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Business organisation seeks election to further support town

Businesses in Bury St Edmunds town centre will soon be able to vote on whether the Business Improvement District (BID) should continue to operate for the next five years. Our Bury St Edmunds BID has provided additional services to support businesses in the town centre since it was first established in 2010. It has continued to be elected in a ballot of member businesses at five year intervals ever since.

This week just over 400 premises will be notified that they will soon be receiving their ballot form. The vote is a simple yes or no and if elected the BID will remain in place to deliver for town centre businesses until 2030.

Member businesses will continue to be eligible to access numerous free training courses for their staff in areas which include first aid, fire safety, food hygiene and
digital marketing. The BID’s delivery of all the town’s major outdoor events such as the popular free entry Spring Fayre, Food & Drink Festival and Christmas Lights
event will continue, along with the marketing of the town to both locals and visitors nationally. The BID also provides a number of services to improve the trading
environment of the town centre such as the town’s Christmas lights, a free graffiti removal service for members, sponsored floral decorations in the summer and other activities to bring people to the town. BID initiatives to keep spend local include the Our Bury St Edmunds Gift Card, the Loyal Free App and the Virtual High Street.

Chief Executive of Our Bury St Edmunds BID Mark Cordell said: “We know that times have been tough recently for businesses and their customers and that is why
we are committed to giving the best possible value for money as a BID service for them if the vote is successful. Part of our role is to source additional external funding for the town centre to benefit our member businesses and since 2020 we have generated around £400,000.

“Around half the businesses covered by the BID’s area are independents and more than 100 of those businesses will be paying £1 a day or less for their BID membership.”

If the town centre votes to retain the BID it will run for a further five years from April 2025. Businesses will pay a levy based on their rateable value, which this time increases by 0.15%, the lowest amount it has ever gone up by.

Mr Cordell added: “A number of businesses will have lower rateable values now since the last evaluation, which means the amount they will pay to the BID in the next five year term will be less than they have paid for this one.”

    Businesses eligible to vote in the BID ballot are being sent further information by Our Bury St Edmunds BID this week. The ballot will open on June 7 and run until July 4.

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