About your annual BID levy bill and how the Waterfront BID Supports you

Dear BID Levy Payers,

As you are aware annual Business Improvement District (BID) Levy bills were sent out to Waterfront businesses in March, just before lockdown began. Given the significant challenges and impacts on businesses during lockdown we requested that the collections team at Plymouth City Council did not send out formal reminders, knowing that for most businesses cash flow would be an immediate issue.

To help support you over the past three months we have concentrated all our efforts on working with the City Council to get the Covid-19 small business grants out to all eligible businesses as quickly as possible. We are pleased to be able to inform you that grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 have been allocated out to over 98% of eligible businesses and we know from speaking to many of you that this has made a very big difference in the short term.

In addition to helping push out the business grants we have also provide the following support activities:

  • A business toolkit packed with essential advice which you can find on our ‘reopening to the public safely’ page dedicated to providing information and links to help support you.

  • We set up a ‘social media resources’ page to help you fast track your knowledge and skills in utilising Social Media to keep in touch with your customers and clients.

  • A ‘business offers’ page started at the beginning of the lockdown period, helping to showcase businesses who adapted to online/takeout ordering, as these numbers grew.

  • Helped launch, in partnership with the Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth City Council, the full www.Shop4Plymouth.co.uk website to give all businesses a platform to enable them to continue to trade online or with safe deliveries. (More than 160 Plymouth businesses are now featured. Development work is continuing to make this an even stronger platform for all Plymouth businesses in the future.)

  • From Day 1 of the crisis, we have been in direct contact with dozens of businesses and lobbying hard behind the scenes for extra support.

  • Free business mentoring, 1 to 1 surgeries, peer to peer learning and support via the ‘Be the Business’ training programme To find out more, please visit bethebusiness.com, email hospitality@bethebusiness.com or contact programme lead, Alexander Rushton, on: 07887 775003.

  • Additional marketing activity to commence August 2020 through Destination Plymouth to support the ‘Eat out to help out’ and Enjoy Summer safely national marketing campaigns.

In addition we still provide a range of exclusive BID member benefits and advertising opportunities available to you including advertising, PR and support via our partners at Destination Plymouth. We’ve teamed up with a number of local suppliers to secure a range of exclusive discounted services, which can save you money.

If you have any job vacancies or special offers please tag in our Social Media channels on Facebook and Twitter so we can help share them to a wider audience.

We are delighted that the first few weeks of reopening appear to have gone well and that customers are beginning to return, however we realise that this is only one small step and that we need to continue to work hard with you towards a longer term recovery programme.

With this in mind we are delighted to have just announced the appointment of PWP’s new Waterfront Manager and CEO, Diane Mansell. This follows an extensive recruitment process which attracted strong candidates with great experience. The new BID Manager will be hitting the ground running in September to support everyone at this difficult time.

Our work, keeping our Waterfront safe and welcoming, attracting and delivering grants and investment, fighting on your behalf, has never been more important. The huge programme of investment featured in our business plan found on our website www.waterfrontbid.co.uk is still in place.

We are confident that, with our partners, we can deliver a better and more prosperous Waterfront for existing and new businesses and hope that you will continue to support us in those efforts. Your annual BID Levy is a fraction of other business costs and we hope that with other measures, such as the small business grants, business rates holiday, VAT relief and free outdoor eating permits, many of you will now be in a position to pay your bill.

Please note that the Levy bills remain payable by law under the BID regulations and do not fall under any governmental rates exemption scheme announced to date. Details of how to pay can be found on the reverse of your bill. If you need a copy of your bill please let me know. If you have any other questions or wish to discuss payment, please contact me.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick Knight Interim Chief Executive & Waterfront Manager


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