Big de­mand de­tected for busi­ness group

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

Cam­paign­ing for Waikato District Coun­cil showed Sh­eryl Ear­les how badly Toko­roa businesses want some form of busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion.

And a sur­vey com­pleted by the un­suc­cess­ful can­di­date proved her the­ory true.

Ear­les can­vassed 77 businesses in the cen­tral busi­ness district to find out if and what the need was for an or­gan­i­sa­tion that would work on their be­half.

Only eight said they did not want a busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion formed.

She said the task now is get­ting enough people on board to kick start it.

Ear­les ap­proached the South Waikato District Coun­cil for help set­ting it up but re­ceived lit­tle as­sis­tance.

‘‘I wanted them to re­alise the businesses need some­thing.’’

She said, as usual, the big­gest road block is fund­ing.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs said the coun­cil def­i­nitely sees value in a busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion in Toko­roa.

‘‘In years gone by we had TANGS that was funded by coun­cil through a tar­geted busi­ness rate and ward rate; and coun­cil has and still does fund Pride in Pu­taruru on a sim­i­lar ba­sis.’’

But he said while the coun­cil be­lieves Toko­roa is cer­tainly lack­ing in that area, they can’t ask for too much.

‘‘We are con­scious of the proac­tive work be­ing done on be­half of the CBD busi­ness own­ers by the Safer Com­mu­nity Coun­cil with the se­cu­rity cam­era project. We un­der­stand SCC are look­ing for fund­ing from busi­ness own­ers too.’’

He said the coun­cil is aware of a num­ber of groups/busi­ness own­ers who are talk­ing about set­ting up an­other TANGS- like or­gan­i­sa­tion.

‘‘In ad­di­tion, this kind of busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion/pro­mo­tion is likely some­thing that the new SWIF DRIVE Trust would be in­volved with or per­haps even fa­cil­i­tate. At the end of the day any or­gan­i­sa­tion that is es­tab­lished [and funded] would need to be sup­ported by busi­ness own­ers, per­form ef­fec­tively and be sus­tain­able.’’

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