2020 has, without doubt, been one of the most challenging years I have ever encountered in 35 years trading in my hometown of Ballymena….and it’s far from over yet. I’m sure that many of you are feeling the same.
“Unprecedented” quickly became one of the cliché words of 2020….but there really is no better term to describe what we have all endured since the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic in March 2020. It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the sterling service that continues to be provided by our NHS staff, front line workers and essential service providers during such difficult times. Thank you. As we tread carefully into 2021, the vaccination programme is well underway. Hopefully we can all look forward to a new beginning in sight.
The true cost of the Covid 19 pandemic, both socially and economically, will be immeasurable. As a BID Board we are keen to continue to push forward, plan for the future and build upon the firm foundations which have already been laid. We must ensure that Ballymena recovers from a series of enforced, temporary closures and restricted trading in order to remain a destination of choice for shoppers and visitors alike going forward.
We can only achieve this with your ongoing support and commitment to Ballymena BID.
There are now over 300 successful Business Improvement Districts throughout the UK. The BID concept is an established and proven business model. There has never been more need for a mechanism such as BID. It provides the opportunity to bring all of the businesses within our town together to facilitate a consensus of ideas, create a well-informed business plan and implement that same plan alongside a variety of stakeholders…. including our colleagues at MEAB Council. We simply cannot afford to lose our BID. We will continue to work alongside Ballymena Retailers Against Crime (BRAC) and PSNI to ensure that Ballymena remains a clean, safe, attractive and welcoming location. We will continue to support businesses with business related training and business networking opportunities as required.
The Bid 2 business plan belongs to all of us. It’s based on the feedback we have received and we thank all of you that have taken part in that process. Whilst our plans to go to ballot were postponed due to Covid-19, we believe that the Pandemic has served to reinforce the value of the BID to support members… both in prosperous and difficult times. We know that trading remains really tough for many businesses, but feel those challenges demonstrate exactly why we have greater opportunities by working together.
We were immensely proud that Ballymena led the way by becoming the first BID in Northern Ireland. We want you to support us in order to renew the ballot and be able to continue our good work whilst learning lessons from our first term. Please support us in our collective endeavour to continue to make Ballymena an even better place to do business and we will have over £1m to invest in the BID area.
I’m a huge supporter of the BID model… including the principle of everyone working together for the greater good of the local economy. There will continue to be challenges ahead. However, I would urge all of you,
as local business owners, to VOTE YES in favour of Ballymena BID 2 as we enter a new era in 2021. Together everyone achieves more. The success of the re-ballot in respect of Ballymena BID is more important than ever
at this challenging time. I genuinely can’t see any better alternative than the BID model.
The team have made every attempt to post the business plan to your premises, however many businesses are currently closed and do not have a letter box facility. If you haven’t received your hard copy and would like one please email Emma firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone her on 07885440926/07854133310 and she will arrange to get one to you. Alternatively you can download a copy via the link below.
Simply click on this link: Ballymena BID2 Business Plan
Voting papers will be with you in due course. It is important that you show your support for Ballymena BID 2 by voting YES!
Chairman, Stephen Reynolds on behalf of the Ballymena BID Board