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New start for J9 Business Group

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 12, 2013

proactive: Sheldon Witney, chairman of the J9 Business Group

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FIRMS near Tewkesbury's motorway junction are being promised help from a newly revived business group.

The J9 Business Group, based at the Basepoint Business Centre in Oakfield Close, is creating a new identity with the aim of being more proactive. Its volunteer members admit that they have been lying low for some time now but the dawn of the new year has sparked them into action.

Chairman Sheldon Witney said the group had a new logo, was updating and improving its website and launching an online survey to see how it could help its members.

He said: "We've been relatively dormant for about nine months. It wasn't easy for us after the Park Life funding ended so we've had a bit of a restructuring.

"We've got six people on the management team at the moment and we want to make sure we remain relevant and valuable to the community.

"We want to provide a co-ordinated effort for issues that affect the businesses."

Top of the list of things that concern many firms is the traffic congestion around junction nine and Sheldon said the group would continue to work with the county council and Highways Agency to try to improve access to and from business units in the area.

It will be one of the items being emailed out on a survey shortly to the 250 companies represented by J9.

Other subjects firms will be asked for their views on include the benefits of providing a shuttle bus from the town centre to the business parks and waste collection from those areas. The group's next meeting will be at Basepoint at noon on February 27.

Sheldon is project manager at IT firm Red Sixty. He has been J9's chairman since 2009, a year after it was formed.

He added: "We want to help businesses around the junction nine area in any way possible, and the survey asks about issues they feel need addressing. Transport is something we've become recognised as helping out with as well as IT equipment disposal and waste services. We're asking people if they have any other issues. We want to make sure that we're providing added value in areas that concern them."

The group plans to build on its good relationship with the borough council and other business groups in the town.

For information on the group, go to www.j9bg.co.uk.

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