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 – Michelle Brennan. Michelle’s role is to liaise between key organisations, through communication and collaboration. She advocates for businesses and maximises opportunities for events in the city. Michelle 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 99 paid up members and is made up of retailers, business owners, building owners and other interested parties.
The current geographical scope of BARA is from Dawson Street to Hobson Street, however this initiative is to reflect “inclusiveness”, so is not limited to these parameters. The target market for members is all retail, businesses, 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 Furnishers
- 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, Christmas and Markets
- Ongoing liaison with the Mayor, Councillors, NPDC Managers and Central City Facilitator
- BARA Submissions and Deputations to NPDC - District Annual Plans 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, Long Term Plan 2018-2028, establish trial and then permanent free Saturday parking in the 2016-2017 Annual Plan, Street Cleaning, Pavers, Planter boxes and Trees, CBD Loading Zones, Freedom Camping, On Street Dining Policy
- Distribution of 10 minutes free parking stickers
- New Plymouth CBD Alive Facebook Page
- Quarterly meetings with Team Taranaki – participants include NPDC Venues and Events, Venture Taranaki Trust, Puke Ariki and Visitor Information Centre, Govett Brewster/Len Lye Centre
- Communication to Members – email updates and newsletters, personal visits, two public meetings per year
- Event notification and consultation including Americarna, Christmas Parade, Farmers Market, Running of the Bulls
- 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