised and became the ‘Ventnor Business Association’.
Fund raising and enhancement of the town are just a couple of things that the association will be aiming to continue with as new constitution was laid down.
The three main aims earmarked tonight (but possibly subject to additions) were :
- To protect and enhance the sustainability of Ventnor’s economy by promoting the local trading area
- To promote provision of goods and services to local people (it should be noted that it was also agreed that we should be attracting customers from outside the town also)
- To support other organisations who are working in the interests of Ventnor and it’s community
All pretty good aims as far as we are concerned.
Various executive roles (such as chairperson, treasurer etc) were voted in and seconded and it was agreed that all businesses in Ventnor would be invited to join for a very reasonable annual membership fee.
Meetings will take place monthly, probably on Tuesdays but don’t worry, we’ll let you know in advance when the next one is, so you can book it into your diaries.
Most businesses will receive invitations over the coming weeks to join the Ventnor Business Association, but if you have any queries in the meantime, you can speak directly with Chairman, Harry at Paddingtons or Association Secretary, Linda at Bizzy Lizzies.
Photo: Will MX