Every year the Town Council carry out a series of surveys to evaluate the social and economic strength of the town. The surveys are conducted through the national People and Places Benchmarking scheme, which compares Frome’s performance with similar towns across the country.
This year’s results show us that 66% of businesses have been in Frome for more than 5 years and the number of micro businesses (less than 10 employees) has risen from 74% to 96%. Over 70% of the shops in Frome are independents, compared to less than 10% average in the region. Shop vacancy rates are generally lower than the regional average and footfall in the town centre is double the national average.
Over all the data suggests that Frome is quite resilient, but that there is no room for complacency. There is a concern about footfall and trade in 2018 and the Chamber of Commerce is worried about poor signage. Both town centre users and businesses see parking as a negative.
The Town Council tries to support local businesses in a variety of ways with the aim of keeping Frome as vibrant as possible in the future – Business Breakfasts are an excellent example.
This month’s Frome Business Breakfast is all about ‘Giving Back’. Businesses are invited to join Frome Town Council on 4th September at Frome Heritage Museum to discover more about how they could get involved in giving back to their local community. Helen Fielden, Volunteer Frome Coordinator will explore some of the ways that local businesses might be able to make a positive impact, from distributing surplus goods to enabling staff to volunteer their time and skills for local projects.
The event costs £10 per person and includes a delicious cooked breakfast and the opportunity to meet and discuss the issues raised with other delegates.