We offer business support to local businesses through a variety of measures and assist on a range of topics. Support offered to date includes:

  • Training Sessions – Cyber Crime; Window Dressing; Social Media etc,
  • Job Forum Partners in 2020 – we actively supported the government Kickstart scheme, furlough queries and re-employment.
  • Registered Government Kickstart Gateway which supported local businesses to gain additional workforce and help local young people gain employment.
  • The BID board of directors assisted businesses with free advisory services, helped with business interruption claims, lease/landlord issues, alternative financing options, connecting with key business partners including STANTA (St Albans Enterprise Agency) for assistance with business plans.
  • St Albans Business Against Crime incorporating the ShopSafe Radio scheme providing support for over 60 businesses.
  • Mass Business Rate Appeal

CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT

St Albans BID undertook key activities during the Covid-19 lockdowns and recovery periods to ensure ongoing support and guidance was available for all businesses in the BID area. Since March 2020, the following activities were undertaken to provide support:

Working with Government and Local Authority:

  • Interfaced with St Albans City and District Council COVID Business Response team and helped write the reopening St Albans safe city plan.
  • Part of a multi-agency team tasked with managing the emergency pedestrianisation, including appointing street representatives and running groups to ensure views were reflected to the County Council.
  • Became the interface between the district council and BID levy payers to ensure they fully understood the legal requirements for businesses during the pandemic.
  • The BID lobbied and had parliamentary questions answered on business grants and permitted development for Grade II listed hospitality premises which resulted in changes that positively impacted our businesses.

Communication:

  • Print, radio and social media campaigns for virtual and post lockdown periods and weekly newsletters.
  • Created a WhatsApp chat with over 140 businesses as a vital source for businesses to ask questions and the BID team disseminated information on topics such as grant applications, pavement licenses, furlough questions and bounce back loan data.
  • Increased online and media marketing and promotion for all businesses encouraging click and collect services and purchasing vouchers.

Delivery of COVID friendly events:

  • Established community hubs to enable market traders and small businesses to sell their goods.
  • Created the Inside Out St Albans campaign, allowing retailers, restaurants, cafes, pubs and market traders to operate on the street.
  • Worked in partnership with St Albans Cathedral and St Albans City and District Council on Stay Inspired campaign including programming online experiences and activities during lockdown.