Businesses vote for Stratford BID to continue - The Stratford Observer

Businesses vote for Stratford BID to continue

Stratford Editorial 28th Feb, 2024   0

BUSINESSES have voted “yes” to the continuance of Stratford BID.

A ballot of 382 businesses, conducted by Civica election management company, resulted in 54 per cent voting in support of the town’s BID and its new business plan, which sets out the BIDs aims and ambitions for the next five years until 2029.

There was a turnout of 36 per cent.

The result not only follows a rocky period for the mouthpiece of the town’s businesses but comes after the ballot itself came in for criticism.

Stratford District Council revealed earlier this month that it had received a letter of concern about how the ballot was being conducted.

SDC ruled the ballot could continue on the basis it did not have the power to halt a ballot once it was underway.

The nature of the concerns and who submitted them was not revealed.

The BID has suffered criticism of its performance over the past few years and has had to adapt accordingly. In September last year it announced a major restructure of its board after admitting it had not been running as “effectively as was required”.

There were also major changes in leadership to try and make it more representative of local businesses.

The successful ballot will result in £1.9million reinvestment over the next five years into the improvement of the local business landscape, aimed at driving increased footfall, elevating sales turnover, and enhancing the overall appeal of the town centre.

Stratford BID explained it is committed to a range of initiatives designed to benefit the local business community.

These initiatives include the appointment of dedicated police officers, provision of business crime radios, and the organisation of high-profile events such as annual food and motor festivals, as well as the Christmas lights switch-on event.

Additionally, the BID will introduce a loyalty app to encourage employees within the BID area to support local businesses, implement new footfall counters to measure the impact of events, and, with the businesses, develop a night-time economy strategy.

In a bid to showcase the diverse array of local businesses, the BID will launch a new independents guide, food and drink guide, and professional services guide. Also the popular lifestyle magazine will make a return to bolster the promotion of local businesses. And the recruitment of a new BID Manager will get underway shortly.

BID chairman Rich Jones said: “Today marks a new era with a new set of exciting initiatives.We are delighted that businesses have backed the BID for a further five years and we would like to thank the local businesses that voted for Stratford to retain BID status”.


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