Announcement from Lichfield BID
Published on: Mon, 29/06/2020 - 12:07
1.00pm 29th June 2020
As you know the COVID-19 is causing levels of disruption to Lichfield not seen in generations. Lichfield BID has been operating for nearly five years providing direct support to businesses and it has been successful in generating additional footfall, investment and a sense of community to serve the local population and visitors to the area.
Many of our businesses do not know if they are going to survive over the coming weeks and months, or if they do at what cost, with the very real threat of staff redundancies. Understandably paying their BID levy and supporting a second five year term is not at the top of their list of priorities.
With this in mind, my fellow BID Directors and I have decided that we will lapse Lichfield BID at the end of its current five year term, which would be at the end of September 2020. This has been a difficult decision to make, but it has been done with the best interests of the businesses in Lichfield in mind. The BID company will continue as a non-trading entity with a view to seeking a ballot for a further BID term in late 2021 or beyond, when the economic situation is better known.
We explored a number of options, including holding our ballot within our current term and extending our BID by six months, as allowed by the Covid-19 legislation. However, the possibility of a successful vote is compromised by the current situation and extending the BID would mean we would be legally obliged to send out an enforceable bill to cover the extension period, which, I am sure you would agree, would be found to be untenable by Lichfield businesses.
Our highlights were many and include over one million footfall in Lichfield in December 2018 making it the busiest month of that year. This was followed by a year of increasing footfall bucking the national trend. We also managed to double the amount of businesses using social media channels and took Lichfield from number 174 to number 21 in the national digital high street rankings. Our marketing has delivered results and we are recognised as a key stakeholder organisation within the local economy representing the businesses within the BID at all levels.
I realise there maybe some concerns over some of the vital services provided by the BID such as the digital radio and management system and I should like to advise you that we will be working with a range of local agencies to try to manage a hand-over and change of ownership to ensure continuity.
I realise that this will be a huge disappointment bearing in mind the hard work, effort and support businesses have given the BID but I think you will agree it is the most sensible thing to do given our current circumstances.
Lichfield BID Chairman