Representatives from across Bradford’s business community are coming together to strengthen communications, confidence and support as the district navigates the Covid-19 recovery.
Initiated by Bradford Council, the partners which include Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Bradford BID, Discover Keighley and Ilkley BID will meet weekly on behalf of almost 16,000 local businesses and the retail sector, to ensure good news, best practice and skills sharing are amplified across the district.
As part of the new drive to reinforce the restart, renew and rebuild process, businesses, organisations and groups are being encouraged to share their experiences, success stories and advice for other businesses and use the hashtag #TogetherBradfordCan to increase the spread of positive recovery news.
Helen Rhodes, manager for the district’s newest Business Improvement District, Ilkley BID, said: “We have all experienced the most unexpected and damaging crisis of many of our business lives and while the focus has been about survival, thoughts are now turning to revival as we look to the future of business, retail and community life.
“Bradford district covers 141 square miles and within it are nine close-knit towns and the city of Bradford itself. We know there is exceptional resilience, camaraderie and examples of the very best of human nature in all of these areas, but naturally, some stories can get lost or remain under the radar.
She added: “By coming together as a group of organisations which represent Bradford’s businesses, we can create a stronger, clearer voice and one which communicates confidence, capability and a collective energy which we hope will inspire and empower people across all of our district.”
Paul Howard, manager for Discover Keighley, said: “Businesses have been working hard to ensure their own survival throughout this troubling time but now as thoughts turn to what happens next, we are delighted to be fuelling a collective voice to ensure that key messages around coming out of lockdown are communicated, questions are answered and businesses can support and motivate each other.”
Bradford is home to 15,785 businesses including 1,760 SME, 13,960 micro businesses (1-9 employees). The latest intelligence gathered through partners and individual businesses and organisations will support the district-wide economic recovery and enable the council to understand and represent business needs alongside Bradford Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to ensure the best outcomes, support networks, guidance and advice reaches local businesses.
Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport for Bradford Council, said: “We all know exiting lockdown will be complex and we urge everyone to keep abreast of all official messages around Covid-19. It is also essential we make it as easy as possible for businesses to learn from each other, share their experiences and keep the rebuild messages clear.
“Our new partnership aims to keep all lines of business communication open whether it’s retail, manufacturing or professional services. Bradford district’s resilience goes back as far as the industrial revolution and never before has #TogetherBradfordCan been more reflective of not only a business movement, but a cultural statement that underpins the strength of our communities as we enter this next critical stage of managing the Covid-19 crisis.”