Visit Horsham has been promoting businesses and other groups trading in and around Horsham since 2006 when we merged the members of two previous organisations we were involved in, namely the Horsham Forum and the Horsham Traders' Guild.
In 2006 very few Horsham small and independent businesses had an online presence, and social media was yet to play its part as a marketing strategy.
The first meeting of a small group of people (soon to become our founder members) included a representative from Horsham District Council and a few key members of the Forum and the Traders' Guild.
Together with our founder members, we began to plan the first iteration of the Visit Horsham website, which we agreed would include basic listings of all customer-facing businesses in Horsham Town Center.
The website was to be funded by offering a premium "Full Membership" for a small monthly fee that would include additional features on the website and give members a say in future developments.
The membership scheme has been a great success, and we have many members that have been with us right from that start - a period that currently represents almost 15 years.
A founding principle of Visit Horsham was that we would give back to the community. Our business is registered in Horsham District, and wherever possible, we use suppliers and professional services that are also located in Horsham District. As a result, we ensure a very high percentage of our cash flow circulates in the local economy. This is in stark contrast to many 'Buy Local' schemes we have seen over the years that effectively act as franchises, with much of the revenue being extracted from the local economy by parent organisations based outside of Horsham district.
Visit Horsham membership is so much more than simply being part of a website. ALL of our members are effectively contributing to our community activities. Many play an active role in them, and some are involved in the direction that Visit Horsham and our community involvement take.