Levy Payment Reminder

Stratford Original BID Levy 2020/21 from BID Manager Gianluca Rizzo
22 October 2020

We appreciate the challenges which COVID-19 has presented to businesses over recent months. As a BID, we maintained operations during the lockdown period and continue to be at the forefront of the local recovery effort, coordinating a range of campaigns and practical support to build confidence amongst businesses and consumers.

We are committed to bringing Stratford back to life in a safe way, as quickly as possible, and our partnerships with levy payers are crucial to this effort.

The BID set out a number of its activities in the recent notes accompanying the levy notice. We continue to add to this programme, supporting the implementation of new government guidance and reacting to the needs of the town centre and our levy payers. Work undertaken by the BID to coordinate the COVID-19 recovery effort includes:

  • Local marketing campaigns to reactivate Stratford and bring consumers back.
  • Transformation of the public realm to accommodate social distancing and provide a welcoming environment for shoppers via our public banners campaign and promotion of social distancing via floor stickers to support queue management across the town centre.
  • Coordination of support to levy payers to adopt COVID Secure guidance for in-store operations, including the provision of free Restarter Packs which featured PPE and COVID-19-related information to over 150 members
  • Reintroduction of our Ambassadors service supporting businesses, visitors and consumers alike, 5 days per week
  • Support, advice and ongoing lobbying for the levy payers on a wide range of issues during and post-lockdown, delivered through regular communications activity, including representation to the local authority and local MPs on issues surrounding payment of business support/grants and hardship fund and the hospitality curfew.

This activity would not have happened without the BID and, as you’ll appreciate, it has required significant funding. We have achieved this by reprofiling the BID budget and working flexibly to react to an anticipated reduction in commercial income. The BID received a small amount of funding from the Government so that we could continue operations following the immediate lockdown period, however, this only covers a proportion of our core costs for a limited time.

The above activity also goes alongside our regularly scheduled projects focused on supporting you and your business:

  • Maintaining our Adopt a Planter scheme, our flagship greening projects with over 20 planters across the town centre
  • Publicising advice and local business news in our bi-weekly e-bulletin as well as monthly printed newsletters
  • Delivering free training courses, including Health & Safety, First Aid, Food Hygiene, Personal Licence, and COVID-19 Response
  • Providing free webinars and advice to businesses
  • COVID-19 secure Dr Bikes to support more walking & cycling in the town centre
  • Promoting our new consumer-facing website which includes our online business directory
  • Delivering subsidised recycling streams in partnership with First Mile

In line with national legislation (BID Regulations Act 2004 and Local Government Act 2003) and our BID Levy Rules, the BID is not permitted to discount the levy without an alteration ballot. In addition, many of our levy payers, including independent traders, have already paid the levy without discount. Our budget is funded through your levy, collected by the Local Authority from all businesses at least £12,000 Rateable Value within the Stratford’s Business Improvement District (BID) boundary.

 

We wish to encourage payment of the 2020/21 BID levy and will continuously review this situation with alternative payment option proposals.

 

If you can pay your 2020/21 BID levy, and you would like to find out what your BID levy amount is, or if you would like to find out about getting a copy of your bill, please call the Business Rates: business.rates@onesource.co.uk - 0208 430 3250.

We will continue to work hard for our levy payers and the town to help deliver the COVID-19 recovery and the future growth that all businesses will depend upon. We value our levy payers support and would be very happy to talk through any of the above points.

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