New forum launched to give Keynsham businesses a voice

February 05 2018

A new network is being launched to offer support and give a voice to businesses of all shapes and sizes in Keynsham.

A new network is being launched to offer support and give a voice to businesses of all shapes and sizes in Keynsham.

Keynsham Town Council is hosting the inaugural meeting of the Keynsham Business Forum on February 7 at the Chocolate Quarter and is urging anyone who runs a business in the town to get involved.

Deb Cooper, Keynsham’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) coordinator, said while the town had one or two retail-focused groups there was a need for a wider-reaching organisation.

She said: “One of the key findings to come out of the Neighbourhood Development process so far is that we don’t have a consolidated business network in Keynsham that is fully representative of all business sectors, and is inclusive of the larger organisations, industrial, retail, commercial, tech etc. down to the sole traders and those who operate from home.”

Town council chairman Clive Fricker said the focus of the forum would be to work in partnership to help businesses thrive and to ensure their voices were heard as plans are drawn up to shape development in Keynsham over the next 20 years as part of the NDP.

He added: “Working together, such a forum can achieve things that no business could deliver as well on its own. The forum may hold events around subjects such as marketing and promotion, networking, training, speakers, sourcing, grants, recruitment etc. Such initiatives will strengthen existing performance, encourage new business and develop relationships across the West Country.

“We are initially proposing that the new group holds events at least quarterly, helping maintain focus and momentum.”

Work is already under way on producing a business directory to help encourage people to shop and trade locally. Town clerk Cheryl Scott said: “We are currently in process of gathering information from local businesses that would like to be in such a directory. We are particularly keen to engage with sole traders and self-employed people to ensure their needs are met.”

Anyone who is interested in being included in the directory  or attending the launch, which will include talks, networking and a tour of the Chocolate Quarter, should contact Keynsham Town Council on 0117 986 8683, or contact Deb Cooper at ndp@keynsham-tc.gov.uk