Simon Lumb, Friary Shoes
I am delighted to be the Vice Chairman of the Lichfield BID steering group. The main reason for this is that I am passionate about the development of Lichfield plc for its citizens, businesses and tourists in this difficult economic climate. I am a native to Lichfield who has lived in the city or the immediate vicinity for virtually all of my life. Added to that my family have had a long relationship to Lichfield, not only as retailers for over 100 years but also have links to other organisations such as Lichfield Rugby club!
Lichfield is now part of my DNA. Over the past few years, since the recession took place, I have (along with my business Friary Shoes) tried to establish better and stronger relationships with like-minded business’s for collaboration and support.
This has resulted in being elected a committee member within the Lichfield Chamber of Trade and Commerce and being part of the Lichfield Town team which successfully obtained £50,000 worth of government funded money to promote the city.
In addition to being a bigger part of the business community my business Friary Shoes has undergone major changes in how it was being run to adjust to the challenges brought about by the worldwide economic recession back in 2008.
This was necessary to not only survive but then later on to thrive. The results I am proud to state is that the slide of reduced turnover has reversed, customers continue to be delighted with our footwear offering together with the high levels of professional service and most importantly we have managed to successfully relocate our business to the Three Spires Shopping centre. Only a few years ago we would never have dreamed of being asked as an independent business to open up within its centre!
I am passionate about both my business and Lichfield and feel that the only way to succeed is by managed change, an evolution not revolution.
The above paragraphs highlight a willingness, and indeed a need, to facilitate change in order to maintain or become more relevant to its customers whether citizens or people visiting Lichfield from afar.
To me the best thing for Lichfield to do is to become a BID. Through this Lichfield will then have access to sufficient funds to enable it to successfully promote itself and so increase footfall which to me is the key to success for ALL business’s within Lichfield.
As Vice Chairperson I will do all I can to persuade other business’s to support the BID process as it is in their best interests in not only the short but also the medium and long terms. A failed BID would in my opinion put Lichfield in the category of “also rans” and put increased pressure on the business community. Something I don’t want!