REPRESENTATIVES from Bradford’s business community are uniting to strengthen confidence and support as the district navigates the Covid-19 recovery.

Led by Bradford Council, the partnership which includes Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Bradford BID, Discover Keighley and Ilkley BID, will meet weekly on behalf of almost 16,000 local businesses and the retail sector. The new drive urges businesses and organisations to share experiences, success stories and advice using #TogetherBradfordCan.

Helen Rhodes, manager of the district’s newest Business Improvement District, Ilkley BID, said: “We have all experienced the most unexpected, damaging crisis of many of our business lives and while the focus has been about survival, thoughts now turn to revival as we look to the future of business, retail and community life. In the district there is exceptional resilience and examples of the best of human nature in these areas, but some stories can get lost or remain under the radar. By coming together as organisations representing Bradford’s businesses, we can create a stronger, clearer voice which communicates confidence, capability and a collective energy which we hope will inspire and empower.”

Discover Keighley manager Paul Howard said: “Businesses have been working hard to ensure their own survival throughout this troubling time but now, as thoughts turn to what happens next, we’re delighted to be fuelling a collective voice to ensure that key messages around coming out of lockdown are communicated, questions are answered and businesses can support each other.”

Bradford is home to 15,785 businesses including 1,760 SME and 13,960 micro businesses. Intelligence gathered through partners will support the district’s economic recovery and enable the council to reflect business needs alongside Bradford Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport at Bradford Council, said: “We all know exiting lockdown will be complex and we urge everyone to keep abreast of official messages. It is also essential we make it as easy as possible for businesses to learn from each other, share experiences and keep the rebuild messages clear. Our new partnership aims to keep all lines of business communication open, whether retail, manufacturing or professional services. Never before has #TogetherBradfordCan been more reflective of not only a business movement, but a cultural statement that underpins the strength of our communities as we enter this next critical stage."

Sandy Needham, Chief Executive of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: "We’ve been through a tough time and it’s important that we work together to move forward. Local businesses will be more successful if Bradford can build upon the retail, leisure, professional and manufacturing offer that it has had for so long. There are examples of businesses diversifying, sharing ideas and ways of working and of giving back to the community. I believe we can achieve more if we work in partnership.

Jonny Noble, Bradford BID manager, said: “We here at Bradford BID would like to strongly encourage all of our businesses and their loyal customers to share far and wide the hashtag #TogetherBradfordCan. We are a great city and have on many occasions joined together to overcome adversity and hardships. We do this best when we do it together. Our business community is one of the most dedicated, resilient and determined in the country, with so many altering their operating model and looking at innovative and inspirational ways to continue to trade during this pandemic, which is why we all must champion the message that #TogetherBradfordCan!”

* To share business support or advice contact Suzanne Watson at Approach PR on For more information visit,,, or