BID Campaign Launches In Run-Up To September Ballot
The Main Street & Surrounds Business Improvement District (BID) Task Group has officially launched the BID campaign.
A statement from Main Street BID follows below:
With overwhelming support from local businesses, the Main Street & Surrounds Business Improvement District (BID) Task Group has officially launched the BID campaign! Business owners will soon be invited to vote and decide whether they want to back the project, and lead the way for continued economic recovery and future growth with a plan to invest £4m in our town centre over five years.
For the BID to go ahead it will require a majority of those voting to support it and an independent postal ballot will be held between 1st and 29th September. Ballot papers will be sent out to over 1000 business owners within the area and the final result will be announced on Thursday 30th September 2021. If successful it will trigger the creation of Gibraltar’s very first Business Improvement District – a model which is used by over 2000 places across the world, including 300+ in the UK, to manage their city and town centres.
The Main Street & Surrounds BID has been developed by businesses and with the support of HMGoG. Despite the inevitable difficulties and delays due to the COVID pandemic, there is huge confidence that this tried and tested model will help Main Street and surrounding areas not only perform better but provide a strong foundation for recovery.
“It’s now more important than ever to show support for our BID and vote yes in the upcoming ballot for continued recovery, economic development and long-term growth of our town centre. If you own a business in the BID area, you get to vote on the business plan. When the Main Street & Surrounds BID campaign succeeds, we will have the power, budget, and professional management team to create a prosperous, well-resourced town centre, with the business community at the heart of it. We’re stronger together; I’m voting ‘yes’ for a thriving Gibraltar!” – George Russo, Director of International Franchises Limited (IFL) and Main Street BID Task Group Chairman
After extensive consultation with local businesses from all industry sectors, interest groups and other stakeholders, the BID team has formed the business plan priorities and projects based on the ideas, suggestions and feedback from local business owners, as well as on recommendations of UK-based international place management consultancy The Mosaic Partnership, who are the appointed project managers.
The aim of these projects will be to improve our town centre environment for businesses, local residents and visitors, with both operational and strategic initiatives that go over and above public sector provisions. As well as marketing, promotion and events, the BID will look to develop a uniquely Gibraltarian experience; ensure our town centre is clean, green and welcoming; back business directly with cost savings, business intelligence and other measures; and ensure that Main Street & Surrounds becomes strategic and innovative as a professionally managed ‘place’.
“The current economic climate and circumstances have accelerated the need for self-reflection and adaptation amongst the local business community. The BID provides the right framework and a unique opportunity for businesses from all sectors within the BID area to come together with a common goal – to make Gibraltar’s town centre the prime destination to do business. The benefits of the BID are far reaching, and we hope it will prove valuable to Gibraltar PLC as a whole by not only enhancing our offering for locals and visitors, but strengthening our business environment and raising our profile internationally. I’m taking a step in the right direction for Gibraltar and voting ‘yes’!” – Esteban Bravo, Director of Silver Key Management, Main Street BID Task Group Vice Chairman
The BID will raise over £500k per year from all eligible businesses within the area. This will be collected as a BID levy, with each eligible business contributing £0.50 per square foot of floorspace per year (a minimum levy of £100 and a maximum levy of £5000 per year will be in place). 70% of businesses will pay less than £1/day, with the average levy paid per business working out at around £350/year. HMGoG Ministry for Business has committed to a pound-for-pound match in funding for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, bringing the BID’s annual budget to over £800k per year, or £4m over the five-year project lifespan, meaning business owners will benefit from a £4m+ return on investment.
Upon a successful ballot, the five-year business plan will be set in motion. A not-for-profit business will be incorporated to deliver the outlined projects, which will be professionally staffed and steered by a board of directors made up of local business owners and key stakeholders.
“Having developed over 130 BIDs in the UK and internationally, we see the huge benefits of professionally managed and financed town centres. This past year has shown their importance and power of BIDs even more, as they have led in supporting businesses with funding programmes as well as developing projects to allow business to reach their customers and markets whilst reassuring the public with co-ordinated safety measures. The success of BIDs in the UK has meant that a further 70 will go to ballot before the end of the year as businesses realise its effectiveness particularly with the current challenges. Having worked on this for a while now, I am excited not only by seeing the BID come to fruition but the enthusiasm and pride of the businesses and key stakeholders who have come together to develop this and their desire to see Gibraltar advance”.
Mo Aswat, Director of The Mosaic Partnership, Main Street BID Project Director
Business owners are encouraged to get involved with the discussion and sign up to attend a Zoom drop-in session to learn more. Drop-in sessions will be happening every Thursday up till the launch of the ballot. To sign up, visit www.mainstreetbid.com