Covid-19 Update from Great Yarmouth Town Centre and Business Improvement District Manager
We are living in extraordinary times when all of us are continuing to be effected by the Coronavirus pandemic and the measures being taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
I hope that you are all doing your best to stay safe, protecting your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours from this indiscriminate and potentially lethal virus.
During this period of extended 'lockdown' restrictions we will continue to keep our members and BID payers informed of any changes to the measures put in place by HM Government to tackle the C-19 outbreak and the support packages launched to assist businesses through these previously unheard of measures. For the latest information and updates please visit https://www.gytcp.co.uk where you will also be able to sign up for our member Newsletters if you haven't already done so.
We have continued to be as active as possible under these unique circumstances; Using our social media, e-newsletters and website to inform the public of the changes that have taken place in our town centre in response to the Covid-19 measures; Creating, monitoring and updating a live database listing the town centre businesses still open; Monitoring and recording the impact of Covid-19 on footfall and trade; Working with national organisations representing town centres as they gather evidence and opinions to lobby Government Ministers for additional support for town centres; Working with local authorities on initiatives to support town centre businesses and to plan for the recovery as restrictions start to be lifted; supporting trading and closed businesses through maintaining our 24/7 CCTV monitoring of the town centre including the town centre radio link; Updating and advising our crime reduction members via the secure SIRCS messaging system.
However, we recognise that a majority of town centre businesses are under lockdown and unable to trade whilst most of those remaining open are affected by a significant reduction in footfall. With this in mind we have delayed the issuing of the BID levy invoices that would normally be sent out in April. The Town Centre Partnership is reliant upon town centre businesses for over 80% of its budgeted income, however, to reduce the impact on BID payers and voluntary members during these challenging of time's, we have taken steps to reduce our outgoings over the next few months. These include furloughing the town centre street wardens, closing the office function while I and our part-time administrator work at home, deferring where possible annual costs to later in the year and agreeing monthly payments rather than quarterly or annually where costs cannot be deferred.
By taking these measures I hope that we can delay the issuing of BID levy bills and annual subscription fees until July at the earliest, when hopefully, although not guaranteed, we can all start to get back to business as normal. However, in the meantime, I and the Board of the Town Centre Partnership will be working with Great Yarmouth Borough Council and national bodies on a recovery plan to support our town centre businesses once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and when we will be able to once again shout from the rooftops that the town centre is open for business!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and stay safe.
Great Yarmouth Town Centre and BID Manager