Maintaining the balance between keeping the local character of our high streets and villages whilst promoting ourselves as an adaptable, tech-savvy borough is a key aspect of ensuring the Borough’s businesses thrive in a challenging economic climate over the coming year.
To do this the Council has recently launched a new Digital Strategy, leading by example in doing more business and offering greater variety of services on our digital platforms. We will also be hosting the first annual tech-sector event in February to build on the borough’s strength as a tech hot-spot.
Additionally, the Council’s broad schedule of business support programmes will continue to support our new start-ups and growing businesses as they tackle the challenges associated with developing a new business.
Building Richmond’s strength as a tourism and visitor destination will be central to our ongoing work with our established VisitRichmond partners, including bringing exciting new festivals and encouraging our communities to promote the things they are most proud of within this beautiful borough.
The priorities will build on the Council’s successful programme of events, workshops and developments which have helped local businesses thrive throughout 2017.
In the last year businesses across Richmond upon Thames have benefited from:
- The delivery of a new Business Improvement District in Richmond town centre.
- A focus on supporting independent retailers in Barnes to adapt to a digital world, which will be expanded upon in coming months.
- A major retail and tech conference in September considering how to address the impacts of digitalisation on independent retail.
- A third Richmond’s Den enterprise programme;
- A range of export support events and enhancement of tourism promotional efforts and business communications.
- A flexible, shared workspace for small businesses and entrepreneurs provided in in the Richmond Library Annexe.
Cllr Pamela Fleming, Cabinet member for Environment, Business and Community said:
“Supporting local businesses to grow and thrive is one of the Council’s priorities. Throughout the last year I have been delighted to see the successful delivery of a responsive programme of activities to support the business environment, as well as individual town centres and businesses.
“Particular highlights this year include the High-tech High Street conference, held in the borough in September, which gave our business owners a great opportunity to learn from the best digital companies in the world including Google and Facebook.
“We also saw new businesses start-up with the help of the workspace operated by Richmond’s Library Service which caters for lone workers, small businesses and freelancers.
“I look forward to supporting our businesses to bigger and better things in 2018 through creating thriving town centres and high streets, a growing digital and technologically capable small business sector, building on the borough’s reputation as a tourism hub and supporting start-ups and growing businesses.
“This commitment gives us the opportunity to express our ambition for business, as a critical part of creating thriving, successful, and happy communities.”