Local businesses are being invited to list themselves in a new Cheddar Business Directory being launched on the Cheddar village web site. Whether running an accommodation business, operating in the building trade, running a shop, or providing business consultancy, all local traders can take advantage of this opportunity to promote themselves to people in the local area.
Village webmaster Martin Kay said “whilst the web site always provided business listings, these often became out of date as businesses closed or changed their details, without remembering to update their listing. This meant that over time the site became less useful, as people clicked on broken web site links, wrote to defunct PO Boxes, or dialled phone numbers that now gave an ‘unobtainable’ tone. However a new listings feature has now been added to the site, which comes with automated email reminders for business owners to check that their listings are still valid”.
During March and April, old listings on the web site are being reviewed and converted to the new style if they can be verified as still valid, but the system is ready to accept new listings, so there is no need for existing businesses to wait. Short term free lineage listings are still available, or traders can take advantage of the new image upload feature with a paid ad for periods up to a year.
Martin set the web site up in 2004 to help promote local trade and awareness of local events, activities and clubs, and in the peak season it receives over 12,000 visitors a month. But times have changed and an increasing number of people have sent in listings for new small business ventures which have either not been successful and closed, or they have evolved into something else and/or moved out of the area. This ever-changing business landscape means the old format of listings for brick-and-mortar shops going up once and remaining on the site without re-validation is no longer going to provide visitors with a reliable way to find local traders.
The site itself is a not-for-profit enterprise with all proceeds going to support site development and hosting costs. Martin adds “I think Cheddar is really on the way up now after last autumn and winter, after Lanes closed, and when we also had no supermarket or post office. But we have a great selection of local independent stores here now. I hope that the village web site can do its bit to help local people and visitors find the product or service they want in Cheddar, rather than having to drive out to Wells or Weston.”
Businesses interested in getting listed in the Cheddar Business Directory can do so at cheddarvillage.org.uk/business-directory.