THE CLOCK is ticking for businesses in Stratford to vote on whether its Business Improvement District should continue for a third term.
Businesses in the town have less than 48 hours to cast their vote in the ballot that will determine whether Stratforward BID continues for a further five years from April.
Businesses must submit their ballot papers by 2pm on Thursday (September 27) to ensure they are counted.
BID director Joe Baconnet said: “Everyone knows how challenging things are for town centres and the high street in the current climate and BIDs are an incredibly valuable tool in which to ensure that businesses are working together to keep town centres vibrant.
“We have had a BID here in Stratford for almost ten years now and I am positive that it is one of the reasons why the town centre has suffered less than others.”
The ballot closure comes just days after this year’s Stratford Food Festival – one of several major events organised by Stratforward which brought in some 30,000 visitors despite poor weather.
Mr Baconnet added: “Events like this, as well as planned services outlined for BID3, will be lost in the event of a ‘no vote’.
“The clock is ticking. It’s not enough to assume that other businesses will ensure the future of an organisation that benefits our members in so many different ways. We want every BID member to be able to cast their vote and do it before the deadline on Thursday.
“Town centres across the UK are facing unprecedented challenges and it’s only by pulling together in a tried and tested vehicle – a BID – that we can weather the storm.”
Under government rules, UK BIDS are required to be re-elected by their members every five years.
If voted for for a third term, Stratforward’s additional work will include collaboration with businesses to improve the evening economy and strategies to help the business community with issues such as begging.
Other work already undertaken by the BID will continue including that of the town hosts, staff and company savings schemes, and events and marketing campaigns.
Members can post votes to Electoral Reform Services in the supplied pre-paid envelopes, or deliver them to Stratford District Council offices at Elizabeth House in Stratford by 2pm on Thursday.