Age Friendly Business Recognition Scheme

Age Friendly Business Recognition Scheme

businessWith more than 1 million (60+) people now living in Ireland we know that this is growing market segment with over 10 Billion in revenue declared income. Our Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme aims to facilitate local businesses to tap into this growing market.

Our Age Friendly Business Recognition programme forms a key part of our overall Age Friendly Ireland strategy. Informed by the very successful Age Friendly Cities & Counties programme, Age Friendly Ireland is now expanding our Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme.

 

This programme is targeted at local businesses. It aims to:

1. Promote economic development and job creation
2. Facilitate local businesses to further tap into an existing and growing market segment that accounts for 50% of consumer spending – the older customer
3. Recognise the efforts and improvements made by local businesses to provide more age friendly services and programmes
4. Enable the sharing and dissemination off ‘best practice’ nationwide
Supporting businesses to become more age friendly has proved to be advantageous on several front – economic, social and environmentally. It is recognised that satisfied customers will focus their spending power where they have a long-term relationship. In an Irish context older adults tend to be loyal customers. This vibrant group not only has a lot of purchasing power but also has the time and inclination to shop locally. This is particularly important in rural towns and villages where older adults are very much the life-blood of these communities. Age Friendly Businesses will appeal to all types of customers. Since word gets around, that’s good for business.

Attending to some of the common and very practical issues related to ageing will increase the Age Friendliness of a business. Simple changes such as making a business easier to find, enter, move around and make purchases in are good for both customers and businesses alike. Participating in the Age Friendly Business Recognition Scheme, acknowledges efforts businesses make across four areas – the physical environment, lighting, noise levels and customer services.

Promoting a business as an Age Friendly Business sends out a clear message to older people that the business values their custom and is committed to serving them.

Age friendly Business Recognition – Growing and Expanding

Age Friendly Ireland secured EU funding that will allow for the provision of direct support and implementation of this exciting programme in four new age friendly cities & towns. We recently wrote to all Local Authorities requesting expressions of interest in participating in this expanded programme. We received a great response from over 15 areas with four receiving direct support from our Business Programme coordinator.
We are also rolling out a comprehensive programme of satellite support, for the remaining 11 areas. The aim of this satellite support is to allow for the successful implementation of this programme at local level.
In parallel we look forward to sharing the learnings generated through these four ‘deep-dive’ approaches across the network of Age Friendly programme areas and will continue to provide satellite support to the network of Age Friendly Business Recognition Programmes that have been successfully developed across recent years through the Age Friendly Towns Programme.

We envisage its implementation will ensure a lasting legacy of business lead initiatives that will improve the lives of older people.

What do Businesses need to do?

There are four steps which businesses need to commit to, to be recognised as an Age Friendly Business

1. Identify a member of staff to act as a champion for age-friendliness and older customers
2. The champion participates in the Age Friendly Business workshop, and starts to develop ideas
3. Ask your older customers what they like, what could be improved?
4. Develop actions and become recognised as an ‘Age Friendly Business’

Locally – what happens?
The Age Friendly business Programme is a locally run programme with input from Age Friendly Ireland. We anticipate that key partners at local level will be the Local Authority, the local Chamber of Commerce, the Business of Ageing Forum steering committee and the Older Person’s Council. Together they will drive and lead the following:

• Identify a local champion (Business Owner) to help promote the programme and encourage local businesses to participate
• Publicise an information seminar hosted by Age Friendly Ireland
• Invite local older shoppers to participate in a ‘mystery shopper’ event.

In addition

• A marketing brochure/map can be developed using Age Friendly Ireland templates
• A presentation of the Charter will be organised
• Age Friendly Ireland will maintain an Age Friendly Business directory hosted on www.agefriendlyireland.ie

For further information on this programme please email business@agefriendlyireland.ie