Welcome to the Stroud Chamber of Trade.
We are an organisation of individuals and companies trading in Stroud town centre and the surrounding district. From sole traders to limited companies, both retail and commercial - we work together.
For business advice, links, opinion and campaigns regarding the current Covid-19 crisis, please visit our dedicated Coronavirus page.
The first edition of the "Stroud is Open" Directory showcases 74 business, with the date they will open (if not already open), their operating days and opening hours. Easy to recognise icons show whether the business offers takeaway, click-and-collect or ring-and-collect. It also links to their websites and Facebook pages, to access their latest updates.
As restrictions are lifted and businesses classed by the UK Government as "non essential" start to reopen, it's important visitors to Stroud can plan their visits based on the businesses they wish to go to. Understandably, given the challenges the pandemic poses, not all businesses will open at once and there will be reduced hours for some whilst business builds. The Directory serves to ensure the reader (who can download the Directory to a mobile device) can make informed decisions about the best time and day to visit.
Some customers will continue to shield, others keeping close to self-isolating protocols too. In acknowledgement of this, the Directory shows which businesses offer local delivery, including the Shop 'n' Drop cargo bike scheme and our own Stroud Delivers Local scheme. This ensures those who are staying at home can easily see the businesses that can serve them in our local community.
You can access the Directory here:
With 67% of those business who are currently closed stating they'll be ready to open, safely, immediately or within 2 days once the restrictions are lifted, we can see how much effort Stroud businesses are investing is getting ready to welcome customers again. But with footfall predicted to be down, what plans are there to balance serving the needs of the community with controlling business costs when footfall is down?
Over the last 4 weeks, the Committee of Stroud Chamber of Trade has been working hard to create a Toolkit to help businesses understand and comply with sometimes complex restrictions, and be prepared for a time when they can open again, or open more fully. During this time we have also provided direct help and advice to many, helping them steer through and keep positive.
We don’t like the term “recovery plan” so much, so we think of it as the “Welcome Back to Stroud” Toolkit. Within it you will find collated resources, including social media graphics, posters to print and resource advice sheets to help you navigate through. The Committee believe that the success of our town depends on the success of us all and, as such, are releasing this toolkit to all businesses and not just those who are current members.
The kit contains actionable checklists, consumable advice, a helpful collection of posters to download and ready-to-go social media graphics.You can access it here.
At the time of publishing, despite its size, Stroud has been hailed as leading the county in terms of the fools available to businesses to be aware and ready. Whilst its contents are centred around the specific needs of Stroud businesses, with a heavy focus on retail and high street business, its contents have a wider reach. Further, on 15th May the toolkit was updated with graphics and posters branded for Stonehouse, so allowing businesses in our neighbouring town to also benefit from the opportunity to use a common set of resources that will become familiar to those who use the town.Tony Davey, Chair, commented "Whilst we are often perceived as just for Stroud, our membership stretches much further. Whilst we many not all be 'in the same boat', we are certainly all in the same storm. We know the successful recovery of our district will not be achieved through isolated efforts. As such, we are piloting this approach for Stonehouse, to see how well it is received there too. Our full name is Stroud and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce - we are the long established Chamber of Trade for the district. At such challenging and uncertain times, it is good to be able to reach out further for the benefit of all."
The Chamber is receiving a high number of enquiries and requests for advice in relation to our current health crisis and what the updates from the Government mean for them and their businesses. Stroud Chamber of Trade have made the decision to offer its advice and resources to all during this crisis (regardless of membership status), as the prosperity of every business has an impact on our business commmunity; a model we hope other Chambers may follow in these unprecedented times. Our Coronavirus section covers helpful links, news, opinion and information to help inform, encourage and support.
In the grip of the COVID-19 threat, Stroud businesses are adapting to serve the changing needs of their customers. Restaurants are offering take-away, businesses introducing new, local delivery services and phone-and-collect and click-and-collect to save you time and minimise queuing. These businesses are going the extra mile, many offering to deliver efficiently to those who need to remain isolated and assist social distancing during this crisis.
We have produced a basic directory to help you identify them and the services they are offering.
Please help Stroud District Council understand a temporary suspension of Car Park charges will help our town and make a difference.
Please sign our petition: http://chng.it/mt6PP5Sj5j
Don't give up chocolate, beer or bread this year, give up buying something online or at a supermarket and shop #LOCAL4LENT! Stroud Fiver Fest already taught us the benefits of spending just £5 more per week can have on our local economy and community, Stroud Local for Lent strengthens this message with a recommendation that you could switch from shopping for an item or two out of town and bolster our local economy at the same time. This campaign, which runs until 9th April, is being promoted through our InStroud initiative. Read more here.
Stroud Fiver Fest is now half way through and it's been positive for many businesses and customers alike, despite two storms hitting the area within the first week. With 57 businesses now on board, it's never been easier to spend £5 in your local independent businesses. The Stroud Fiver Fest map has been popular, as it was last year, with over 100 downloads across our sites and social media.
Stroud Fiver Fest has the £5 offers registered from 53 businesses as the deadline is reached for applicants to be included in the primary marketing activities. Work on creating the "around our town" and map has now started!
Read more here
The February Stroud Fiver Fest runs 15th - 29th February 2020 and with 2 weeks still to go before it starts we already have 42 businesses registered to take part. The event, lead sponsored by WSP Solicitors, looks set to be even better than the last.
Read more here
The 2nd Stroud Fiver Fest has the backing of WSP Solicitors of 3-7 Rowcroft, Stroud - a well-respected business with a strong history in our town and surrounding area.
Read more here.
With Fiver Fest starting tomorrow we have reached an amazing 35 businesses working together to support Stroud Fiver Fest! We've updated the map to a second edition with all 35 listed. Can you find them all? We'd love you to try!
Wow! The first Stroud Fiver Fest has 33 participants all around town! You will find our distinctive orange posters in their windows and use our handy map to plan your route to see them all :)
In just two weeks the first Stroud Fiver Fest has already attracted 25 independent businesses in town and more are likely to join in too. To learn more here.
In June we conducted a survey to better understand the parking patterns and motivations of those who visit Stroud town centre to shop or work. We now know which car parks were identified as the favourites, which were least favourites and what the respondents have to say about the state of our local bus services. To learn more read about our report.
We have long been blighted by graffiti appearing in our town, but this has increased significantly in recent days. In response to this rise, and following an interview with the Stroud News and Journal, read what we have to say (and what we are doing) here.
Following the sad news that another long-established shop has closed in Stroud, The Citizen asked for our reaction. Read our response here.
Just three months on from the publishing of our 2018 focus survey, our Committee has been hard at work meeting with authorities, negotiating plans and communicating with both businesses and the public. Read our report here.
Our members reported to the Committee that their customers were being aggravated by face-to-face fundraisers in town, who were present in large numbers. The Chamber took swift action to investigate what could be done, to approach some of the fundraiser directly, and formulate a plan for the future that can balance the needs of fundraisers with the needs of those who wish to enjoy Stroud. You can read more here.
The 2019 events calendar is taking shape, with a visit to the CCTV Control Room having taken place in February 2019 and our first Workshop of the season (Taking your place on the Internet | Tuesday 19th March) open for bookings. Visit our Events page for more details.
Given the concerns raised at Planning stage, we are asked our opinion on the opening of Aldi last week and how it could impact the High Street in Stroud.
Read our response here.
Stroud Chamber of Trade publishes its 2018 Focus Survey.