Together businesses contribute to the social fabric and well-being of the locality where they operate. This workshop explored how businesses achieved this whether working individually or together as part of a business association or with other community groups.
The workshop examined how business and community groups work together to achieve common objectives. Some thirty delegates attended, demonstrating that individuals and organisations are keen to understand how to develop strong working relationships between business and community groups; groups that are often perceived as two discrete entities and therefore addressed as such.
Delegates heard from Beccles Business Association and Lowestoft Vision about how their respective organisations recognise the importance of working together with both business and community groups.
A general discussion was held where the focus of attention was ‘how does the community engage with the national multiples on the high street?' It was agreed that the BID structure is a good way of achieving this because all businesses have to contribute financially and therefore have a vested interest in having a ‘seat at the table'.
A further discussion raised by delegates concerned the need to further the links with businesses and encourage the uptake of apprentices in Suffolk. Whilst no definitive conclusion was reached, the consensus was that this issue requires further discussion and investigation.
Chris Betson, East Suffolk Business Association Network