In 2014-2015 a pilot project to align major events strategy across New Plymouth was undertaken. A Central Business District (CBD) Business and Retail Association (BARA) was established as part of this framework. A joint venture has been established between Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and BARA to foster and grow vibrancy in the retail areas, and to fund a part-time BARA Coordinator. The Coordinator’s role is to liaise between key organisations, through communication and collaboration, to maximise opportunities related to events in the city. The Coordinator also collates and communicates views to be the collective voice of BARA and works with the appropriate organisations to find solutions, where reasonable and possible. Marketing is done from a collaborative perspective for the collective gain, rather than for individuals. Currently BARA has 91 paid up members and is made up of retailers, business owners, building owners and other interested parties.

Geographical Scope

The current geographical scope of BARA is from Bowlerama on Devon Street West to Big Save on Devon Street East, however this initiative is to reflect “inclusiveness”, so is not limited to these parameters. The target market for members is all retail, business in the CBD, property owners and any others with an interest in increasing vibrancy in the CBD e.g Media, Street Markets, Parades.

The BARA Committee is as follows:
• Stephanie Murray (Chairperson) – Stephanie Murray Mortgages
• Daniel Fleming (Vice-Chairperson) – King & Queen Hotel Suites
• Michelle Brennan – BARA Coordinator
• Kerry Vosseler – Chaos Café
• Gavin Clegg – Clegg’s Furniture Court
• Jo Whyte– Centre City
• Nick Bull – Shoe Clinic

To date Progress has been achieved on the following initiatives:

• Increased vibrancy and collaboration in the CBD during events such as Americarna, WOMAD and Christmas
• CBD Working Group (Shaping Our City) – monthly meetings with the Mayor, several Councillors, BARA Committee members, Taranaki Chamber of Commerce staff and building owners
• BARA Submission on free parking trial to NPDC, promotion and follow-up report.
• BARA Submission and Deputation to NPDC to establish permanent free Saturday parking in the 2016-2017 Annual Plan
• New Plymouth CBD Alive Facebook Page
• Monthly meeting with Team Taranaki – participants include NPDC Venues and Events, Venture Taranaki Trust, Puke Ariki, Govett Brewster/Len Lye
• Communication to Members – email updates, event feedback, personal visits every six weeks, three public meetings per year
• Agreement on opening hours for events and promotions by 90% of BARA members
• Shop Local promotion exclusively for BARA members, twice per year

Why should you become a BARA member?

The CBD needs support from all retailers and businesses within its confines. We need people and their money to bring in sales to our shops. The alternative –

No people, no money, no sales, no shops

We need you to join BARA to help make the CBD enticing, interesting and exciting. It’s up to us collectively to bring about change.
• BARA presents a unified view of its members around CBD development and beautification.
• BARA’s purpose is to encourage people into the CBD to support local businesses and targeted marketing campaigns to help achieve this.
• BARA promotes “Shop Local” to the community – this creates employment and growth in the CBD.

If you are passionate about the city you live in and have a genuine interest in keeping the CBD alive, then we want you to be part of an organisation that has the same philosophy, passion and drive. No one wants to see empty buildings and unemployment; by working together we can make a difference.

To become a BARA Member Click Here

Boutique Businesses Revive City article in the latest LIVE MAGAZINE Read here

Or for more information about BARA contact Michelle Brennan, BARA Coordinator on 06 759 9080 or