Selkirk Means Business

Selkirk Means Business

Selkirk Means Business Limited is a Business Improvement District (BID); a not for profit company created to manage and deliver the projects and services within the BID area. Selkirk Means Business Limited is dedicated to improving and making Selkirk town centre a better place to work and to conduct business.

Support for businesses – Covid-19 outbreak.  We will keep this updated as further information becomes available.

See Selkirk Means Business Facebook page.
LINKS TO Agencies and Organisation that can offer support and advice.

Update 30th March 2020:

BID LEVY UPDATE:

Further to my email TWO weeks ago (18th March) regarding the levy invoices, I now have confirmation that Scottish Borders Council have cancelled all the Direct Debits that we due to be taken on 1st April 2020.

We will continue to review the situation and keep you updated.

COVID – 19 BUSINESS SUPPORT FUND UPDATE:

  • 95% of applications are not being properly completed.
  • Please make sure you sign the form before scanning and sending.
  • Make sure you send a copy of a bank statement (suggestion is to send them both the application and bank statement in one email)
  • There are 4,500 businesses that are entitled to this Grant in the Scottish Borders so they are getting swamped with emails and all/most staff assessing the applications are working from home using slow internet.
  • However the staff at SBC are developing the processing plans all the time and have now set up a triage system to contact those applicants who did not fully complete the forms.
  • THEREFORE if you have already sent in a form then do not send in a new form, wait for SBC staff to contact you.
  • THERE IS TIME – the deadline is a year away: 31 MARCH 2021.
  • If you would like help then email me and we can work out a plan together.  Others are on hand to offer support too.

I may not know the answers but I will do my very best to help and get information from another source.  You are not alone, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Update 25th March 2020:

Things continue to move on a pace – and I’m trying to get the right amount/level of information passed on as is helpful, both here and on Facebook.  Feedback is welcome!

Since my email yesterday, a direct link to the SBC Business Support page has been created, with applications, contact numbers  and further guidance.

Some of you will know this already, others will have seen it on Facebook but for those who haven’t seen it, take a look:

The Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Fund is now open, follow this link to the page.

(If the link doesn’t work above here is the long address: https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/info/20014/social_care_and_health/1018/coronavirus_covid-19_business_information)

I realise that you are all different size businesses with different needs and access to support, I don’t have the answers, but I hope that those that I signpost you to will be able to – if not now, then very soon.

Update 24th March 2020:

The grants for businesses entitled to small business rates relief are being administered by Business Gateway Borders.

The application forms are not available yet but they are taking details from businesses and will process them when they get the forms.

Telephone number : 01835 818320

PLEASE REMEMBER to keep gathering all the evidence of cancellations as well as other impacts on your business such as cash flow and supply. This will be crucial for claiming support.

Update 18th March 2020:

The Directors of Selkirk Means Business Ltd took the decision this morning, that in light of the ongoing situation with Covid -19, that for the next four months ie April to July 2020, you will not be chased for payment and accordingly have sent a request to cease any debt recovery to Scottish Borders Council.

Please note, that if you normally pay by Direct Debit, and you wish to stop these payments, YOU will need to contact your bank directly.

We will continue to review this situation and will do all we can to signpost you to the support that is out there from Scottish Government, Visit Scotland and FSB.  Please keep an eye on the Selkirk Means Business Facebook page.

PLEASE REMEMBER to keep gathering all the evidence of cancellations as well as other impacts on your business such as cash flow and supply.  This will be crucial for claiming support.

The next few weeks and months will be difficult, but we are here to support you every step of the way.

Update 17th March 2020

You may be aware that the Scottish Government announced a range of measures to support businesses through the Covid-19 outbreak on Saturday.  This support will be available to businesses during the 2020/21 financial year and includes:

  • 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from 1 April 2020
  • £80m fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of Covid-19
  • 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020
  • Fixed rates relief of up to £5,000 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 from 1 April 2020

The full details of how businesses can apply for the support, and which sectors will be eligible for the grant, are still being worked out. We expect to receive further information from Scottish Government later this week.  Once further information is available, we will publish it on the Covid-19 information page on the Business Gateway website: https://www.bgateway.com/news/guidance-for-business-owners-in-scotland-on-coronavirus-covid-19

Our Mission Statement

Selkirk Means Business has a mission to encourage sustainable economic growth to Selkirk Town Centre.  By pooling resources and working in partnership with existing organisations and bodies, Selkirk Means Business will work to lift Selkirk and drive economic regeneration.

