Chester: the independent city
Chester BID has created a guide to opening an independent business in Chester, providing practical advice and ongoing developments. This guide was written in response to a dramatic change in the city’s retail and hospitality sector as part of our continued battle to support high street recovery.
Anyone who has been to Chester can attest to its charm. The centre comprises an unusual mix of historic and modern buildings, the most striking of which are The Rows – several streets where commerce goes on both at ground level and above on the Row. All this makes for a unique ambience in which many independent businesses trade.
Calum Adams, co-founder of Shrub, a vegan restaurant that opened on Eastgate Row said: “Chester was an obvious place for us to invest. Over the last few years, we’ve felt the city moving away from the mainstream retail and restaurant offerings. The independent food and beverage sector as it stands now is one of the most impressive in the country.”
Katrina Kerr, chair of Chester BID said: “I believe Chester’s independents will become the driving force for our city centre. Businesses have needed to be nimble and quick to react to ever-changing environments but also be passionate about what they do in order to have a chance of success – we’ve been amazed by the strong spirit and ‘can-do’ attitude in our city centre businesses. It has been remarkable to see how great restrictions have propelled this transformation of our city centre’s personality – and important for us to recognise the positive outcomes off the back of what has been a devastating year for many.”
Carl Critchlow, BID Manager said: “Chester has always been renowned for great boutiques, galleries and restaurants on the high street and it is this that drives much of the footfall to the city from across the region – we are a city that is visited for the experience of the city itself. It is important for us as a BID to encourage this growth, which is why we have created the guide to starting an independent business – a way to address all the questions that may crop up in starting a new business specifically in Chester city centre.”
Chester is a city where independents thrive. If you want a piece of the pie then check out our guide to opening an independent business in Chester.