Re­viv­ing Tawa’s busi­ness dis­trict

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.’’

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