Small businesses could dramatically increase footfall in their neighbourhoods, and so the amount of new customers they attract and old customers they retain, by making the journey from a car to their front door as easy and pleasant as possible.

That means clutter of signs and delivery vans off the pavement.

It means always giving the satnav reference of rear delivery access (always different from the front) and the name and mobile of whoever will be receiving the delivery to the drivers.

It means refusing to order from suppliers who turn up at school run time, or in vehicles far too large for a narrow road.

When one business has deliveries from drivers who mount the pavement it drives away not only their own customers who don’t want to pick their way between vehicles but also their neighbours’ customers.

It is a basic part of customer care to be polite and considerate to anyone who might want to choose you to do business with.

Driving on the pavement is more than inconsiderate, it is down right dangerous.

Yes, the parking wardens can’t do anything about it in most cases, but the businesses using these suppliers can.

Unloading onto a trolley and wheeling it to the business is not so difficult, and neither is going out to help a driver unload so it can be done as quickly as possible with as little inconvenience to passers-by, all of whom are potential customers.

High Streets really need to pull together as communities on this one and not just grumble about the council not fixing it.

The council has been voted in for years on the promise of spending as little money as possible. They cannot magic parking attendants out of thin air.

Businesses must take more responsibility for their own communities.

Sweeping the pavement outside their own front doors every morning would be a start to getting to know their neighbours and taking a bit of pride in their premises.


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