James Wong tells us how he manages to balance BIDs, businesses and family life.

James Wong is no stranger to Southside. In fact, he’s spent the majority of his life immersed in the area, having lived, worked and grown up here. Since making a natural progression to become Chairman of the BID in November 2018, James has made it his mission to encourage customers, visitors and business owners to enjoy the area as much as he has over the years.

“I’ve visited most establishments in the area which has allowed me to build great relationships. Although I’m the Managing Director of my family business Chung Ying, you’ll regularly find me enjoying a drink at The Lobby on Hill Street, watching the football at Snobs, tucking into sushi at Kyoto and visiting one of the many theatres we have.”

“When the opportunity arose for me to become Chairman, I didn’t hesitate, and when I was appointed, I was absolutely delighted.” For James, the chance to give back to the area that supported his parents when they first moved over to England is a real driving force behind his role, as he strives to ensure Southside is a safe and enjoyable place for different communities to coexist.

“We’re always working hard to introduce new initiatives to the area and I want Southside to be celebrated for the multicultural, talented and forward-thinking district that it is. At the moment, recycling for businesses is a main priority to ensure Southside is as eco-conscious as possible, and we’ve also introduced a ‘Safe Space’ to Arcadian to aid visitors who need assistance whilst easing pressure off the emergency services.”

Since becoming a parent, James explains how important it is for him to spend quality time with his family, whilst reinforcing his passion for supporting the Chinese community to make way for the next generation. Alongside hosting regular free lunches for the elderly Chinese community, he plays an integral part in Birmingham’s Chinese Festival Committee, but he’s not stopping there.

“Southside is changing and we all need to work together to attract more businesses into the area, particularly with so many new developments on their way – it’s a very exciting BID that I’m proud to be a part of.”