Business owners in Selkirk were presented last Thursday with a successful business model of how Business Improvement District Scheme, (BIDS) funding can be effective in a small town, at an event hosted by the Selkirk Chamber of Trade at the County Hotel.
Around 40 people attended to hear about plans for ideas to bring together Selkirk Business people to work together in regenerating footfall in the High Street and encouraging more business to the town, as well as looking at ways of developing opportunities for current employees to improve their own position with relevant training schemes for customer service, social networking and internet marketing – all of which could be a creative outcome of a successful BIDS process.
Will Haegeland, chairman of Selkirk Chamber of Commerce, highlighted other key factors which could be achieved from galvanising the business effort in Selkirk – namely a collective voice in dealing with local councils and the opportunity to use smaller funds to implement successful initiatives.
He said: “There are 500 businesses in Selkirk, and it is time to speak as one voice to ensure that the representatives of the council are listening to our needs in these difficult times. Speaking collectively would certainly ensure that we are heard.”
A positive case study of how a BIDS could work was presented by Malcolm Brown, the BIDS manager in South Queensferry, a town just outside Edinburgh that has undertaken the process successfully. Mr Brown gave a presentation highlighting the enormous benefits their town is now showing because of a successful collaboration of businesses, working together on creative strategies which had a positive impact on the town.
This is the first presentation to businesses in Selkirk and more people are being urged to join an already powerful steering group to help decide the direction needed for the town.
The BIDS process in Selkirk is being managed by David Thomas, who can be contacted on 07519 312157 , email Selkirkbids@outlook.com, or follow the initiative on Facebook.