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NAIRN BID: We know we have work to do with smaller businesses

By Lucy Harding

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There are mixed feelings about Nairn BID.
There are mixed feelings about Nairn BID.

"Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much." This phrase is attributed to Helen Keller and is used as a motto by at least two organisations in Nairn. It reminds us that we are stronger together and encourages us to work together whenever we can.

The renewal ballot for Nairn BID took place and we are delighted that the result was in favour of Nairn Connects BID continuing for a further five-year term.

From results analysis, we can deduce the larger businesses of Nairn are overwhelmingly in support of the BID and want to contribute to support the economic life of the town. This is good news. However, we know there is work to do to persuade some members, particularly Nairn’s smaller independent businesses, of the value of the BID and the benefit of the levy they pay. In hard economic times, it’s especially important to know that any outgoings are beneficial to your business.

BID has already generated additional income, increased footfall and secured over £190,000 in extra funding for Nairn. It operates as Nairn’s online tourist presence through social media and the Visit Nairn website. It helps maintain and improve the environment by running local events like the Christmas lights switch-on, Taste of Nairn, Wheels of Nairn and regular street markets. These activities are outside the Highland Council’s remit and only exist because Nairn has a Business Improvement District. The last few years has laid a strong foundation for more exciting work ahead. Our members have already told us what they value most from BID and these types of activities will continue, but we’re also forging ahead with new projects to drive economic strength in the town.

There are 37 BIDs operating in Scotland and the one thing all successful BIDs have in common, is a high level of engagement from their members. So, whatever your view, please get involved in the work of your BID. Nairn’s BID is run by volunteers and its activities are based solely on members’ feedback. If you like what we’re doing, please tell us. If you think we should do some things differently, tell us. It’s your BID and you can shape it and direct its activities. You can engage with us by attending meetings, joining a workstream or even joining the board.

Together we can do so much. With greater involvement from our members, and lively debate at the heart of the BID, we can ensure a productive and exciting future five years.

Lucy Harding is the manager of Nairn BID.

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