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Strabane BID announces 50% COVID support reduction to 2021 levy invoices

02 February 2021
Strabane BID held their virtual AGM last Thursday, 28th January where re-elected Chair Kieran Kennedy confirmed that BID would issue a 50% COVID support reduction to this year's levy invoices for independent businesses.
Mr Kennedy told attendees that the BID Board was acutely aware of the issues facing the local Strabane business community as a result of COVID-19 and, therefore, as a Board had taken the decision to issue a 50% COVID Support reduction on all independent levy invoices to issue for Year 5. He informed attendees that the Board felt it was a way to give back and recognise the difficulties local businesses continue to face.
There was a strong attendance at the virtual event which reflected on BID's activities in 2020 and plans for the year ahead.
As well as Kieran Kennedy being supported for Chair for another year, Michael Kelly was also reinstated as Vice-Chair and Kevin O'Connor, Derry City and Strabane District Council's Head of Business, was reinstated as Secretary. Deborah Deans was newly appointed as Treasurer of Strabane BID.
There was great interest expressed in joining the BID Board, with four new directors nominated who will bring added depth and experience to complement the already existing skill set.
During the AGM, Strabane Town Centre Development Manager Emma McGill delivered a presentation giving an overview of Strabane BID's activities and success in 2020 and also looked at the ambitious aspirations for the future.
"Our main successes that we have taken away from 2020 were the engagement with businesses, support in accessing COVID recovery funding and information, the impact of the additional festive lighting and the record £50,400 InStrabane gift card sales we had throughout the year," explained Emma.
"Looking ahead, BID's aspirations in 2021 are to build on those foundations laid down so far but we recognise that we are living in a challenging and changing environment, one in which we must be ready to react quickly to the changing needs of our business community.
"We want to redevelop our aims and objectives to ensure we are aiding, supporting and driving forward post-COVID recovery. We want to be listening to local businesses and acting to their benefit both in a local and national capacity."
Strabane BID Chair Kieran Kennedy added: "I think this past year more than any before we have seen the importance of the work of BID and that is a platform that we hope we can grow from as we now move through 2021.
"Despite the many unprecedented challenges that all of our local businesses faced throughout the past year we have managed to come through it with many positives to take and lessons learned that will only help as we move forward.
"We will continue to support local businesses in any way we can to keep Strabane town thriving. BID provides a strong collective voice to be heard in these challenging times so we would encourage businesses to work with us to achieve the full benefit of our work."