According to the government, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Scotland will be at the forefront of the local response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the new funding, made available by communities and local government cabinet secretary Aileen Campbell, will help them to support local businesses.
Falkirk BID will be able to apply for funding to support local businesses by signposting to, and supporting them to avail of, the Government support that is available and coordinate a response at a local level to keep the local economy moving.
Alongside a package of measures to support businesses, including a suspension of business rates for some businesses, the Scottish Government and Scotland’s Improvement Districts, the national centre for BIDs, have suggested local authorities should not collect the BID levy during the current COVID-19 crisis, while the £1 million funding package will allow many BIDs to play a vital role in supporting local businesses and town centres during these challenging times.
BIDs will support local businesses to find new and innovative ways to maintain trading, and support other community initiatives to help more vulnerable people. In addition, they will commence preparations for a locally led recovery campaign to help local town centres bounce back once the Government’s social distancing rules have been relaxed.Phil Prentice, programme director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, said: “We warmly welcome the Scottish Government’s acknowledgement of the important role BIDs play in our city and town centre economies.
“This funding will allow BIDs to play a crucial role in supporting local businesses to access the various mitigation packages available and will provide a forum to bring local businesses and communities together to try and keep our towns and cities moving. Many businesses are coming up with creative ways to keep trading, and BIDs can support the scaling up of this innovation and creativity.”