Diss Business Forum aiming to expand reach on high street

Mark Westley Photography'Diss Business forum Chairman Kerry Kirby with members, Edward Nottingham secretary and Chris Billson vice chair. ANL-150804-175714001

Mark Westley Photography'Diss Business forum Chairman Kerry Kirby with members, Edward Nottingham secretary and Chris Billson vice chair. ANL-150804-175714001

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The new chairman of volunteer-run trade group the Diss Business Forum has made getting more independent high street retailers as members a key priority for the year.

Kerry Kirby, director of Diss-based Splice Creative, the media and marketing agency, has taken up the post and is also hoping to boost forum membership generally.

She said: “We all think that we work a super town. If the town is busy then it helps all of us.

“The forum has always had a lot of service sector businesses, but it would be great to see support from across the whole town.

“Our membership is just below 100 and I would love to see some more independent retailers so they feel they have a stronger voice in the town.”

There have been other committee posts filled at Diss Business Forum, including new vice chairman Chris Billson, who is store director at Beales department store in Diss, and who is leading the charge to attract other high street retailers.

He said: “The intent for all traders is to attract extra footfall through the front door. Diss is one of the top shopping towns in the country. We want to get retailers talking to each other . I’ve run the Beales store for a couple of years now, and sometimes you won’t talk to another trader from one week to the next. There are plenty of business forum events to take part in and it is important that retailers are involved in that.”

Mr Billson said that incentive initiatives like discount cards would be one example of how traders could co-operate to mutual benefit.

The forum has also paid tribute to the work of chairman for the past two years Judy Ward, who stepped down.

If you are interested, visit the forum website at www.dbf.org.uk or email info@dbf.org.uk.

You can also see the latest events planned online.