IT couldn’t have come at a worse time with many businesses closed due to the pandemic, but Newry Business Improvement District is currently working towards its revote date in March 2021.
If successful, this would see Newry BID remain in place for another five years and investing in the region of £1.4million over that period in our city centre.
Eamonn Connolly, Newry BID Manager said, “It couldn’t have come at a worse time, but it couldn’t have come at a better time in some ways, as we believe the only way we will get through this pandemic is by working together. We were due to have our revote in February but due to the current restrictions we have pushed it back as far as we can until March.
“After 31st March, without a successful revote BID simply ceases to exist with nothing to replace it.
“We will be working harder than ever to make sure we reach businesses over the coming weeks to encourage them to vote YES. With many premises closed it is difficult to engage face to face with businesses to discuss their issues.
"If we are successful however, we have a clear business strategy shaped by our members who have been telling us what they want from as far back as October time.
“If voted through we will be focusing on the issues businesses want us to address including lobbying on the excessive traffic enforcement in Newry and fair rates for all; as well as supporting with Covid recovery; keeping Newry cleaner, greener and safer with our clean team out on the ground bio fogging, sanitising and power hosing; supporting with social distancing signage etc, vacant property painting and providing green spaces in the city centre. We also have a full programme of activities to support promoting Newry as a safe place to return to, to stay, eat and shop when we are able to do so.”
Eamonn Connolly continued, “We cannot do any of this without our businesses voting YES in the postal vote between 11th February and 25th March. We need at least 25% turnout for the vote to be valid so every vote counts. We will be continuing to contact businesses in the days and weeks ahead to make sure they check their premises for their ballot papers. They will be sent out from 11th February, so we expect them to have arrived by Monday 15th February. Business owner/managers then have six weeks in which to place their postal vote.”
During the first term Newry BID invested more than £1 million in the city centre including recently providing free training courses for approx. 2000 attendees, painting 30 vacant properties, free carparking at North Street for more than 1,000 cars per week, 125 members received free Social Distancing signage and 350 businesses have availed of support with applying for grants and rate relief amongst other activities.
Please vote Yes from 11th February to 25th March to retain all these services and more in our city centre.