Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District) exists to support town centre businesses and to promote and enhance what Shrewsbury has to offer.

Executive Director, Seb Slater, says the BID team have been in constant contact with businesses during the flooding, and are now turning their attention to what happens next…

The response from businesses and residents to the flooding in Shrewsbury has been truly inspirational – but the hard work to get the town centre fully back on its feet has only just begun.

It’s been heartbreaking to watch the flooding cause major problems for so many individuals and our businesses, not just those directly impacted but all businesses have suffered from the dramatic reduction in access and trade for much of this week.

We think it’s vital to now look forward to the coming weeks and months to ensure people start coming back into the town centre and supporting our businesses.

We are working closely with Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council to help businesses access the support announced by Government, as well as lobbying nationally for further financial assistance.

It’s important that businesses tell us how they have been affected by the flooding – whether directly or indirectly – so we are armed with the necessary evidence to access flooding relief.

People can access a survey on our website at www.shrewsburybid.co.uk and I would urge every business owner to take five minutes to complete it. The more we can demonstrate how much of an impact these floods have had, the more likely we will be able to secure extra funding.

We held a drop-in session at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Wednesday afternoon, along with council representatives, for business owners to talk about the latest situation, and to discuss the support that is currently available.

As well as local councils, we have been speaking with the Shrewsbury & Atcham MP and the Marches LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) to urgently identify possible sources of funding to help businesses with their recovery.

Our local councils and partners have worked tirelessly to protect homes and businesses as much as possible, so I would like to pay tribute to the staff who have really gone above and beyond the call of duty.

It’s important to also highlight the role our local media plays in times like these, and I am delighted the Shropshire Star is throwing its weight behind a campaign to support the flooding recovery.

From Shrewsbury BID’s point of view, we will be investing a significant amount of our budget into a series of campaigns to encourage local people to shop in the town centre, and people from further to afield to visit for longer stays.

We are currently supporting the tennis ball trail, which is encouraging people to hunt for 12 giant tennis balls in the town centre as part of the world tennis event being held at The Shrewsbury Club in March.

There is much to look forward to – the 75th anniversary of VE Day in May will see Shrewsbury transformed into a scene from the 1940s, and the numerous festivals and events which make the town so special will continue to attract people from near and far.

I have been amazed by the overwhelmingly positive outlook that people have had during these incredibly testing times, and I am sure that the positivity will continue as we all work together to get Shrewsbury town centre thriving once again.