My key comments to all are stressing how the InExeter BID, along with the other 329 BIDs across the British Isles have worked hard during the Covid-19 crisis. We know that they have provided information and advice on grant funding from government, using their levy payers’ email and SMS contacts.
Many have been able to keep their Rangers or street wardens operational, keeping the properties of levy payers safe and secure, at a time when many had furloughed all of their staff. They have advised their members on the various stages of the reopening as the rules became clearer, and they have been very heavily involved in the signposting of their towns and cities as people returned to shopping and food areas.
Most BIDs have done this with very low levels of levy payment, have in the main had to furlough members of their teams, and have thus done this with very small numbers of staff. This continues, even as we are starting to plan for Christmas and the New Year, and we are all developing marketing campaigns for our towns and cities to increase consumer confidence so that those who are wanting to come back feel safe and return again and again.
Most BIDs are thus working flat out with extremely tight cash flows. We asked government for some assistance and received some small amount -5% of income – to cover three months operational costs, and many of us are facing a major reduction in our levy payments. Luckily, many of our levy payers are keen to pay; they know they have received an amazing service during the lockdown, and they are keen to work with their BID in planning for the future.