“I would like to praise the work that Ballymena BID has done throughout the last few months. It’s clear that the Business Improvement District has provided a stronger voice for businesses to support the changes that have come about as a result of the pandemic.“

Ballymena BID has played a key part, along with Council, in the reopening of the town centre and they will continue to boost growth

Councillor Eugene Reid, President of Ballymena, Chamber of Commerce

“Ballymena BID has worked extremely hard with Council to get Ballymena Town centre open again. Independent retailers play such an important role and they are at the heart of the communities. It has been an exceptionally difficult time for businesses and local retail but I’m really pleased that we are starting to move in the right direction, and we are beginning to see shops across Mid and East Antrim reopen their doors.

“Every business has been affected but their resilience has been inspiring and I am really pleased that there is still so much positivity among our business community.”

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston

“What a strange period of trading the last 4 months has been! As an essential retailer the store remained open throughout lockdown, continuing to keep key workers operational in the supply of white goods and essential electrical items.” Samuel Moore continues, “Coming out of lockdown has posed some challenges for us but the shop is open and welcoming new and old customers back into Ballymena. More than ever now the town can benefit from BID initiatives.”

Moore Electrics Ballymoney Street

Lesley from Follow Coffee says, “A big thank you to the Ballymena coffee drinkers for supporting us during this uncertain period. As a new management team taking over Follow Coffee,

lockdown stopped us dead in our tracks. Thankfully we took the downtime to carry out a refurb and we were able to operate street side coffee sales from outside the business.

” Further, Lesley adds, “Social distancing is now the new norm and our customers really appreciate the steps we have taken to offer a safe café experience. It’s great to see Ballymena getting back to business with the help of the BID.”

Follow Coffee, Greenvale Street

“No one prepared us for the shock of lockdown and what it would mean to our business and staff”, says Kieran McAtamney.

“Thankfully the butchery remained open and we extended our service and customer base through home deliveries.

With our new restaurant, Graze, due to open in the Autumn, we are very encouraged with there turn of shoppers to the town. It’s important we support the BID re-ballot.”

K & G McAtamney Butcher & Deli, Greenvale Street

“In this unprecedented year, supporting the Financial Wellbeing of our customers and communities, and their underlying local economies, is more important than ever to us at Bank of Ireland.

Despite these challenging times within the local wider economy, Ballymena remains a great retail destination. The local businesses have shown great solidarity and fully understand the value of working together to keep Ballymena business and communities thriving in this difficult times.

Ballymena BID still remains an important vehicle of support to a wide range of local businesses, from small independent retailers services to larger high street brands.”

Jonathon Reilly Bank of Ireland, Ballymena