BID Bulletin | Bury Bouncing Back
A Warm Welcome Back from Wil
It goes without saying how challenging the past 12 months has been for yourselves and us at the BID and I am absolutely delighted to see so many of our established business still with us and preparing to reopen. I am also pleased to see that so many new businesses have moved into our town centre since November last year.
During this past year I have been working with the BID team to ensure that they were providing support and value for money to our members. The successful reopening of the town in the summer was a result of several things including the marketing and promotion of the town centre by the BID and I am confident this will be the case this year too. I am also delighted that the liaison between the BID and West Suffolk Council has been so productive in regard to enabling our members to access the variety of Government Grants so promptly and the positive feedback you have provided about this has been much appreciated.
Lastly, I was concerned about how the strain of the past year may have been affecting the mental health of yourselves and your staff and that's why we asked Suffolk Mind to produce a presentation on this issue for you to access at your convenience. I hope those of you have acessed it already found it beneficial. If you haven’t had a look at this yet, it lasts just 20 minutes and is accessible if you just click on this link: www.suffolkmind.org.uk/ourburystedmunds.
A Message From Mark
I have recently completed 10 years in my role as BID CEO and there is no doubt that the past year has been the most difficult, with initially so much unknown about the coronavirus and then trying to navigate around lockdowns, tiers and the numerous accompanying restrictions that affected your businesses as well as ours.
We have tried to maintain a positive outlook both in regards to our members and the town as a whole and provide you with as much up-to-date relevant information as possible to enable you to make business-related decisions. Along with you all, I hope that we are soon to be free of restrictions and by the 21st June the town will be wholly and completely open!
Throughout the past year we have been continually raising the profile of the town and making local people aware of what businesses were trading, as well as working with Bury St Edmunds & Beyond (www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk) to ensure that people living further away were aware of all the great things our town has to offer as a visitor destination. This approach was successful last year when the town reopened and we anticipate that will be the case this year too. With the concerns about foreign travel, this unfortunate situation provides us with a great opportunity to get people back into Bury and then into your businesses and we intend to make this happen!
BID Members Community Group
We recently created a new BID Members Community Group on Facebook to provide our members with a forum where they can access information, share promotions and interact freely with each other and us in a private setting. To join the Our Bury St Edmunds BID Members Community Group, click here: www.facebook.com/groups/ourburybidmembers/.
Love Local Campaign
In February we launched a Love Local campaign promoting the importance of supporting local businesses. This campaign will run throughout 2021 and we will keep you updated on further activity – if you have any ideas or would like to get involved email email@example.com. A range of Love Local infographics are available for you to use by visiting https://www.ourburystedmunds.com/events-members.
The campaign involved a concentrated digital and print media campaign highlighting the reasons to support local businesses and provided ideas for how people could become involved. To kickstart the campaign, we ran a popular and successful Facebook competition enabling customers to vote for their favorite local business. The overall winner was Baileys2 who won an advert in a local magazine and one of the nominating customers won a Bury St Edmunds Gift Card.
Bury Bouncing Back
Our ‘Bouncing Back’ campaign is currently underway. We are using a wide range of digital and print marketing and initiatives designed to increase public confidence and provide reassurance that the town centre and businesses are open and safe to visit. To stay informed you may wish to join the new BID Members Community Facebook Group.
This campaign will ensure we are prepared and ready to re-open the town centre as Lockdown rules are eased in line with the Government’s roadmap. You may have already seen the vibrant bollard covers and message boards throughout the town centre. We have created promotional videos, have a dedicated social media campaign, and using a range of other digital and print media to increase public confidence to provide reassuring messages and information. We are confident that this will help return footfall to pre-Covid levels and help to unlock the local economy.
Town Council Partnership
We approached the Town Council for some financial support to help us promote the town and its businesses in the run-up to Christmas and into the New Year. Our 100-day campaign has involved a variety of marketing products including the hugely successful Christmas Video we produced, which has been viewed almost 150,000 times.
The quantity and quality of the promotional materials we have been able to create wouldn’t have been possible without the financial contribution of £20,000 from the Town Council. As we are now approaching the end of another Lockdown we are hoping that the Town Council might want to extend this productive partnership throughout the rest of the year and continue their support for our businesses and the town centre as a whole. We will keep you updated in this regard.
The BID Board has decided that the Whitsun Fayre will go ahead on Sunday 30th & Monday 31st May, in adherence to Government Guidelines, with an overriding objective for the event to be a safe place to visit. Also, plans are in hand for a Motorsport Event in the Buttermarket and Cornhill for Sunday 25th July and our fabulous Food & Drink Festival on Sunday 29th & Monday 30th of August.
The 2021 Whitsun Fayre will be scaled back this year due to Government Guidelines which means some of the popular attractions can’t return until next year. Consequently, it will predominantly be an event with stalls, including any BID business that wants to take part, to minimise social distancing issues. Regrettably, the regular additional attractions such as the animal farm, the beach, and street entertainers will not be present this year.
There will be a local craft market on Angel Hill with a variety of stalls in the Buttermarket and Cornhill area including flower and plant stalls and hopefully several BID businesses too! Further details to follow.
Bury St Edmunds Gift Card
Since the launch of our gift card, we have sold cards to nearly the value of £35K! With a large proportion of this spend yet to be used we’re hoping those of you that have signed up to accept the card will start seeing this spend in your business once you reopen. The card can still be purchased online and to discover more, visit our Gift Card page: https://townandcitygiftcards.com/product/bury-st-edmunds-gift-card/
As the card was only launched in October the results so far are tremendous. We will shortly be identifying a few businesses where customers can pop in and collect a card and then upload it with value themselves. Making accessibility to the card easier will hopefully increase the number of cards being purchased and then used in Bury St Edmunds!
App, App & Away
Since launching our new Bury St Edmunds place promotion app 6 months ago with app partner LoyalFree we have nearly 1,200 dedicated users and seen 15,500 interactions with Bury St Edmunds. To find out how it works and what to do next to benefit your business, visit https://www.ourburystedmunds.com/loyalfreedownloads
The public response to this free to download app has been great and we currently have 226 BID businesses being promoted through the app. This app provides visitors an up-to-date, mobile, and easy way to discover your deals and promotions. It also provides the latest information for local events, interactive trails, and a great way to discover and enter competitions as well as an informative My Local Guide. If you would like any further assistance with getting started or involved email firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to COVID-19, the ability to provide training opportunities for our members has been severely limited. However, we are developing a revised programme and in the interim, we are identifying and funding some courses provided by Menta should any of our members wish to attend. If you see any Menta courses that interest you, please contact Jackie.email@example.com.
Please be assured that we are aware that members want normal service for this benefit to resume ASAP, especially First Aid and Fire Marshall training. As soon as the venues we use and the trainers inform us that the training can resume safely then we will update you.