Whom it may concern

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To the Mayor of Chichester and whom it may concern.

At a meeting with Mr A Finnamore of the Chichester Bid last week, he informed me you were – and I find it quite disturbing – using your position in support of seeing small businesses closing by pushing for the banning of A-boards which are, for some, a crucial part of our daily business.

While I for one rely on my A-board, I do understand there is a need for some regulating and tiding up.

Please can you take the time to visit and speak to some of us that are struggling in these very difficult times and consider the issues below?

With the recent closure of so many businesses in Chichester and the potential threat of other large companies going into liquidation or receivership, we are now faced with the prospect of authorities who don’t have to concern themselves as to the source of their income making it more difficult for us, the small side-street businesses, to trade by the removal of our A-boards from the high street.

A-boards that were designed originally to direct people to places that may be out of the way but in some very interesting places, and as such, are an important part of the business regeneration.

Not only do we pay taxes and business rates, but we also employ people who rely on their jobs to support their families.

I am sure you are aware the street pedlars who are under EU regulation are allowed to trade as they wish, without licences or insurance, putting the general public at risk?

Removal of the A-boards for all of us down these side streets would not only see already-struggling businesses fail, it may result in further unemployment in the area.

There have been more than 30 businesses close in Chichester city centre alone in the past 12 months, with very few new ones opening.

The need to generate new business and support small businesses is crucial to the city’s survival and diversity.

Pop-up shops down side streets when there are so many empty ones to be filled is little more than a band aid on a gaping wound, and not a proper solution.

To this end, we would like to ask you to kindly show your support by helping to save our A-boards.

By doing this, you are also protecting people’s jobs and future employment in the Chichester area and the city from further dereliction and decay as seen so frequently within other towns and cities where shops are closing and remaining empty.

Having spoken to many small business people lately, I am not alone in my view and feel it necessary to voice my concerns on this issue.

Angela Bell

Lanes End Cafe