Mr Andrew Holford expresses some interesting views about the proposed Business Improvement District but is mistaken on a number of key points.
The team behind the BID are not “the powers that be”. Rather, we are a group of local business owners and managers who are determined to do our best to raise investment for the town centre and protect the long-term future of our businesses.
All the businesses involved in the BID process understand the impact of the increased costs on their businesses that Mr Holford mentions, such as increases to the minimum wage and auto-enrolment pensions. The difference with the BID levy is that it is placed directly into the hands of the businesses who pay it. Investment strategy will be decided by a board of directors consisting of those very people who pay the BID levy. Across the country there are many examples of BID money being used to attract further investment, attract match funding and pay for projects that can directly help businesses to actually save money. Put simply, the BID levy should be seen as an investment, not as a cost.
King’s Lynn is almost the last town of its size in the country not to have a BID. We do not wish to be left any further behind. We believe that we face a stark choice for the town centre: raise investment funds and work together to use this money for the benefit of all businesses, or wait for the inevitable decline that will follow without it.
We urge every business who receives their notification of the BID to vote YES.
Darren Taylor, on behalf of Lynn BID Steering Group