When it comes to putting Guiseley on the map businesses in the town certainly have the right idea.
Over the last 10 months dozens of businesses have come together to create a forum to help boost trade and improve networking.
Tradesmen, beauticians, gardeners and website designers are just a cross-section of people involved in the in Guiseley scheme which aims to encourage residents to shop on their doorsteps.
The networking project was spearheaded by local businessman Ian Dawes.
Ian, who is a franchisee at Guiseley’s Subway store, decided to start the monthly forum to help promote what Guiseley has to offer after seeing similar schemes in other areas.
The networking group meets monthly and over 70 different businesses are now part of the expansive project.
Ian said: “Menston, Ilkley and Otley all have networking groups but there was nothing like it in Guiseley so I thought about setting it up myself.
“The problem is Guiseley seems to fractured as a town because it has two shopping centres and small parades of shops.
“It is difficult trying to get a sense of community to work together.
“We want to help each other and work together.
“Guiseley is no different from a lot of towns in the UK because there are a few empty shops and some businesses are struggling.
“It is vitally important to promote the local town because it is that old adage – use it or lose it.”
Members of in Guiseley have a series of projects lined up over the next year to help promote Guiseley and encourage residents to shop locally in a bid to boost the town’s economy.
They are hoping to create their very own shopper’s map of Guiseley to help showcase different stores and outlets around the town.
They are also hoping to organise and host a stall at next year’s Guiseley Carnival and there is also talk of looking into a Shop Local scheme for shoppers in the town.
The inGuiseley project has even received praise from the House of Commons after local MP Stuart Andrew penned the group a letter showing his support for their efforts to boost trade.
Mr Dawes added: “If people don’t use local services then it will dry up and people will move away.”
Elizabeth Brook from law firm Ison Harrison decided to get involved in inGuiseley to feel part of the community.
She said: “I was keen to get to know people and through the forum I have met local businesses and made local contacts.
“It was a good opportunity to build contacts and make sure you can get the best out of Guiseley.”
She said it was a good way of businesses meeting with one another with a view to using local services in the future.
She added: “I’m not from Guiseley but it was a good way for me to feel integrated into the business community.”
The group meets on the last Thursday of every month at Coopers Bar at 4pm.
For more information about services visit: www.guiseley.net or email: email@example.com