Reviving Tawa’s business district
Tawa’s business revitalisation is taking shape after a series of meetings between shop owners and the area’s politicians last month.
The weekly meetings were spurred by the closure of Main Rd butchery Cameron Harrison in April. Owner Rob Cameron told Kapi-Mana News Tawa people lacked a sense community, choosing to shop at big supermarkets Countdown and New World instead of local shops.
Tawa Community Board chairman Malcolm Sparrow said six actions for promoting Tawa as a shopping destination came out of June’s meetings.
Businesses would like to install better signs at either end of Tawa so those who only get as far as shopping at Countdown or Dress-Smart venture further into Tawa.
Main St needs a better presence online and on social media to let shoppers know about events and specials, and a loyalty scheme shared between Tawa shops, shopkeepers suggested. Attracting more specialist shops would help Tawa stand out from the crowd. And more cafe seating should be installed outdoors to give a busy, friendly feeling to areas like the plaza.
Better relationships between businesses is another point on shopkeepers’ wish list so problems such as shoplifting can be minimised by sharing information.
June’s meetings might revive the suburb’s dormant business association, which folded four years ago because nobody had the time and energy to run it, Mr Sparrow said.
Two dozen business owners attended meetings last month, five or six coming every week.
Mr Sparrow hopes that group will take over the running of the meetings from him and Wellington City councillor Ngaire Best.
‘‘We want to help get the thing up and running,’’ he said.
But ultimately it was really up to the retailers he said.
‘‘There’s so much potential there.’’