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Business In Stratford And The Impact Of The Recession

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Author: Herdeep Mann

It seems that a day does not go by, without hearing about job losses and redundancies, and how small businesses are closing down or going into administration.

One example of this is apparent in Stratford upon Avon, as an independent retailer following a fall in trade has had to close down.

The Oil and Vinegar franchise on Wood Street which has been trading for some 3yrs can no longer remain a sustainable business, due to the deepening global recession.

But there are other factors; the recent extension to the Maybird Centre with its free parking has not helped smaller retailers. Although the centre has attracted larger retailers, it has resulted in taking footfall from the smaller businesses.

Residents of Stratford have noticed that several shop fronts lie empty, and the weak pound against the Euro is not helping because a lot of businesses have to buy products. People are now fearful that Stratford may become a ghost town if things don't start to improve.

But it's not all doom and gloom, Stratford upon Avon attracts some two million foreign tourists each year, with its Theatres and Gardens, plus the pound been so weak this will of course attract American, European and Japanese tourists to the Midlands as they will see it as a bargain destination.

The Bigger Picture

Overall some 5000 small, medium, and large businesses will be or have been affected by the downturn in the West Midlands.

The housing market, including house builders, home furnishings and durable goods companies are suffering worst.

Meanwhile food retailers and "value" clothing chains like Primark are doing well. It has been reported that the Citizens Advice Bureau in the Stratford district alone have seen enquiries about redundancies go up by a staggering 255% in December 2008, with people respectively worried about their jobs. The regional unemployment statistics show that the percentage of people out of work in the West Midlands currently stands at 7.7%.

Activ Stratford are helping local businesses by offering cost-effective online advertising and also allowing them to offer incentives to gain more business by allowing businesses to add vouchers to the site that the public can print out and use to save money!

In these harsh economic times helping businesses thrive and the local community in whole in Stratford can only be a positive step in the right direction.

With the recession deepening month on month, a well known Newspaper has been affected by the recession; the Stratford Observer has gone into administration.

The company whose turnover is approx 9 million a year publishes free newspapers that circulate Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and the West Midlands. A 20% cut in the workforce will now take place, with 8 jobs been lost in editorial, after a drop in advertising revenue.

On the other hand this comes as Members of the Stratford District Council west area planning committee have agreed to allow supermarket giant Aldi to build a discount store in Stratford.

The 1410 square metre Aldi store will be built on the part of the former N.C Joseph site on Birmingham road, and will provide 20 valuable jobs for the region. Though members voiced concerns over the appearance of the store, with objections from the World class Stratford and Stratford Town Council.

Finally in conclusion the Stratford District Council are offering help in these hard credit crunch times, as one incentive by providing free bus passes for 60`s or over. This will allow free travel anywhere in England on any local bus. As well as supporting local businesses, housing and debt advice and grant advice, by providing a wealth of information for local residents and businesses on how to get through this recession.

About the author: Activ Stratford is the complete online guide to Stratford upon Avon. Go to:

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