BID Area News - January 2021

Posted on: January 14, 2021

Update from Frances Forrest, YourBromley BID Manager

We enter the year of 2021 in far from ordinary times. Nonetheless, we value support to one another more than ever.

This month we reflect on Christmas, information on the latest business support and grants, an update on Operation Gemini, and turns your focus to our all-important BID renewal ballot taking place at the end of this month. Those eligible to vote will have received a business plan along with information on how to vote in the upcoming ballot.

Our 2021-2026 business plan is now live and can be viewed here. Together, we have delivered fantastic improvements to the town centre, from initiatives that keep our town centre safe, through to projects which further promote Bromley to visitors and investors. For the BID to continue, we need your continued support to ensure all the positive work achieved to date and planned for the future remains. There are more than 320 BIDs in the UK, with Bromley making up one of many BIDs in London. Now is a critical time for us to support each other and ensure we are not left behind.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading this month’s newsletter and wish you a Happy New Year.


A positive reflection on Christmas

Whilst COVID-19 put a stop to many festivities, YourBromley were able to maintain the town’s festive spirit in numerous ways. We welcomed moving performers, our Christmas market and trail, and enjoyed festive prize giveaways on the high street. Thank you to businesses who took part in our Christmas campaign.


Lockdown

The reported number of COVID-19 cases in Bromley is devastating. With this in mind, we are lobbying on the Raise the Bar #BounceBackBetter campaign. The campaign has four key asks for Government:


1. Increase the threshold for one-off financial grants from £51,000 to £150,000

2. Offer a 100% business rate holiday for 21/22

3. Remove employer NI contributions for furloughed staff

4. Extend the VAT reduction from 20% to 5%.

Many BIDs up and down the country are supporting this campaign, initiated by Croydon BID. For us in Bromley, it is expected that the criteria for discretionary grants will be finalised within the next month.

To support this campaign, please download the assets below and share across your social channels.

Bounce Back Better Social Asset Ask 1
Bounce Back Better Social Asset Ask 2
Bounce Back Better Social Asset Ask 3
Bounce Back Better Social Asset Ask 4


New Government funding

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor has announced.

* Chancellor announces one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring

* £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses

* comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/46-billion-in-new-lockdown-grants-to-support-businesses-and-protect-jobs


Upcoming webinar for businesses

Are you a small business looking for FREE advice on business rates, understanding your lease, landlord negotiations and finding commercial premises in these troubling times? London Business Hub are running a series of FREE webinars and one to ones.

Webinar dates: 9th February & 9th March. Time: 10.30am-12.30pm

To register or to find more information please visit London Business Hub.


Operation Gemini

YourBromley BID paid for four additional police officers to be dedicated to the Bromley Town Centre area on Saturdays in December in order to help tackle crime. Police returned over £1300 worth of stock that had been stolen from businesses and acted as a deterrent for criminals looking to offend in the area.

The officers also dealt with 7 beggars issuing them with written warnings. Following the BID’s lobbying for increased priority in tackling this, the police will continue working on this in 2021, in partnership with Bromley council’s security contractors.


The Big Lunch

For obvious reasons, we are unable to progress with The Big Lunch. However, we will be deferring this as we know how loved the campaign is and we hope to bring it to Bromley soon. Please email us if you want to participate.


BID Renewal - Update from our BID Chair, Andy Bawn

When we first gathered around a conference table at the end of 2019 to discuss our renewal campaign, we could not have foreseen COVID-19 and the impact this has had on our town centres across the nation.

Nonetheless, we are ambitious to develop new plans to support our town centre and help businesses recover from COVID-19. The BID has adapted to support ‘the new normal’ in an agile and forward-thinking way. Your Bromley BID has, during these difficult times, been working hard to provide a united voice for all of our businesses.

Our plan for the future sets out our new approach by understanding how all your business models have evolved, and by adapting our focus. This will enable us to move with the times so that Bromley continues to be a thriving area for culture, environment and engagement. For this to happen, we need you to continue supporting your town centre.

As a business owner myself, I understand the importance of pulling together as one at this time and strongly urge you to vote ‘yes’ in the renewal ballot, which takes place between 29 January and 25 February.

Those eligible for the ballot will receive ballot information shortly.

Thank you for your support.