My business has this morning received notification from the borough council that we are to be faced with another vote to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID) for Lynn town centre.
The cost of this process is not disclosed but it follows an earlier failed attempt only a couple of years ago. We are now getting the usual propaganda reported in the Lynn News from the powers that be such as “the majority of businesses were in favour of this last time”. No they weren’t. Of the 604 businesses in the town centre who were asked to vote, only 122 were in favour of the BID proposal. That is only 20 per cent of the businesses in Lynn town centre and no matter what spin you put on it, that is not a majority. The problem is the general apathy for this initiative in the business community. Sixty-two per cent of businesses did not vote. Perhaps they feel that these people will keep on going until they do get their own way so why bother. This proposal will place an unwanted cost on local businesses. This is at a time we are all facing forced increases in costs such as the minimum wage, pension auto-enrolment etc. Small local businesses are being squeezed dry and simply cannot afford this. This will drive businesses out of town.
I also question the value of the Lynn BID spending our money in this way to try to attract more visitors to the town centre. Why would they want to visit the town centre when faced with the traffic congestion, high car parking charges and the over-zealous parking wardens who prowl the town centre. Other things need to be done first before introducing a BID. Lynn offers an attractive and convenient out of town retail centre with ample free parking which is why the major retailers are investing there rather than in the town centre. Please can I ask all businesses to use their vote and hopefully put an end to this idea once and for all.
Andrew Holford, Lynn business owner