What can I say, other than to offer my very best wishes to fellow retailers in all forms and thank our fantastic colleagues for their wonderful spirit in recent weeks. Thank you also to our valuable and loyal customers for all their support and good wishes.
It was with a very heavy heart we recently closed our doors in Chichester, Bognor and Arundel and bid farewell to our colleagues for what I sincerely hope is a short time. I have faith that our government fully intends to support us through this period. However, now is the time for us to be proactive and ensure that we take advantage of all the help and support which has been promised.
As a BID we have a responsibility to our members. We must work with local government to get the immediate assistance and funding we require and do everything we can to ensure our lovely city thrives when this is over.
We must prepare to come out of this – for we will come out – and when we do I believe business will boom with very high numbers of visitors flocking to the South Coast on a well-deserved break. They will stay with us, eat and drink with us, shop with us and party with us. And we must be ready to give a great offering and encourage them to remain and enjoy our city and beyond.
Chichester recently received a poor national vote for entertainment in the city for our younger residents and university students. Our young are our future and so I believe it is time we change that label. We must work with our local authorities in a proactive and positive way to return our city to greatness, prosperity and laughter.
It seems our government are listening as business rates are currently scrapped for the coming year. This is of course a drop in the ocean for businesses in this current climate, but it does show that the government are supporting business.
I’m advocating through the good offices of Chichester BID, that we all work together to decide how we can come through this better and stronger than before and keep a strong voice in how our city runs for a bright future.
Iain Brown, Vestry, Southgate and BID Board Director