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Vote “YES” For More Great Business Support

Hot off the Press! – Lincoln BIG today unveiled its ambitious 2020-25 Business Plan, which pledges to spend more than £1 million a year on supporting city businesses.

Date: 6th Sep '19
  • (l-r)  Bailgate Independent Director Rachel Bishop; Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Sarah Loftus and Bailgate Independent Editor Amanda McSorley
  • (l-r)  Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Sarah Loftus and Wright Vigar Director Jack O'Hern

Chief Executive Sarah Loftus urged Lincoln BIG’s 800 levy payers to turn its promises into reality, by voting YES in its five-yearly re-ballot this Autumn. 

Some businesses have already voiced their support and are looking forward to receiving the promised benefits – which are in line with Lincoln’s fast-growing economy.  

If we get a YES vote, it will cost most individual levy payers the cost of between just one and seven cups of coffee a week (depending on the size of their premises and rateable value).

Lincoln BIG has highlighted three priorities, which are designed to offer the maximum value to all its levy payers – and it has already made a head start on delivering them. They are:

* WELCOME: We are determined to deliver a safer, cleaner, well-managed and welcoming  city centre.            

* EXPERIENCE: We want to create a first class experience for all visitors,  through the creation of vibrant events and animating the city.

*  VALUE: We are keen to offer value for money and represent the collective voice of levy payers and partners within the city. 

CX Sarah Loftus said: “We’ve drawn up an exciting five-year plan, following in-depth consultations with our levy payers, and the team at Lincoln BIG is looking forward to the future with confidence and is keen to have the chance to continue supporting “member” businesses.

“We are determined to make a visible difference in what we openly acknowledge continues to be a challenging business environment. We believe there is plenty to play for in a city which is continuing to expand on the shopping, higher education and tourism fronts.

“However, if we fail to get a majority vote in our re-ballot – in terms of the number of YES votes and spread of rateable value they represent – our levy payers will lose our current services, as those we are hoping to deliver in the future.

“When you consider things like our parking and bus deals, which are enjoyed by levy payers’ employees; our efforts to keep the streets clean and welcoming, our floral and street decorating scheme, the discounts and deals offered through the LoyalFree App scheme which we introduced this year and our family attractions, such as Lincoln By The Sea, you can start to get a taste of how things would change. Naturally, we hope that won’t happen.”

If levy payers vote YES, Lincoln BIG will have a proposed annual budget of £1,017,454 (made-up of the levy and other income generated) between 2020 and 2025.

Lincoln BIG Chairman Ursula Lidbetter said: “If our levy payers vote YES, we can set to work investing our annual budget on a wide range of initiatives to continue to make the city centre a great place to live, work or visit

“The annual levy paid by each business works out at an average weekly amount of between £1.82 and £51.66 - we do hope our levy payers think we are worth that.”

Levy payers will be able to find out more by reading our newly published Business Plan, but Lincoln BIG has already heard from existing levy payers who have decided they are going to vote YES.

Below, we give an update of the Ballot timeline:

Tuesday, September 24:      Notice of Ballot

Wednesday, October 9:        Ballot Papers Posted

By 5pm – Monday, Oct 28:   Name of Person Nominated to Vote in the Absence of the Original Voter

Thursday, October 31:          Lost Ballot Papers Posted

By 5pm – Friday,  Nov 1:      Cancellation of Person Nominated to Vote in the Absence  of the Original Voter

5pm – Wednesday, Nov 6:    Close of Ballot

6pm – Wednesday, Nov 6:    Result declared - Home, Park Street 

Businesses which are intending to vote YES in our re-ballot include the following:

Chartered Accountant Wright Vigar:

Director Jack O’Hern said: “Wright Vigar will be voting Yes in the Lincoln BIG Re-ballot.

“As a long-established city business, we appreciate the increasingly wide-range of support the organisation offers and we definitely want to see this continue.

“We, personally, have tapped into Lincoln BIG’s In Bloom scheme to make our offices more attractive to new and potential clients, Access schemes, which include travel and parking deals are also a good incentive for our team,” he said.

Dale & Co:

Director Richard Dale said: “I will definitely be voting YES in the forthcoming re-ballot.  It is very important.

“The contribution that has been made by Lincoln BIG to Lincoln businesses is enormous.  The Business Improvement Group enables things to happen, which wouldn’t otherwise.  this includes the flags, flowers and Christmas Trees that decorate the streets – because Lincoln BIG co-ordinates these it helps the whole city.  It would be mad to vote against the BID continuing.”