STRATFORWARD Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a new members’ benefits scheme which could save town centre businesses a six-figure sum each year.
The new Joint Procurement Scheme will help BID businesses reduce their running costs on items like utilities, telecoms, water, pest control and merchant services.
The scheme, officially launched this week, is run in partnership with joint procurement specialist Meercat Associates Ltd, which uses collective buying power to get the best deal possible.
Meercat works only with Business Improvement Districts and has a proven record of saving millions of pounds for BIDs across the country.
Meercat’s fee will be paid by Stratforward, with members able to benefit directly from any cost savings gained through the scheme.
BID director Joseph Baconnet hoped the scheme would work across all sectors, with many members finding the savings were more than their annual BID levy.
He said: “We want our members to save money. Small changes can make big differences and together we have the power to drive down costs.
“This scheme will help our members get the best deal possible on their running costs and relieve the ever-increasing pressure on high street businesses
The Joint Procurement Scheme is being administrated by Simon Jackson, Business Consultant at Meercat, who has already visited Stratford several times to meet with businesses and discuss the potential benefits the scheme could bring to them.
Members who want to take part in the scheme can pass their bill information to Meercat completely confidentially who will then carry out a full analysis to calculate potential savings. Companies can then decide whether to progress with a service saving, which again can be managed by Meercat.
Simon, a former BID manager himself, said: “At Meercat we work exclusively with BIDs and currently work with 90 across the country, helping 25,000 businesses under our umbrella and have already delivered £7million savings.
“Our work with BIDs across the country gives us huge buying power. We don’t add any commission or interest on to our very very keen prices so those prices are passed on to BID members directly.”
Stratforward represents around 450 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford town centre.