Aylsham Business and Enterprise Forum (ABEF)
Purpose of the Charter
The principal purpose of the ABEF Charter is to establish a number of pledges which businesses in Aylsham can deliver voluntarily that will help to:
§ improve the performance of participating businesses.
§ improve the prosperity and well-being of Aylsham.
All joining members of ABEF will be asked to sign-up to the Charter.
Signatories will execute best endeavours over the course of the year and beyond to deliver the measures set out above and in a more detailed action plan that will be developed by the group over the year.
Whilst there is no penalty or recourse for failing to deliver these measures, they are designed so that there is a genuine benefit to the participating business where they are achieved.
It is our intention as a group of businesses local to Aylsham, Norfolk, to pursue with best endeavours the following measures:
1. Local procurement: Signatories are asked to spend 10% of their annual expenditure on external goods, works or services from other businesses based in and around Aylsham and wherever possible from signatories of this Charter over the course of 2012.
While some businesses may feel this might be difficult they may be able to consider a personal spend on things like entertaining, buying household items, food and gifts.
The objective of this is to improve the performance of all businesses, increase supply chain linkages and local wealth creation.
2. Green travel planning: Signatories will prepare and implement a concise Green Travel Plan for their business during 2012. A working party has been set up to look at the car parking and a green travel plan and will be able to advise members of the forum on how best they might be able to work towards a Green Travel Plan.
The objective of this is to help to improve the performance of car parks in Aylsham and improve sustainable transport patterns
3. Frontages and signage: Signatories with a retail frontage are asked to undertake to maintain, improve or enhance that frontage wherever appropriate and financially feasible over 2012. Signatories with retail frontages on Red Lion Street and Norwich Road to undertake the installation of hanging signs following recommendations from Urban Delivery Project 4A.
The objective of this is to help improve the appearance of the town and the appearance of individual retailer frontages to create a comprehensive high quality environment.
4. Opening hours: Signatories with a retail function will where appropriate seek to align opening hours over 2012.
The objective of this clause is to reduce confusion with shoppers and visitors and create a consistent and coherent offer.
It has been suggested that the Aylsham Festival, Wed 13th – 17th June would be idea re-launch date for Saturday trading and the Olympic Torch Relay, 4th July for Wednesday afternoon trading. Any re-launch of opening hours would be marketed heavily for several months prior to the date to maximise chances of success and impact.
5. ABEF membership: Signatories will wherever possible promote ABEF to other local businesses to maximise membership.
The objective of this is to engage as many local businesses as possible to ensure that they can benefit from the activities of ABEF and contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of the area.
6. Resource and support: Signatories will wherever possible contribute goodwill, formal and informal support and time to the management and operations of ABEF.
The objective of this is to improve its ability to benefit members and improve its effectiveness.
7. Local economy: Signatories will wherever possible act so as to promote and support the best interests of Aylsham and its surroundings.
The objective of this is to improve the prosperity and wellbeing of the area.
8. Town Events: Where possible signatories will show their support for the town’s events by means of signage, bunting or similar.
The objective of this will maximise the event and raise its profile thus improving footfall and return to the town.
Benefits of Joining ABEF
ABEF are part of a new Town Team which is leading a host of projects for improvements in Aylsham as part of a regeneration and delivery strategy.
ABEF are Involved in the Town Team bid to become a “Portas Pilot Town” with a grant of up to £100,000 available.
ABEF has members on all the various town committees to help deliver a programme of town events that will aim to boost trade and footfall.
ABEF are involved in the launch of a new central Visit Aylsham town website in which all members will be listed and have access to ABEF members’ only pages
ABEF hold regular monthly meetings on the same day of each month, which will offer a hub for business, guest speakers, a chance to have your say, express your views, and generally meet up and network with members and other local organisations and groups.
Aims and Developments taking place for 2012/2013
Working with Aylsham Town Council, Broadland District Council and other stakeholders to deliver the recommendations in the Urban Delivery Report.
To join The Norfolk Chamber of Commerce as a collective group which will gain us access to benefits of this group.
To provide each member of AEBF with a 12 month rolling calendar of events.
Working on an affiliated and junior membership scheme along with some form of mentorin.