A year of lockdown …
In January, we published our first Annual Report – laying out all that had been delivered by CuparNow since the successful ballot in December 2019. This blog brings things up to date to the end of quarter one in 2021 – and marks the anniversary of lockdown.
Many businesses have been closed and that has presented very different challenges throughout the last 12 months. Some have adapted their business model to trade differently. Others have adopted new ways of operating – including a shift to more being online. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we all rely on digital communication as never before.
First and foremost, our work is to promote Cupar and its businesses – to encourage people to stay local, to spend local and to support all businesses across the town. We cannot wait until things re-open and all businesses are allowed to trade openly to meet the needs and expectations of their own customers. Until then, we will continue to share content from those who are open, those who are operating a closed door policy, those running click & collect services as well as those who can only sell online.
From cards to cars, florists to mechanics …
We want to ensure we feature each and every business in our messaging. We are managing integrated digital and social media communication seven days a week to showcase the town’s businesses on a rotation – creating a large and ever-growing audience across all age groups who act as advocates to spread the content far and wide …
The more businesses engage with us, the more we can share. As we have highlighted before, if you run a business and have an update or an offer to share – tell us. We can get your information out on a variety of managed channels – including our Blog and through e-shots that are sent on a regular basis to our business and consumer databases.
On the business front, we have 247 of the town’s businesses subscribed to receive updates. Through our Wi-Fi service that’s been used by more than 15,000 people to date, more than 1,100 have signed-up to receive our e-news. So if you have something to share, please send it to us via this link.
Supporting our Businesses
Over and above the day to day delivery, we have shared information on grant support for businesses and know well over 100 businesses accessed the information we have published. We continue to update our Business Support section on our Blog – the most recent covering information on Business Rate Reductions. This has been updated on more than 40 occasions since it was first published in April 2020. If you are not receiving e-shots on Business Support, please contact us with your details and we will add you to our B2B database.
Last summer we launched CuparClicks – a multi-vendor platform enabling any business in town to promote and sell their products and service online – all included as part of the CuparNow service. This quarter, more businesses have got involved and more products now feature. We are also promoting the site through other channels to help make more aware of what is on offer. The result? The site is attracting visits from people across the UK and further afield … all looking for things to buy from Cupar’s businesses.
We have continued to feature businesses with Blog profiles: these are in our ‘CuparNow KnowHow‘ series – showcasing the skills of businesses and their owners. Just click on the image below to access our Blogs. If you’d like your business to feature, just follow this link, complete the questionnaire and we will be back in touch.
Supporting our Community
Only through the funding we receive from the town’s businesses are we able to deliver the support that helps so many in our community. Working with numerous groups though 2020, we built a Community Directory featuring more than 80 groups, clubs and societies across the town. This is borne out of so many comments asking for such a directory. We were delighted to launch it earlier this year and hundreds have made use of it so far.
So whatever your interest – whatever activity you are looking to use in the town – you will find the information you need through our directory – maintained as a live database for the benefit of everyone in and around the town.
In this quarter we have also worked closely with Cupar Development Trust (CDT), supporting an application that – if successful – will help to fund a Food & Drink Trail that puts Cupar and our hospitality sector at its heart. Regardless of the funding sought, we are working on plans to help promote Cupar to tourists as and when they are able to return to north east Fife. This will include making tourism businesses across Cupar’s catchment more aware of the town’s full offering – encouraging more to visit the town and its businesses, all supporting Cupar’s economy.
In addition, we have been supporting CDT in their work with multiple community groups on how the town can return to live events come the end of lockdown. More will be shared on this in our next update.
Followers, readers, subscribers … and now listeners
When CuparNow started as a demonstration project in 2018, we were at ground zero: no channels, no followers and no engagement. Today, we manage:
- Core Channels: CuparNow Blog, CuparClicks, Facebook and Instagram pages
- Support Channels: Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn Local, TikTok
- E-shot Databases: 247 businesses plus 1,137 subscribers from our Wi-Fi service
These create a combined audience of more than 32,000.
Wanting to add value to Cupar and create a new channel to enable wider engagement, this quarter has seen the launch of our CuparNow podcast that is now live on Apple, Spotify and all major podcast channels.
It will allow us to showcase more from the town, from businesses and organisations. If you would like to feature, you just have to get in touch and we can discuss to plan you into the schedule. To listen, just click on the block below …
Supporting our Town
We have just launched an Easter competition for families to enjoy – a trail to spot Easter Bunnies around the town. We are delighted more than 20 businesses got involved …
We will be planning similar activities throughout the year. Same applies: if you want to be involved, just ask.
All that we do combines to help make Cupar a better-promoted and more economically viable town, whether sharing content from Cupar’s training and education providers or showcasing environmental projects, supporting the area’s health and social care partnerships or highlighting the work of local charities and good causes, our day to day engagement is designed to benefit our whole town.
We are mindful that so much of the town remains under restrictions. Our work continues to follow our Covid-19 Recovery Plan that was published last June:
- by area – making our audience aware as each business re-opens together with any specific info they are sharing with us re their re-opening status.
- by sector – more support for those who are yet to re-open
- by need – more information to offer support to those who are struggling as and when they do re-open
Our work is overseen and guided by the CuparNow steering group – a team of volunteers, business led with elected and officer representation from the local authority. We thank them all for their help and support.
Get in touch …
We are never closed. Any business or organisation in and around Cupar can contact us at any time through a variety of channels – our social media channels, by email or phone. Just call 01334 870858, leave you name, nature of your enquiry and a number where we can reach you and we will call you back. We can arrange face to face (where possible), meetings via Zoom or just a chat to see how we can help.
Our next update will be in June 2021 covering quarter 2 of the year. If you have any thoughts or ideas on how we might improve our service, please let us know. And if you’d like your name to be put forward to join our Steering Group, please drop us an email explaining who you are, the business/organisation you own/represent and why you’d like to be on the group.
Finally, if you run a business in tow and want to be keep up to date on all we are delivering, please make sure you are following us on the pages and channels most relevant to you.
This is a snapshot update. You can click on the image below to access and read our full Annual Report. Again, if you have any questions, please get in touch.
Thanks for reading.