As we head into another lockdown, I thought it was an opportune time to look back at what we have achieved over the last few months - and the plans that we are putting into place to support businesses in the run up to Christmas.
As a recap, during the last lockdown we:
Began a deep clean of the town centre and weed removal
Produced 'social distancing' reopening packs, including posters and floor stickers
Supported businesses in the BID area with reopening grants
Purchased outdoor tables and chairs to allow hospitality venues to make use of outdoor space
Once businesses had reopened, we launched a major advertising campaign to promote the Harrogate Gift Card, not only to encourage people to buy them as gifts, but for businesses to sign up to the scheme, which doesn't cost them a penny.
We have given Harrogate's floral image a boost with flower planters outside town centre shops. The streets will be further enhanced with the addition of 170 plus 'barrier baskets'.
We have appointed two Town Centre Hosts - Jo Caswell and Sara Hartley - who are our eyes and ears on the street, and a BID project co-ordinator, Dawn Gennery.
The Christmas lights are now being installed and will include streets that have not benefitted from them in the past. These will go live from Saturday, November 14.
We are now looking at supporting those businesses within the BID area who either don't have an ecommerce website, or want to upgrade an existing site. This is part of a new campaign to encourage local people to "Shop Harrogate Online" during the lockdown.
It is now is more important than ever to support the local highstreet and all the businesses that make Harrogate unique.
Please do stay in touch, and if you have any questions you wish to raise with the BID, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Ferguson Acting BID Chair
Flower Power - Harrogate BID style
Hopefully you will have seen the planters outside a number of town centre businesses. We think they look great and that's the feedback we've been receiving.
And when we 'plant' more than 170 barrier baskets around the town, we believe they will give a real 'flower-power' boost to Harrogate's floral crown.
Renewed Harrogate Gift Card promotion
Following on from the success of summer's Harrogate Gift Card campaign - which saw more than a hundred cards being sold and dozens of new businesses joining the scheme - we have relaunched it, starting with the Stray Ferret.
Whilst we are heading into a second lockdown, we are still keen to promote the benefits of the card and how each one sold will help support Harrogate's town centre economy.
Further details of the Harrogate Gift Card scheme can be found here:
BID Board elections update
Whilst we have only recently emailed you regarding this year's Harrogate BID Board elections, we are again letting you know that we are seeking Board Director candidates to serve on the BID Board from 1 January to 31 December 2021.
The Board comprises up to 15 Directors, with a variety of complementary skills, representing various business sectors as follows:
3 National Retailers
3 Independent Retailers
2 Office and Commercial
2 Food, Drink, Entertainment and Leisure
1 North Yorkshire County Council
1 Harrogate Borough Council
1 North Yorkshire Police
1 Voluntary BID Levy Contributor
The following rules and requirements apply:
Every BID Levy Payer or equivalent financial contributor is eligible to become a Director and must also be a Member of the Company
Where a Director has multiple hereditaments he/she is entitled to one vote
In order to become a Director, a Levy Payer/financial contributor must have paid their dues in full in the previous year and have paid the current year’s levy/contribution within three months of the issue of the first bill/invoice
Directors must work in the best interests of the company and its objectives and in supporting and ensuring the delivery of the agreed Business Plan. Rules set out in the BID Company Articles of Association and those of Companies House relating to the conduct of Members/Directors will also apply
Directors will not be able to stand for the position of Chair unless they have served a minimum of a year as a Board Director
Directors must declare any conflicts of interest
Directors are required to treat all communications and discussions of and relating to Company business, both verbal and written, as confidential and not to be discussed, distributed or used in any way unless agreed by the Company Board
Directors must attend a minimum of not less than 75 per cent of all briefing meetings and board meetings throughout the year
Public Sector Directors may have a named substitute, who can attend with the prior agreement of the Chair
Directors are required to provide active time of not less than two hours per week to the BID Company
If you would like to be considered for election to next year’s Board please can you email your request to email@example.com by 20 November 2020 setting out your relevant experience and commitment to ensuring the success of the BID.
Reopening Grants back in play
With a second national lockdown beginning on Thursday, we are reminding BID levy payers that we still have grants available to help with "reopening" costs.
But this time we are also adding the creation or revamping of ecommerce websites.
These grants are match-funded to a maximum of £750.
During the next four weeks - and possibly beyond - our aim is to encourage Harrogate people to look to local suppliers first, before heading to the likes of international online companies when it comes to purchasing a variety of goods.
We are looking to launch a new campaign, 'Shop Harrogate Online', and in a few days we will email you details of how you can be a part of it.
Lest We Forget
We have added a fitting, illuminated tribute to the town centre war memorial.
In addition to this year’s Christmas lights - which will be lit from Saturday, November 14 - we have had red pea lights installed in the four trees flanking the prominent tribute to those from the town who gave their lives in two world wars.
The lights, which were switched on at the weekend, complement the knitted poppies which have been attached to tree trunks, railings and lampposts in the Prospect Crescent area.
Harrogate BID acting chair Sara Ferguson said: “In addition to the Christmas lights currently being put up around the town centre, we have had red lights put up in the four trees around Harrogate’s town centre war memorial.
“We believe the lights give an added sense of respectfulness to this memorial, which honours the memory of those men from the town who died in the First and Second World Wars.”
BID sponsorship of Mumbler Halloween Trail is a winner
We are delighted to publish the below letter from Sarah Williams, who with her son, Felix, who participated in the recent Harrogate Mumbler town centre Halloween trail, supported by Harrogate BID.
Sarah said: "My son Felix absolutely loved the Halloween trial that was organised around Harrogate town centre, it was so lovely to see everyone getting involved from shop keepers to members of the public pointing us in the right direction.
"Matching the symbols was such a fun thing to do and was easy for him engage with as he has additional needs, it was a great activity for the whole family, even my 12 and 14 year old had fun.
"I saw it on Mumbler when I was looking for something to do, I saw at least ten other families around town participating, some of the shop owners had dressed up and were handing out sweets, it was really lovely and had a real sense of community, I would love to see more of this."
Harrogate BID Acting Chair Sara Ferguson said: “More than ever the town centre needs the support of locals and visitors alike, and this Halloween trail was a fantastic way to bring children and their parents into it during the half term.
“The trail allowed them to fully explore Harrogate town centre, taking them down streets and into shops they may not have visited before. The comments from Felix and Sarah are superb and we are delighted to have been a part of it."
North Yorkshire Devolution
If you’ve not yet had a chance to familiarise yourselves with the subject of North Yorkshire Devolution, we have a special section on our website, which can be found here.
Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce’s most recent meeting was devoted to the subject, and heard representations from North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council, who have differing views on how the county should be administered post this local government shake up
The meeting was covered by The Stray Ferret and its report can be read here.
Year's free membership of ShopAppy for qualifying businesses
As we head into a second national lockdown, we are again promoting the ShopAppy scheme.
The York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub is giving eligible businesses across the region 12-months free membership to the online, community-led shopping platform, ShopAppy.com
This opportunity gives independent businesses a way to start trading again while maintaining safety. Set up takes limited technical know-how, and comprehensive support will be available from Growth Hub advisors and the ShopAppy team to help businesses get up and running quickly.
The online marketplace supports shopping locally, even if customers have to stay at home. They also have the convenience of buying goods from multiple shops in one place, while supporting the local economy.