With the opening of luxury apartments in the former Co-op and independent café Changamiri Coffee opposite on the north side of Corporation Street there’s a real sense of a new community in the making here. With Belgrade Square, the theatre and Telegraph transformed into a ‘fifties festive-style’ hotel along with speciality shops along the thoroughfare this is surely the sort of shopping that Coventry people have been hoping for for years. Thankfully there are businesses here that have survived years of trading through good times and bad. Businesses like Cejais Collector’s Corner, Charles Ager and Terry Rowland the butcher. But will the Council see this as complementary shopping to the multi-nationals round the corner?
It will need help and co-operation to ensure this concept is developed. Above all overheads for these independents need to be at sensible levels.
Already we have seen considerable investment by these local entrepreneurs. Is it now the time for a new small traders’ association here that can provide some combined communal weight over the thorny matter of rents, rates and other aspects of running a small business?
Perhaps the city’s Chamber of Commerce can provide some advice and support?
The Council need to be constantly reminded that in recent times it’s been a rocky ride for the big boys and who knows which retailer will be the next to pull out. These small businesses could be the firm foundation of a new city centre and they desperately need to be looked after.
For sometime now we have been asking for a meeting with the chief officer who handles these matters. He needs to talk to local interest groups like our Society. We are only too willing to act as a facilitator in these sorts of meetings.
This could be vital for the future well being of our primary shopping area when so many multi-nationals have an uncertain future. So far our requests have fallen on deaf ears.
Prominent Heritage Building: St. John the Baptist Parish Church.