Lincoln BIG is urging businesses to vote YES in its Autumn reballot – and give the not-for-profit organisation the green light to continue supporting them for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a week!
Every five years, the Business Improvement Group – which has more than 800 levy payers – gives them the chance to say if they want BIG to provide ongoing support, in this case for 2020 to 2025.
Today it launched its Prospectus, which highlights the many ways it is currently making a difference to businesses and, after surveying and listening to levy payers’ views, how it plans to support them in the future.
Over the last five years, Lincoln BIG – whose “members” are based in an area stretching from Newport Arch to the former Ritz Cinema in the lower High Street (and westwards to include the University of Lincoln campus and eastwards Lincoln College), has spent about £1 million on a range of initiatives to help shops, service businesses and organisations.
In its proposed annual budget for 2020-2025, it expects to put more than £1m a year (made up of the levy and other income) to work on schemes to benefit levy payers.
Chief Executive Sarah Loftus said: “In order to trigger that spending, we need our levy payers to get behind us. It is vital that they vote YES for us later this year.
“The economic climate may be challenging, but we are confident we can offer exceptional value, against a levy which will cost a small independent business the price of a cup of coffee a week, rising to seven cups of coffee a week for, say, a large national retailer.
“The levy payable is based on a business’ or organisation’s rateable value. This means an independent business with a RV of between £6,000 and £9,999 would pay 26p a day (£94 a year). The RV scale rises in line with the size of premises, so a major retailer with an RV of £100,000 or more would pay £7.38 a day (£2,694 a year).
“Obviously, owners and managers are keen to know what they are going to get for their money. A recent survey revealed they want good street management, a vibrant and safe evening economy, security schemes, great events and business/partnership support,” said Sarah.
“That has led us to decide three main priorities – all designed to give the maximum return to our levy payers. The great news is, we have already started delivering them!”
The words to remember are:
We will take a co-ordinated and effective approach to ensure that Lincoln has a well-managed, welcoming and safe city centre.
We will focus on creating a world class experience for everyone who comes to Lincoln.
We will represent the collective voice of levy payers and partners within the city.
“In line with the above priorities, our wardens are out and about daily, giving a lick of paint to street furniture, blitzing discarded chewing and improving the streets by putting our Chewy Chew Gumbuster and street vacuum to work,” said Sarah.
“Our events are legendary and already well-attended, but we going to put extra polish on these and help to support those led by others. Value-wise, we believe we have a great park and ride offer for workers and visitors and super travel deals for levy payers’ employees. Our new LoyalFreeApp is also helping to attract more city footfall.
“We believe our levy payers are worth every penny that they spend with us – I sincerely hope they think they believe their businesses are worth it too,” added Sarah.