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MOORDOWN TRADERS ASSOCIATION
Supporting & promoting Moordown's independent shops and service providers
2016/17 marks our seventh anniversary. It is seven years since the formation of the Moordown Traders Association and seven years of doing our best to represent Moordown Traders and continually remind the world that Moordown is a good, diverse, well cared for shopping destination, well worth visiting.
The more2moordown.com website continues to promote the area and offer local businesses an important far reaching link to the enormous customer base that exists out there. In addition, the shoppers map brings knowledge of what diversity Moordown has to offer, and is delivered directly through local letter boxes, as a continuous reminder and reference tool. Therefore, we hope we’ve got it covered!
However, I have observed that seven years can hold some chilling significance in Trader group longevity terms. I have seen numerous groups lose their sense of purpose and direction and judder to a halt through lack of support and momentum.
Those burning issues that fire up Traders and ignite the formation of Trading Associations, create unity and a sense of purpose in the early days, passion and drive get things moving and new partnerships are formed with goals and arguments attracting membership. A new powerful voice is born and progress towards these aims inevitably follows. Passion, ambition and power drive members towards achievement and frequent meetings pull the strings of success. Councillors can be approached and issues put to them face to face, the police can be addressed and crime statistics dissected, the Chamber of Trade and Commerce welcome the Trading group representatives and local concerns can be brought right to the top table, all those contentious local matters can be aired and heard.
So, over the years, gradually the establishment do what they can and local traders do what they can and the unified voice does what it can. Some results are quick and glasses get chinked other matters go on for much longer and results seem to take for ever, or indeed never happen at all. Meanwhile the trading environment constantly changes like moving sand. The wider economy, local cuts, online shopping, graffiti artists, rough sleepers, vandalism, businesses opening and closing, new council bye laws, traffic, litter etc., etc. Everything finds its way onto the agenda.
I have been asked many times ‘What do Trading Associations do?’, and I generally answer ‘we are here if you ever need support’. That is all I can say because Trading groups are a product of their membership. The group does what the individual participants want it to do. Individual energy helps create the dynamic and members associate because they want to or to derive some gain through participation. Look at our association. We have had plenty of spin off events. The summer Fete, participation in Winton Carnival, Ladies nights, Christmas dinners, welcome events at new businesses, promotion days handing out maps, pub nights, Chamber events, etc. It all forms networks and business community unity, but I fear it might be finite.
Seven years may be a natural life cycle where goals have been achieved and sparkle may be lost. Low attendance figures at meetings is an indicator, a drop off in membership may be another. Unwillingness to participate in Association business a further sign and disruptive criticism of established norms another. Without new participants and fresh enthusiasm, the seven-year itch could prove fatal.
Roger Eede, Chairman
Moordown Traders Association