A Rotherham business leader has urged companies not to be put off by the town’s ‘tainted’ reputation after speaking to two bosses who were reconsidering whether to invest there.
Andrew Denniff, chief executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber, said he was extremely concerned about the impact of the Jay report into child sexual exploitation and an EDL march on Saturday - which saw several shops stay closed all day.
He said: “I have spoken to two businesses who are are reconsidering whether to invest. People are thinking, ‘do I want to be associated with this town?’
“The feedback from other Chambers is their view of Rotherham is governed by the fall out from this report.
“And on a day-to-day basis we have shops losing vital income.
“We are very concerned about the affect on business decisions.
“We can’t forget that this has happened. But as a Chamber we want to say that Rotherham is still ‘open for business’ and we will give you all the support and guidance to make it as easy as possible and commercially viable.
“It’s a great place with a lot of great people with a deeply embedded skill-set.
“We want to change any perception that might be stopping people from coming here.”
Rotherham had a thriving business community, he added.
It was home to the world renowned Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Advanced Manufacturing Park.
More than 300 had registered to attend a Chamber Means Business event tomorrow at Tankersley Manor.
And the Chamber had a record 27 new members in August, while tickets to its business awards on October 17 had sold out and all sponsorships were taken.