Copies of minutes and newsletters

Please contact us if you’d like to receive copies of past minutes and newsletters.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are created where local businesses see the opportunity to invest collectively to help make local improvements which will benefit the local community.

BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by the business sector by means of a compulsory BID levy (which is usually based on the Rateable Value of the property). Each business within the proposed BID area who is identified as being liable for the BIDs levy will be able to vote on whether or not the BID goes ahead before the BID can be established. BIDs can be in the form of a geographical area or in some cases target a specific businesss type.

Scottish Borders Council acts on behalf of Selkirk Means Business and are responsible for the billing and collecting of the levy.  An invoice is issued to each qualifying property within the BID area requesting payment by instalments.  Further information can be found on the Scottish Borders Council website.

BID enquiries:

For any of the following enquiries please contact SBC Customer Advice and Support or call 0300 100 1800 and select Option 3:

  • Information contained on your bill
  • Who should be liable to pay the levy
  • The amount of levy based on the rateable value
  • Setting up a Direct Debit
  • Making a debit or credit card payment
  • Balance and Instalments enquiries

Problems paying the BID levy

If you do not pay your BID Levy by the due dates we may take further steps including legal action to ensure payment. We recommend that you pay your BID Levy by Direct Debit to ensure these are received on time. If you hare finding it difficult to pay please contact Customer Advice and Support on 0300 100 1800 and select Option 3.

Selkirk Means Business BID

Please contact us direct for further information about the following:

  • the aims and objectives of the BID
  • information on how the BID works
  • the progress of the BID projects

Shopfront and Property Improvement Grant Scheme for Selkirk

Five shopfront and property improvement grant schemes have been launched in Jedburgh, Hawick, Galashiels, Eyemouth and Selkirk as part of an allocation of funding to key town centre projects by Scottish Borders Council.

The schemes have been developed in partnership with business/community groups and are being funded through the Council’s allocation from the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “This type of scheme has proved successful in a number of our towns previously and that’s why we have worked alongside key community organisations to develop new schemes to launch this year.

“We have allocated funding to Eyemouth, Jedburgh, Hawick, Galashiels and Selkirk as these have been identified as priority towns for regeneration activity and we are delighted that community groups in each town have come on board to help direct the funding to the areas of most need and to manage the schemes.

“Businesses and residents often tell me that that the appearance of a town is vital to help a town thrive and be an attractive place to shop, visit or do business. Often a bucket of paint and minor works can have a huge impact so I’m glad these schemes will deliver just that as well as adding some extra private investment in our townscapes too.

“I really welcome that it is a range of local groups, at the heart of their communities, that will be helping the Council deliver these projects.

“Up to 128 shops and properties could be improved as a result, and alongside a range of other projects, such as the Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes in Jedburgh and Hawick and investment in Eyemouth, Selkirk and Galashiels town centres, we will see a real, visible difference on our high streets.”

Locally the schemes will be managed and administered by Selkirk Business Improvement District, Energise Galashiels, Future Hawick/Hawick Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, Jedburgh Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme/Jedburgh Community Council, and Eyemouth Community Council.

Any property owners or tenants interested in finding out more about their local scheme should contact: sarah@exploreselkirk.co.uk

Background to Business Improvement Districts

What is a Business Improvement District (BID)?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a geographically defined area, where businesses come together and agree to invest collectively in projects and services that the businesses believe will improve their trading environment. BID projects are new and additional projects and services; they do not replace services that are already provided by Scottish Borders Council and other statutory bodies.

BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by the non-domestic sector by means of a compulsory levy, which the eligible persons in the proposed BID area must vote in favour of before the BID can be established. Each eligible person liable to pay the BID levy will vote on whether the BID goes ahead.

Why does Selkirk Town Centre need a BID?

Selkirk, like many towns across Scotland has experienced difficult times in recent years. We need to find different ways to attract locals and visitors back into the town centre to enjoy the advantages of local, independent shops and service levels. We need to make the town an attractive and enjoyable place to live, work, shop and play. We need to make the town centre a viable option for new business start-ups in order to attract new retail outlets into our empty premises. And we need to make it an easy place to visit – with a range of parking options and accessibility for all ages and abilities.

