New trade group op­tion

The Galloway News - - UNCERTAIN FUTURE -

Pro­pos­als for a new Ste­wartry busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion will be un­veiled in Dal­beat­tie.

The plan is one of the choices fac­ing the town’s strug­gling cham­ber of trade and com­merce.

Wind­ing up the or­gan­i­sa­tion en­tirely is an­other pos­si­bil­ity, mem­bers will be told on Wed­nes­day.

The crunch meet­ing in the Kings Arms on Oc­to­ber 10 fol­lows a sur­vey of busi­nesses on pos­si­ble ways for­ward.

Cham­ber mem­ber Brian Mal­colm­son will present the find­ings.

Mr Mal­colm­son, who runs a health and safety busi­ness, said: “One of the op­tions will be a Ste­wartry-wide group.

“When you are look­ing for na­tional fund­ing you are more likely to get it if you are rep­re­sent­ing 15,000 peo­ple, rather than 3,000. It would have rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all the main ar­eas.”

Mr Mal­colm­son or­gan­ised dis­tri­bu­tion of 140 ques­tion­naires round Dal­beat­tie busi­nesses.

Ma­jor prob­lems iden­ti­fied in­cluded the lack of banks in the town.

“We asked peo­ple what af­fects their busi­ness – and hav­ing no banks in Dal­beat­tie was right up there,”said Mr Mal­colm­son.

He added: “There is a lot of ap­a­thy and I sup­pose that’s un­der­stand­able.

“We are be­com­ing a dor­mi­tory town and we have to change that ap­proach if Dal­beat­tie is to pros­per.”

The cri­sis fac­ing the Dal­beat­tie cham­ber echoes Cas­tle Dou­glas, which has had no cham­ber of com­merce for years.

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