Te Awamutu's Chamber of Commerce has launched an initiative to solve one of the most raised issues for members and non-members alike — parking.
Chamber CEO Kris Anderson says members and the board have been discussing the problem of leakage — the loss of considerable business from Te Awamutu to other towns and Hamilton — highlighted in a recent report on business commissioned by Waipa District Council.
He says Te Awamutu retailers reported a slower build towards Christmas last year and fear this may lead to further retail closures.
Parking was seen as one of the inhibitors to the retail experience in Te Awamutu, and without a definitive plan from council to resolve the issue, the chamber board came up with a interim plan.
The board is asking all property owners or tenants in the CBD if they have available car parking that could be shared, rented or leased.
Its plan is to have the information collated into a database so opportunities for parking can be shared with those that need it.
It also asks that people who believe parking is an issue, whether they are a business operator or member of the community, raise it with council to keep it high on the agenda.
Kris has also been reminding business owners, operators and staff that they need to make it easy for the customers and clients — and that means making access to their goods and services as easy as possible.
"In other words don't park outside your own shop every day," he says.
"We are asking the workers to park further away and take a short walk, or share transport, or find another way to get to work that doesn't clog up the best carparks."
Kris says it is about giving every opportunity for the business to be successful, which is good for employment and good for economic growth.
The chamber is also looking for a long term solution and is keen to work closely with council.
"It is a key issue if we want a vibrant retail and business sector," says Kris.
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