Have you voted yet?

Have you voted yet?

Forget talk of a general election and Brexit, there’s an equally important poll taking place in Lincoln!

There are just days left before Lincoln businesses and organisations need to get their votes in for Lincoln BIG’s five-yearly re-ballot!

That means there are just a few hours left for the Businesses Improvement District’s levy payers to return their ballot papers ahead of the deadline of 5pm on November 6 – or risk losing scores of valuable support services.

Lincoln BIG is urging them to vote “YES” to trigger spending of just over £1 million a year during the period 2020 to 2025 – and allow the organisation to continue delivering its current and new services.

The re-ballot comes as city businesses gear-up to welcome more shoppers and visitors than ever in the frenetic run-up to Christmas, which is why Lincoln BIG is also encouraging more levy payers to sign-up to its FREE LoyalFree loyalty scheme to attract more new and repeat business during the phenomenally busy festive period.

In order to win the mandate to continue its work, Lincoln BIG needs not only a majority YES vote from its 800 levy paying businesses and organisations, the final count has to reflect the spread of rateable values of all the businesses and organisations which are eligible to vote.

If Lincoln BIG fails to  secure the required YES vote – the LoyalFree loyalty scheme, which is designed to support the vibrancy of the High Street and which is just one of BIG’s most popular benefits – will disappear next year when BIG is forced to close its doors.

But Lincoln BIG is hoping to get the green light to maintain this loyalty scheme, its security group services, lively events and much more well into the future.

The Business Improvement Group recently unveiled its 2020-2025 Business Plan, which contains three key priorities and details of how it aims to boost levy payers’ fortunes in today’s challenging trading environment.

Some of these build on the support it currently gives to its levy payers, other initiatives are new.

Sarah Loftus said: “The overarching principle behind our pledges is that they have been chosen in order to give every levy payer first class support – whether they are a retail business, an accountancy firm or a leisure venue.”

Lincoln BIG’s priorities for 2020-25 focus on WELCOME,  EXPERIENCE AND VALUE

“We know that our levy payers want to see a safer, cleaner, well-managed and welcoming city centre, with an excellent Warden service that focuses on removing graffiti, maintaining public spaces, street furniture and signage. It’s all about having pride in our environment,” said Sarah.

“During 2020-2021, we want to manage and maintain our Warden service, respond to business’ requests to target hotspot areas for cleaning, deliver four community clean-up projects, deliver and manage Lincoln in Bloom,  increase the number of venues involved in the Ask Angela Campaign and boost membership of our Security Group by 10 per cent,” said Sarah.

“Our second priority “experience” will see us focusing on creating a world-class experience or everyone who visits Lincoln.  We want the city to be a destination of first choice, when it comes to the ideal place place to visit, live and work in.

“During 2020-21 we want to deliver five quality events and a sculpture trail and manage existing seasonal trails in the city. We also want to develop tourism projects with our partners, five High Street experiences and a public spaces plan with landowners.

“Our third priority, “value” highlights our determination to represent value for money and use the collective voice of levy payers and partners within the city, in our drive to make a real difference,” said Sarah.

“Our “first year” action plans includes increasing the take-up of the BIG Bus and Car Park passes by five per cent. We want to see 40 businesses receiving up to 12 hours of targeted support under the Collaboration4Growth programme and enable more businesses to access this programme.”

“We also want to work with our partners to promote Lincoln’s uniqueness through three campaigns, but we won’t be able to do any of these things if our levy payers don’t vote YES for us – or forget to send their ballot forms in!”


Pictured are: (l-r) Rachel Bishop (Bailgate Independent), Sarah Loftus (Lincoln BIG CX) and Amanda McSorley (Bailgate Independent)

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