Knaresborough organisations are rallying in support of local businesses following concern over the number of empty shops in the town centre.
In response to the Knaresborough Post story last week about shop closures, the Knaresborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce has said there is optimism in the business community and residents cherish the businesses in the town.
Now, the chamber is preparing to meet this evening with other groups in the town to discuss the situation.
Chamber secretary Andy Grinter said: “It’s important to know that, despite the headlines, it’s not all doom and gloom.
“Currently, Knaresborough commercial property vacancy rates are three per cent lower than the national average, and there are other reasons for optimism - three of the empty properties on Castlegate are due to the businesses relocating to larger premises on the High Street.”
He encouraged locals to use Knaresborough businesses, saying: “Local shops and services are there all year round and need your support.”
Mr Grinter added: “We also have young businesses that are striving very hard for success. We already have a national award-winning cards and gifts shop, a fish and chip shop, health and beauty salon and butchers.
“Indeed, one shop was shortlisted for the national new independent footwear retailer of the year award.”
Knaresborough Mayor, Carole Reid, said: “It is really sad to see so many shops and businesses closing down in town.
“The town council has formed an economic development committee to see what we can do to help the situation.”
The committee is set to meet this evening at Knaresborough House with representatives from Rennaissance Knaresborough, the Chamber of Trade and Harrogate Borough Council’s economic development team.
Chair of the committee, Coun Andy Wright, said: “It is important we make sure we are all moving in the same directions.
“We need to know what Knaresborough wants so we can work on that.”
The Knaresborough Post is launching a ‘shop local’ campaign to celebrate Knaresborough businesses’ success. We’d love to hear from you: please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01423 564 321.