Businesses set to vote on Main Street initiative
Businesses in Main Street and its surrounding areas will soon be invited to decide whether they wish to support the Business Improvement District scheme, with voting due to take place in September.
In order for the BID to go ahead, it will require a majority of votes and an independent postal ballot will be held between September 1 and 29, with the final result announced the following day.
Over 1,000 businesses will have the opportunity to cast their vote, the BID Task Group said.
The ‘Main Street & Surrounds BID’ has been developed by businesses with the support of the Government of Gibraltar.
Despite the inevitable difficulties and delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is huge confidence that this tried and tested model will help Main Street and surrounding areas not only perform better but provide a strong foundation for recovery, a spokesman for the BID Task Group said.
“It is now more important than ever to show support for our BID and vote yes in the upcoming ballot for continued recovery, economic development and long-term growth of our town centre,” George Russo, Main Street BID Task Group Chairman, said.
“If you own a business in the BID area, you get to vote on the business plan.”
“When the Main Street & Surrounds BID campaign succeeds, we will have the power, budget, and professional management team to create a prosperous, well-resourced town centre, with the business community at the heart of it.”
After extensive consultation with local businesses from all industry sectors, interest groups and other stakeholders, the BID team has formed the business plan priorities and projects based on the ideas, suggestions and feedback from local business owners, as well as on recommendations from The Mosaic Partnership, the project managers.
The aim is to improve the town centre environment for businesses, local residents and visitors, with both operational and strategic initiatives that go over and above public sector provisions.
As well as marketing, promotion and events, the BID will look to develop a uniquely Gibraltarian experience; ensure the town centre is clean, green and welcoming; back business directly with cost savings, business intelligence and other measures; and ensure that Main Street & Surrounds becomes strategic and innovative as a professionally managed place.
“Upon a successful ballot, the five-year business plan will be set in motion,” a spokesman for the task group added.
“A not-for-profit business will be incorporated to deliver the outlined projects, which will be professionally staffed and steered by a board of directors made up of local business owners and key stakeholders.”
Meanwhile Esteban Garcia Bravo, Main Street BID Task Group Vice Chairman, said: “The current economic climate and circumstances have accelerated the need for self-reflection and adaptation amongst the local business community.”
“The BID provides the right framework and a unique opportunity for businesses from all sectors within the BID area to come together with a common goal – to make Gibraltar’s town centre the prime destination to do business.”
“The benefits of the BID are far reaching, and we hope it will prove valuable to Gibraltar PLC as a whole by not only enhancing our offering for locals and visitors, but strengthening our business environment and raising our profile internationally.”
For his part, Mo Aswat, Director of the Main Street BID Project and Director of The Mosaic Partnership, has worked with over 130 BIDs internationally, adding that this past year has shown the “importance and power” of BIDs.
“Having worked on this for a while now, I am excited not only by seeing the BID come to fruition but the enthusiasm and pride of the businesses and key stakeholders who have come together to develop this and their desire to see Gibraltar advance,” Mr Aswat added.
Business owners are encouraged to get involved with the discussion and sign up to attend a Zoom drop-in session to learn more.
Drop-in sessions will be happening every Thursday up till the launch of the ballot.
To sign up, visit www.mainstreetbid.com