Ballymena businesses are celebrating their successes
Despite challenging trading conditions throughout 2021, Ballymena has plenty to celebrate as the festive season gets underway with local businesses coming together to celebrate recent successes and announce future plans.
November saw the town come alive with early festive cheer and a buzz not seen since pre-pandemic, as the town staged its Biggest Ballymena Discount Day – which saw a massive 50% increase in sales compared to the 2019 event.
Stephen Reynolds from BID said: “What started out as a small initiative between a few shops on Church Street a few years back, has grown into one of the busiest days of the year in the town. This year not only were sales fantastic, but footfall in the town on the day was up 11.4% on the 2019 Discount Day, and up 111% from the previous Thursday. These figures show the importance of making a concerted effort to attract customers into Ballymena to avail of our hospitality and discounts. We thank everyone who has supported our local business community during this difficult time.”
Richard McLoughlin of Wyse Byse said: “Biggest Ballymena Discount Day was just fantastic.
“These initiatives are brilliant for lifting peoples’ spirits and highlighting all that Ballymena has to offer.”
Sonya, from Robin Adair Jewellers, also praised the event: “There was a lovely buzz about the town with a steady footfall right up to 9pm. It was evident that many people had travelled from all over Northern Ireland to experience our now famous discount day.”
October saw the green shoots of economic recovery recognised with flowers when Ballymena scooped first place in the ‘Best Large Town’ category at the prestigious Ulster in Bloom Awards. The much-coveted plaudit was secured in no small way through the hard work of Mid and East Antrim Council working in conjunction with Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID). While the town’s horticultural success was celebrated with silverware, the hard work of local businesses was also recognised at the recent Ballymena Back to Business Awards with over 270 guests in attendance. Among the winners was Chairman of BID Stephen Reynolds’ whose dedication to creating favourable trading conditions for both local customers and businesses saw him awarded the Commitment to Ballymena Award.
Stephen said: “We have surely had a tumultuous couple of years, but the past few months we are starting to see a real return to the positivity, tenacity and strength.”