If you are a business from the Mill Road area of Cambridge, why not join our network? Visit the ‘Contact’ page to sign up.
Charities/Voluntary Organisations: £5 per month
Independent traders: £10 per month
National/larger retailers: £25 per month
When you sign up, you are given a copy of our business plan which sets out the benefits of being part of the group. These include Social Media, Publicity and Advertising, Networking, Information and Business Support, Events and Lobbying.
We review the plan each year and ask members for feedback to ensure we are delivering for them. We’re a community above all and we want to make sure we’re all working to help each other.
Reasons to join:
1. We connect you to your local community
Through the Mill Road Coordinator you will receive regular email updates that give local news, issues, initiatives and events. A number of local community groups are keen to support Mill Road businesses and have campaigned to help protect the diversity of the area. As much as we want to encourage visitors to come and enjoy Mill Road, the residents in the area tend to be the main users and supporters so connecting with them is really important.
2. We encourage trading and networking between members
As a member of the Association you are given a directory card with contact details of all other members and a list of the wide variety of services available on your doorstep. Traders usually offer discounts to fellow Association members and we want to encourage supporting our local economy as much as possible. The meetings and networking events are also an opportunity to meet, talk with and get to know your fellow traders.
3. We look out for each other
All members of the Traders’ Association have a sense of social responsibility. We believe in giving Mill Road a reputation we can all be proud of. We keep our eye out for any anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhood and report it to the authorities. Being a member means being prepared to pick up the phone, take a photo and be a responsible member of the community. We share important safety news and updates with everybody via the email bulletin. Equally, the Traders’ Association is about sharing useful experience with other traders and helping them with their business – learning from each other.
4. We aim to provide cheap or low cost PR opportunities
Advertising is often expensive but buying it together can make it much more affordable to smaller businesses. We aim to provide as much PR as possible for Mill Road on the whole, whether it’s online (through websites like this one), in print or on the radio. We have a partnership with Cambridge News whereby Traders’ Association members get discounted rates on our monthly Mill Road double page spread.
5. We provide a link to local authorities and services
With the support of the City Council’s Mill Road Coordinator, the Traders’ Association often invites officers from local authorities to attend meetings to answer questions about particular issues or concerns. For example, we’ve invited the local Police to talk about safety in the area and we’ve also invited Highways officers from the County Council to talk about road use, parking and roadworks. The local authorities are keen to work with the business community as much as possible. Help and advice is there for all traders who are prepared to come along.
6. We give the local business community a powerful voice
The Traders’ Association provides a way of being heard on important issues. If something affects everyone, then acting as a group carries a lot of weight. For example, we have petitioned for pavement repairs and asked the City Council for more CCTV in the area. We’ve also written to local taxi companies about the fact that we have seen poor behaviour from their drivers.
The Traders’ Association provides opportunity to have a say on local consultations and is an important communication channel between traders and other organisations. Our Chair and Vice Chair both represent Mill Road across the city, attending community events or meetings with other retailers and partnerships.
7. Improving Mill Road benefits everyone
Most of us are very proud of Mill Road and of it’s distinct character within the city of Cambridge. But we also feel that we can work to improve it even more. Through Association meetings we’ll look at ideas for improving the overall environment as well as initiatives that help to increase trade in the area.
Membership is mostly about looking at the bigger picture, discussing common goals and helping each other, not just looking after individual needs. We believe that being a community is really important and that there are immense advantages to working together.