Facts to back up state of trade

A NEW exercise could be introduced by Morpeth businesses to learn more about the state of trade.

The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade is often given anecdotal evidence about how its members are faring in business, particularly when faced with parking charges, traffic light misery and a global economic decline.

However, the group is rarely given facts and figures to back up its claims.

Now member Charles Sellers has suggested that a new bi-monthly session should take place at chamber meetings in which each business will have a minute to give an indication of the state of their takings.

The exercise would be strictly confidential and could also be carried out through email prior to the meeting.

Mr Sellers said: “Within the chamber we have to understand how the town is doing and how individual businesses are doing.

“I think that the county councillors do not have a particular understanding about the actual impact of some of their decisions and what is happening to business in the town.

“As a chamber of trade we have to work together to see how we can grasp the situation, over and beyond the things we do at this moment in time.”

Concerns were raised that some businesses may not wish to give figures and the session would be better if it was organised on a voluntary and anonymous basis, while others questioned what would be done with the data.

Coun Nic Best said the group would also have to be aware of trading situations in other areas to be able to use the information effectively.

Mr Sellers will circulate a written report of his suggestion to members for feedback.