Business owner sets up a village support group

A lifeline is being offered to village businesses with the launch of a support group.

Alison Barnes has set up the Irchester Business Support Group after seeing a hairdressing salon close in the village.

Miss Barnes, who has her own complimentary therapies business called Green Light School of Healing, is now appealing for more members to support each other during the difficult financial times.

A couple of other businesses are already on board and she thinks the group could help each other with advice and support.

Miss Barnes said: "I watched a programme on television about how villages are struggling, which led me to start up the group because I would hate to see that happen here.

"We need to start supporting each other because Irchester has such a good vibe.

"The idea is to help each other through any challenges and get the word out about what's on offer here.

"We can act as a sounding board for people to talk about their concerns.

"My biggest issue at the moment is cashflow and I think it's the same everywhere."

Miss Barnes has teamed up with the This and That shop in the village and wants to hear from other companies based in Irchester.

She said: "Villages don't get the footfall towns do so we have to find a way to encourage people into the village who wouldn't normally come. But businesses do help to bring people into villages."

Miss Barnes said members could turn to each for help, or offer advice on where help could be found.

She added: "We only had a couple of businesses at the last meetings but we're hoping for more support once word gets out."

The Irchester Business Support Group's next meeting will be on Monday, June 22, at midday at The Carpenter's Arms. For more details call Miss Barnes on 07900 483502.

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