Over the last number of years, towns around the country have been hit by a drop in consumer spending and decreased footfall on Main Street. Nowhere is this more true than in Naas, Co. Kildare. For years our “County Town” was the economic and social hub of Kildare. Like so many other towns though the effects of recession have taken their toll; closed shop fronts, incomplete retail developments and big shopping centres taking what little footfall remains outside of the town.
To tackle some of the above, last year Naas Town Council introduced free parking in Naas Town Centre on Saturdays. This is a very popular measure with shoppers (naturally) and there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest it’s working for the retailers too. When rumours circulated that the Council may be discussing alterations to the free parking I was worried that no business owner in the town had been consulted. So in light if this, I drew up a short survey to gauge traders’ opinions on some of the issues in Naas. The results of which are available here.
If we are to see our Main Street recover it’s vital that our County Councils work with the retailers to develop ideas and implement solutions to the problems we face. A successful economic recovery will benefit everyone in the community so it’s in all our interests to get behind our local traders.