Businesses in Knaresborough are to have their say on the vital role of banks in the town's economy at a meeting of the Chamber of Trade.
The Knaresborough Chamber of Trade are to host a meeting at the Mitre this Wednesday (November, 7), where a representative from the local branch of Barclays will be meeting with businesses to discuss how it could become more involved in the community.
In recent years a number of banks have been closed in the town and the chamber believe this an opportunity to send out a 'strong message' on what Knaresborough businesses need.
Charlotte Gale of the Knaresborough Chamber of Trade said: "There has been a lot of change and it's a situation which is of relevance and concern for both the chamber, our members, whether they are retailers or small businesses, and others based in the town.
"Obviously having a business bank account is vital for anyone. The loss of options in recent years has been a bit of an issue for many of our members and the business community."
She added: "There are many businesses in Knaresborough who are looking for some reassurance that if they switched to Barclays it's not going to be another victim to recent closures that the town has seen.There is also an indication that they (Barclays) do want to get more involved, so we want to find out more about what this could look like, and how that could be of benefit to the local community."
The Chamber highlighted the importance of a bank in the town being retained, and the difficulties that past losses have had - particularly during the town's Wednesday market and busy events.
Charlotte said: "There are still some businesses who don't accept cards at all and work on a cash basis. With the Wednesday market there are few stalls that do accept cards, so what's important is that there are enough ATMs to service the town. We are a market town and it's an important factor that needs to be considered, both for the Wednesday market and also during events."
She added: "As we lose more banks we also lose ATMs, and there have been instances in the past where they have run out of money, even in cases where banks and building societies have been forewarned. But there isn't much they can do because of the capacity behind it, they can only put so much money in."
The loss of a bank might mean the loss of ATMs, but also access to professional advice and support, added Charlotte, who said she hopes that businesses will attend the meeting to showcase the community of businesses in the town.
She said: "I think it's really important that we send out a strong message from the Knaresborough business community, that we value having a bank which is actively involved, offering a service which serves the needs of the local community and which is serious about remaining in the town. To have a number of businesses from across the town at the chamber meeting on Wednesday would give it a really strong message. "
A meet and greet will start at the Mitre at 6.30pm on Wednesday evening, the meeting will begin at 7pm. Other items on the agenda include an update on the COT's Christmas Tree displays, an update from the Knaresborough Christmas Market Committee and to hear from members on the COT running a stall at the market.