A NEW raft of support measures for businesses in the town will be rolled out as part of Skipton BID’s third term.

The BID Toolbox is designed to offer a wide portfolio of tools and training opportunities to all levy payers, and is a key part of the Business Plan for the third term.

Business Support – along with Attractive and Clean and Visit Skipton – is one of the three objectives that form the key planks of the BID Business Plan.

Skipton BID manager Geraldine Thompson stressed that this was an area that was going to be developed substantially in the third term, if levy payers vote Yes in a ballot in the New Year for the BID project to continue.

“Over the last ten years, we have worked very hard at making Skipton a safer and more secure place to run a business and to live in and visit,” she said.

“Going forward, we will continue to do that – we’ve already committed to the installation of CCTV and we’ll continue to develop and improve the work we are doing with the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership – but we also want to strengthen the other services we offer businesses.”

That already includes support with a grant finder programme and other business help and advice, as well as access to a huge support network of other Skipton BID businesses – and those of all the other BIDs across the country.

“Going forward, we are going to develop our new Toolbox of services and initiatives which will be available to levy payers,” said Geraldine.

“It will offer a portfolio of heavily discounted business training opportunities and a range of subsidised business support tools – as well as things like grant-finding software, we’ll also offer access to HR advice and staffing and business support schemes.

“The BID will continue to contribute to the funding of footfall counters and other data capture services, and we will look to develop a ‘mystery shopper’ scheme to assist retail and other businesses.

“We will continue to support and develop schemes aimed at encouraging the use of local providers, and look at promotional trails and sector-related printed and online materials.

“As well as the CCTV system in the town centre and the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership, with the BID funding and promoting the ‘ShopWatch’ radio scheme, the BID will also continue to give financial support to the S.T.A.N.D (Stopping Trouble and Night-time Disorder) scheme for licensed premises, and will continue to fund and develop the Town Centre Ambassador Scheme.

“We will also continue to fund and promote the ‘Best Bar None’ scheme for licensed premises and fund and promote additional security advice and assistance to levy payers.”

In total, the BID plans £250,000 worth of investment in the Business Support strand of the Business Plan over the next five-year term.

Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce is fully behind the BID, and has no doubt that the levy is money well spent by its members.

Wendy Lee Griffin, Chamber co-ordinator, described Skipton BID as one of the leading examples of an organisation of its kind in the UK.

“Over the last ten years, it's been fantastic to see how the business community funds have contributed to events and projects which have enhanced Skipton’s place in the nation’s heart,” she said.

“The Chamber loves to hear from visitors about how they came to a Skipton events and then returned, bringing more people with them.

“Skipton is repeatedly mentioned in the media as one of the happiest places to work and live, and it is a testament to the community spirit and support of the Skipton business community. Let’s continue the good work and vote for a BID third term.”

MEANWHILE, Skipton BID has long supported the Skipton Business Awards, providing foundation funding for the Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce event when it began in 2016.

Next year, it will be the headline sponsor for the awards.

Awards co-ordinator Wendy Lee Griffin said: “Thanks to the confirmation of headline sponsorship by the BID, the awards are secured for yet another year.

“They provide a brilliant opportunity for companies in the area to showcase their quality products and services, offered both locally and around the world and we are really pleased that the BID is keen to invest again in championing local businesses this way.”

Geraldine Thompson, BID manager and director, said she was looking forward to the forthcoming year of awards and being able to celebrate with the ‘best’ businesses in Skipton.

She said: “The BID is delighted to see so many businesses participate, because our town and the surrounding area has so much to offer to clients, shoppers, staff, residents and visitors.

“It is a privilege to enable the businesses to have this opportunity to shine, and it is an important part of what the BID is all about.”

Businesses have until February 15th next year to enter. Anyone who wants to enter can download a form online at www.skiptonbusinessawards.co.uk/enter