There are welcome signs that the UK economy is recovering. Estate agents report more transactions, allowing people to move home more easily. There is more building work going on, and service sector orders are up.
It is still tough for some. It is hard work running a shop, with more goods now being bought on line. There is plenty of service sector competition, so small businesses need to be good at winning and keeping customers, and savvy at telling people what they offer and why they are the right choice. Some businesses still have trouble getting or keeping the loan facilities they need to finance their properties and their stock.
In Wokingham the good news lies in the continuing low levels of unemployment. There are jobs available for those who need them, and there are good local entrepreneurs willing to establish or grow new businesses, creating more openings.
The world remains a very challenging place. Small market towns themselves have to be able to compete with each other and with larger urban areas. I look forward to working with the Council and the business community on the next phase of Wokingham’s development. Successful towns need to invest, reinforce success, and find new ways to make a living. Wokingham will soon have a new station to welcome travellers. The Council is about to embark on a range of town centre property improvements, and expansion. The Town Centre will soon have additional health facilities.
We need to think of new ways to promote Wokingham as a good place for business and to tell our friends and contacts of the opportunities the rebuilding of the town centre will yield. Henley has built on the success of its rowing festival, passed down by earlier generations, adding a literary festival and a music festival. The more you add events to a town, the more people you attract in, the more the shops benefit, and the better the services that can be sustained. I would be happy to help anyone with ideas on what Wokingham can add to its current offering of events.