Why 2018?

Selkirk and its surround area has recently benefited from some significant capital investment projects:

  • Flood Protection Scheme
  • Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS)
  • Borders Railway
  • Selkirk Town Centre Streetscape Project

This injection of capital resulted in a significant improvement in the infrastructure of the town but won’t, in itself, bring more prosperity.  We need to find ways to exploit these opportunities in order to bring a new vitality to the town. The BID is an ideal vehicle to do this.

Selkirk has many strengths. Not least it’s people.  There are many voluntary groups in the town and no shortage of community spirit with a can-do attitude! Voluntary groups do, however, suffer from a lack of funds and dedicated staff time. A BID with a dedicated Project Manager would help to alleviate some of these issues. The BID will work with existing community groups to help them in achieving more and in identifying and assisting them in accessing additional funding.

By working together, we can promote a refreshed image of Selkirk – a town with a long proud history and an exciting future, looking after its community and welcoming to its visitors.

How will Selkirk Town Centre benefit from a BID?

Businesses in the town will benefit from the projects and services that the BID will deliver. The BID Company will:

  • Support and work in partnership with existing groups and organisations
  • Create potential for increased footfall, encouraging visitors to stay longer and explore more
  • Actively market Selkirk as a destination to local, regional, national and global customers
  • Bring access to project funding not available to individuals or businesses
  • Provide a stronger, united voice for businesses
  • Support business growth through smart use of technology and online services

What were the Key Findings of the Consultation Process?

In 2014 and 2016 we carried out consultations to understand what future projects for the Town Centre area would be most important. A summary of findings follows:

  • Marketing of the town – 89% of those surveyed were concerned that Selkirk was not ‘visible’ to people from out with the town. There was a desire to see the town better marketed in order to attract visitors and increase footfall in the town centre.
  • Accessibility – There was a recognised need for easier access to the town, improved signage to and around the town, and improved parking arrangements.
  • Environment – businesses were concerned that the town looked ‘tired’, there was a desire for improved street cleanliness, improved landscaping and planting and window dressing of vacant shops.
  • Community – There was a desire to see a regular programme of events (street entertainment, seasonal celebrations, arts and sports events) in order to increase footfall and build a strong sense of community.

What are the agreed Projects and Services?

The projects and services are based on the following themes:

  • Marketing and Promotion; Flying the Flag for Selkirk
  • Improving the Town’s Visual Appearance,
  • Helping Businesses to Thrive.

How are we Measuring the Success of the BID?

The BID Board of Directors will monitor and oversee the efficient delivery of the BID projects to ensure that the projects proposed in the BID Business Plan (see section 8 above) are impactful and are progressing satisfactorily. Once in place, the BID Company and BID Manager specific outputs and regeneration outcomes will be developed.

Strategies for measuring the success of projects will include;

  • Collation of baseline facts, agreed with stakeholders at the beginning of each project.
  • Gathering, collation and evaluation of evidence of progress. Reviewing this on an annual basis.
  • Smart use of Survey Monkey and other polling and analysis tools as appropriate.
  • Monitoring of website, social media feeds on a monthly basis, using this evaluation to inform future content.
  • Regular face to face meetings with partners and participants to take feedback.
  • An open-door approach to communication with stakeholders and the public.

The BID will undergo an independent evaluation of its activities at the half way point and towards the end of the 5-year term.

How can you keep in touch?

The Directors have agreed that an open and transparent approach must be adopted by the BID Company. The BID Business Plan is attached and minutes and annual accounts are available to all members on request. There are several ways to keep in touch:

  • Selkirk Means Business Facebook Page – Details of future meetings, production of minutes and newsletters, as well as other news are published on here.  Please like the page to be notified of updates.
  • Monthly Newsletter – A monthly newsletter is sent to all BID members at the end of each month.  If you do not receive a copy, but would like to then please contact the Project Manager.
  • Monthly members meetings and AGM – The Directors meet monthly on the third Tuesday of every month at 6pm.  The venues do change but details are always given on the Facebook page.  The AGM takes place in April.  Further details are available on the website.  All members are very welcome to these monthly meetings.
  • Face to Face Meetings – The project manager or a Director are happy to meet with individual businesses.  Please make contact using the details below.
  • The Project Manager – can be contacted by email: sarah@exploreselkirk.co.uk or telephone: 07423 332063.