The Mullingar Chamber of Commerce met with a representative from Westmeath County Council this week to discuss a wide range of issues affecting business in the town. In relation to the current works in Austin Friar Street and any future improvements, the council has agreed to notify the chamber well in advance of any disruption so businesses can be notified and can let their customers know.
The issue of parking in the town also came up for discussion and the chamber plan to submit a proposal prior to the implementation of new rates and restrictions by the council later this summer. This scheme, which is utilised by other councils around the country, would consist of a 15-minute grace period when you first park and also after your ticket expires. Chamber president Pat Whelan said, “It just gives people peace of mind in that customers have a 15 minute grace period in which to make their purchase before putting a pay and display ticket on their car. It also allows customers who have purchased a pay and display ticket 15 minutes grace to get back to their car once the ticket expires.”
Local businesses who are trying to promote events and bring visitors to the town are having trouble putting up signage around the town. There is a set of guidelines relating to signage on regional roads and the chamber plans to obtain a copy and send it to all members.
One possible option for businesses wishing to promote an event would be an electronic notice board within the town. Pat Whelan said, “This notice board would be in a town centre location and would list upcoming events with links to further information so that people visiting Mullingar would have an idea what’s happening and when.”
The domain name Mullingar.ie is owned by Westmeath County Council. Their IT department is currently working on a new website to promote the town. This would be another portal for local businesses to promote upcoming events and festivals.
Pat Whelan said, “The most important thing is that the chamber and Westmeath County Council work together to improve the town for customers and businesses alike and a major part of this is having more open channels of communication. With these new initiatives we will keep our members up to date on all issues affecting them and their businesses.”