Businesswoman unveils YourEly online platform to keep city centre buzzing

PUBLISHED: 16:00 14 February 2013 | UPDATED: 16:00 14 February 2013

Caroline Bailey from Spa Ely.

Caroline Bailey from Spa Ely.

Archant

A WEBSITE and social media platform to help Ely's businesses beat the recession and the Internet will launch this spring.

YourEly will enable the city’s businesses to engage with their community and customers, keeping them informed about what’s on offer and what’s going on in the city. It is launched on April 19 by MP Sir Jim Paice.

The inspiration behind YourEly is Caroline Bailey, the owner of Spa ely. She will also provide mentoring to members who sign up if they need additional business support.

Here, Caroline explains her inspiration behind YourEly.

Dear Readers

I LOVE Ely, its vibrancy and unique character. I love its shops and buzzing high street and businesses and I want to see this preserved for future generations to enjoy.

But, as the recession continues to bite and internet sales flourish, and with high streets around the UK struggling to survive, it is vital that local businesses unite and form a strong group to overcome these challenges.

This is the reason I am launching YourEly so that Ely does not suffer the same fate. YourEly is a unique website and social media platform which local businesses can join, keeping the local community regularly updated about what’s on offer and what’s going on within the city.

I believe there is a strong desire from our community to shop locally and support local businesses, that our fantastic independent shops and specialist traders provide the best, but they need to let more people know about their business.

YourEly is being launched on Friday April 19 by our MP Sir James Paice.

Only last week, Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk warned that the high street cannot live in the past, but must change to meet radical changes in consumer behaviour over the past few years.

YourEly will help local shops make these changes and promote them. My thoughts about meeting these challenges are very similar to what Mary Portas has planned to regenerate her selected pilot towns in the UK.

YourEly will host local business profiles on its website covering a wide variety of sectors, from accommodation, services, food and drink, solicitors, hair and beauty, interior design and taxis, in fact, any other business that is provided locally.

YourEly will use social media tools, from e-newsletters and Facebook, to QR codes and Twitter.

We want to encourage closer interactive links between shops, businesses and their consumers. Our Twitter site has already been set up, and you can follow us now on @YourEly.

Local people can also use this interactive platform to have their say about what is happening in the city; for example, the proposed car park charges and the planned new retail park. It is a platform for their voice too.

I have been running Spa ely in Forehill for seven years and used to work in finance in London before having my family and later moving back to Ely.

I can provide mentoring and share my professional insights through my accountancy and business skills to members who sign up; we do not want to see any more shops close down in Ely.

I was brought up in Ely and in the next 10, 20, 30 years and beyond I would like my two daughters to be able to continue enjoying it as a vibrant city with flourishing shops and businesses that serves its community well.

This is YourEly, please support it.

Caroline

• For further information, visit www.yourely.co.uk or contact Caroline Bailey on e-mail at caroline@yourely.co.uk

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