At the Council Meeting earlier this month Councillor Jason Baker proposed that Chard Town Council should fund free all-day car parking for shoppers on the two Saturdays leading up to Christmas, which received unanimous support from fellow town councillors.
This will mean that all South Somerset District Council Car Parks will be free to use on Saturday 9th and Saturday 16th of December.
The carparks included are: Bath Street, Essex Close, Boden Street, Marketfield, Combe Street, The Minnows and Crowshute.
Jason Baker said “I want to do everything we can to support local business and would hope that this will see an increase in footfall within the town in the busy festive period, I see this as a great opportunity to promote local businesses and inspire the town to spend locally at a time when many people might go further afield to do their Christmas shopping”
Councillor Baker will be visiting local retailers within the town centre to tell them more about the initiative and to leave some feedback forms so that the town council can gauge the impact that this has had on the local economy. The Council are also keen to explore further ways to help local business and promote the economic and commercial vitality of the town centre.
Clare Rayner of Retail Champion says: “Christmas sales can account for between a third and nearly two-thirds of a retailer’s annual turnover. A bad Christmas can mark disaster for a small business. Sadly, it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’.”
And there are plenty of reasons why it is worth going local for some of your gifts and groceries, for example:
Your spending will boost the local economy
You can often find unusual, quirky gifts that aren’t in the bigger stores
You might get a better deal and some good advice
You are helping to build communities
You can use your Chard Loyalty Scheme card! www.chardloyaltycard.co.uk
- It works on the principle that if you shop locally, and support the participating businesses, they will reward your loyalty with, unique offers and a monthly draw.
- Every time you spend £5.00 or over, you have your Chard Loyalty Card stamped. (One Stamp per visit).
- Once your card has been filled (10 stamps), you can claim your special offer, and have your card put into the monthly prize draw.
A cost of £1,700 from Chard Town Council payable to South Somerset District Council, who own many of the carparks around the town, enabled this Christmas initiative to be possible.