For Less Than a Cuppa Per Day! – Dundee’s Independents Point to Success
Published on 17 March 2015
A Business Improvement District could significantly boost and preserve Dundee’s independent business sector, according to those backing the campaign.
With just three weeks left to vote, almost 450 city centre businesses have the opportunity to kick-start a brighter future by voting for the independent initiative which, supported by levy payers within the city centre, will invest over £1.6M into enhancing the commercial heart of the city during the next five years. Businesses have until Tuesday 7 April 2015 to submit their vote.
With more than half of all eligible businesses paying less than the cost of a takeaway coffee per day to invest in the fund, Wendy Scullin, Owner of Madigan’s Food Emporium on Castle Street said, “Dundee is fortunate to have a huge range of independent businesses which, in my opinion, create the beating heart of Dundee city centre. They are undoubtedly one of our key strengths and a sector which should be invested in, and which will hopefully grow in the months and years ahead.
“However, if our businesses are to survive and thrive, it’s crucial that those living in Dundee, as well as the thousands of visitors coming to the city each year, are aware of these wonderful little businesses, and the different products and experiences which they offer. It’s not enough to just hope that people wander down these streets and discover us. Improved signage is absolutely key to our success, having a BID would allow us to become much more visible, drive awareness and develop a better identity for the many independent shops, tearooms and restaurants within Dundee city centre.”
According to Jon Walton, Chairman, BID Steering Group, independent businesses will be the real winners if the BID is voted through – “Of the 30 BIDS in Scotland, almost all of them were instigated by the independent sector and that’s also the case in Dundee. Most of the projects we are proposing revolve around the independents, as the BID’s prime ambition is to create a vibrant independent sector. Furthermore, with the nationals paying a higher levy due to their rateable value, independents will pay a lot less – in fact, over half of businesses will pay less than £1.50 per day commit to the fund.
But, crucially, no business will have a greater say than the next, so the independents will actually gain a lot of leverage from the nationals. The independent businesses will also enjoy much greater exposure than they currently enjoy if the BID is voted through and, through a number of initiatives, we will actually save them money.”
BID plans which will specifically benefit the independent business include better and more creative signage and the creation of a fund to allow individual streets to market their own distinctive attributes, such as ‘Downtown Dundee’. The BID also aims to become a key consultee on future car parking and transport reviews which could affect their business, gain parking discounts for city centre staff and entice more start-up’s and pop-up’s into the city centre by working with Business Gateway and the voluntary sector.
At present, there are 182 BIDS throughout the UK, 30 of which are in Scotland, representing 16,500 businesses. They have a 100% success rate at being voted into a second term and the total investment they are now making into our urban centres is over £46M.
For more information, please contact Neil Cooney, BID Consultant – telephone (01382) 434642, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dundeecitycentrebid.co.uk, where a copy of the Dundee BID Business plan is also available.