MORE than 100 local business owners and managers attended an event hosted by the team proposing to bring a Business Improvement District (BID) to Chester city centre.
The ‘Benefits of the BID’ drop-in sessions were held at the Palatine Room in Chester Town Hall and were open to all local businesses, with key members of the CH1ChesterBID Company on hand to explain more about the benefits that a BID could deliver.
Chairman of CH1ChesterBID Paul Daniels said: “It was fantastic to see so many business owners and managers in attendance.
“We’ve always said that the BID is a businesses-led initiative, a collective working together to benefit Chester businesses, and this event gave us the opportunity to outline some of the real benefits.
“We spoke directly to the voters, answering their questions and reinforcing the message that the benefits of the BID far outweigh the cost.
“Bringing a BID to Chester is absolutely essential to securing a sustainable future for the city. There is no alternative.”
Owners and managers from across the BID area came out in force to support the event and find out more about what a BID would do for them.
Jane Meaker, from Space NK on Eastgate Row, one of the many local business people at the event. said: “The BID will bring new customers to the city, increase footfall and clean up the city centre – all improvements that need to be sorted out.”
Mathew Jones, business development manager, KingKabs, is also backing the BID.
He said: “There are a lot of things that happen in the city centre where you just feel like you have no voice. The BID will give businesses like us a louder voice to effect change in Chester.”
Lord Robert Hulme, from utility-cost-reduction company InVEW was also in attendance to demonstrate how his firm will work with CH1ChesterBID members to secure them more competitive rates on their telecom, energy and water costs.
He said: “We are confident that, working with CH1ChesterBID, InVEW will be able to offer significant savings for BID members which will put more of their hard-earned money back into their pockets. We applaud the commitment and energy of the CH1ChesterBID Board and team and urge all eligible businesses to vote ‘yes’ in June.”
Subject to businesses voting ‘yes’ to a BID in June this year, more than £2.5 million of private sector investment could be raised to help fund wide-ranging improvements in the city over five years, such as new and quality events and better marketing for city centre businesses.
More than 500 businesses fall into the proposed CH1ChesterBID area and in order to be successful, the BID vote has to achieve at least 51 per cent of the total rateable value and 51 per cent of the eligible businesses within the area.