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BID Chairman welcomes funding package for Strabane businesses

23 June 2020
Strabane BID Chairman Kieran Kennedy has welcomed today's announcement by Communities Minister Minister Carál Ní Chuilín that £300,000 is being allocated to Northern Ireland's eight Business Improvement Districts (BIDS).
The Strabane BID is set to receive a £10k slice of the package which will go towards operational costs as businesses adapt their offerings to meet social distancing and hygiene guidelines to reduce the spread of the Covid 19 virus.
The Strabane BID lobbied on behalf of all the BIDs in NI so they can continue to play a key role in bringing local businesses and other stakeholders together to help regenerate their areas and to improve their local trading environment.
BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by the business sector by means of a compulsory BID levy.
Strabane is one of eight BIDs operating here along with three across Belfast City Centre and one each in Ballymena, Enniskillen, Coleraine and Newry.
Mr Kennedy said: "This is brilliant news for local businesses at a time when many are still adapting to the new normal.
"It has been a challenging time for local businesses with most forced to close their doors completely during the lock down period and many now operating at a reduced capacity or not at all.
"We lobbied hard with central government to secure this funding which will ease some of the financial pressure on traders and allow us to slowly return Strabane to a thriving town to visit and do business in."
 Minister Ní Chuilín added: "These local partnerships have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, providing strong leadership, and driving forward the renewal and regeneration of our town and city centres.  Their role will be even more important in the weeks and months ahead. 
"I recognise that the ability of some businesses to pay their compulsory BID levy will be severely hampered by the challenging environment they have faced.
"This funding will help with the operational costs of each BID so they can carry on their vital work of supporting their businesses as we move into the critical recovery phase from the current crisis."
The announcement follows Minister Hargey recently writing to councils to explore how the Department can further assist town and city centres in their recovery. 
This included offering use of Departmental owned assets and public spaces where this will be helpful to businesses and to outline the Minister's intention to develop a Capital Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Scheme to fund works that will aid in the recovery of towns and cities.
For more information about BID visit www.bidinstrabane.com or email [email protected]