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GFSB welcomes Main Street BID scheme

Pic: Johnny Bugeja

The Main Street Business Improvement District scheme was welcomed yesterday by the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses, which believes “it will help to propel Main Street and the surrounding area forward”.

The idea for the BID came to light after the GFSB commissioned a study of Main Street and its surrounding area in 2018 to ascertain if there was anything that could be done to help businesses.

“This was an important exercise to know where the high street was and where it could go,” the GFSB said in a statement.

“The Main Street Review highlighted a number of things that could be done to improve the whole area for both locals and tourists.”

“The best mechanism for this type of change was with the forming of a Business Improvement District (BID) which have proved very successful in the UK and USA.”

It was after that the GFSB thought that a BID would be a great way to move forward, to accomplish some of the findings and recommendations the Main St Review proposed.

The GFSB spoke to The Mosaic Partnership, one of the UK's leading BID implementing firms, and once a budget and plan was put together, the GFSB approached Government to help fund it, which they did.

“This gave the project the momentum it needed to get started,” the GFSB said.

“The Government then later committed to matching pound for pound the contributions made by retail and leisure.”

Despite Brexit and Covid-19 presenting some of the challenges faced, on Friday the BID vote was successful with more than 60% of voters voting in favour.
The GFSB said it is very proud of this initiative and all the work that has been going on behind the scenes for nearly three years to get to this point.

It said that although it is no longer a GFSB project but has become its very own entity, and it believes “the BID will propel Main Street and the surrounding area forward”.
“Congratulations to the BID team, and thanks to the Government for their support,” the GFSB said.
“The GFSB will continue to support the BID and any other initiatives it feels will benefit GFSB members and Gibraltar PLC.
For his part, Julian Byrne, the GFSV Chairperson, said: “When I took on the responsibility of Chairperson I had a clear goal in mind, and that was to do all I could to improve business for our members.”

“One of the first tasks was to tackle the city centre, so we commissioned the Main Street review.”

“This was supposed to be a one year project, but it was clear from the findings that more was needed and that the BID would be the way forward.”

“The GFSB has been hard at work behind the scenes to get the BID to a point where it runs itself.”

“It is great to see the strong BID team and how they are moving the project forward, and how many businesses are backing the BID.”

“We are also grateful for the Government's support.”
“Overall a great success for the GFSB, the BID and Gibraltar!"

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