Stirling’s Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a range of initiatives to support city traders through the Covid-19 tier restrictions and during the run up to Christmas.
The team at Go Forth Stirling has added a web page featuring local Christmas gift ideas, launched a new `Open for Business’ directory and will be running social media giveaways.
Posters are being created for shops and restaurants to display in their windows which highlight whether they are open as usual or currently open for takeaway/click and collect only.
Go Forth is also offering a range of online training courses for Stirling business owners and employees.
Go Forth Stirling Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “With many businesses closed during the Tier 4 protection level period, it’s once again a difficult time for our traders.
“We’re doing all we can to support them especially in the vital trading weeks running up to Christmas.
“We’re urging local people to take a look at our social media pages and website and see if they can support Stirling’s businesses by buying Christmas gifts online or in-person once the restrictions are eased.
“And businesses can benefit from our various initiatives by taking advantage of the ‘Open for Business’ posters we’re distributing and checking out the training courses we have on offer.”
Go Forth has set up a new page featuring gift ideas from independent traders – www.goforthstirling.co.uk/christmas-gifts-ideas-from-stirling-businesses
It features a gallery of Stirling businesses selling homeware, books, music, jewellery, art, plants, toys, fashion, food, drinks and beauty products – plus gift voucher suggestions.
The businesses will be promoted on the BID’s social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – during the run up to Christmas and there will be a Go Forth Advent giveaway with shopping vouchers from a range of Stirling businesses on offer as prizes.
The Go Forth team has also launched a comprehensive online directory – www.goforthstirling.co.uk/openforbusiness
This highlights which businesses remain open, either virtually or physically, during the Tier 4 restrictions which came into place on Friday November 20 for a minimum of three weeks.
Further initiatives include colourful `We’re Open, Shop Local & Help Us Keep Stirling Thriving’ posters for shops allowing them to indicate whether they are open for takeaway, gift cards, click and collect, for online sales only or whether they are open as usual.
Meanwhile, details of the BID’s training courses – which are available to all businesses, their staff and self-employed individuals based in Stirling – can be found here – www.goforthstirling.co.uk/online-training
The training platform gives organisations the opportunity for flexible, cost-free training and is particularly aimed at the city’s hard-hit hospitality sector.
It includes several key courses which are a mandatory requirement for many hospitality businesses such as the Alcohol Licensing Awareness Course (Scotland).
Ms McRorie-Smith added: “We have lots of training courses still available including the Alcohol Licensing course which is an expensive requirement for hospitality business and which we are offering free of charge.
“It may be a good time for businesses to try some of our courses during the temporary closures for many in the hospitality industry and while some staff remain furloughed.”
The BID also offers an e-commerce grant scheme which has been open for applications over the past few months.
A total of 15 local businesses have so far been approved to receive a £1,000 match-funded grant to revamp their current online trading activity or start up a brand new digital platform.
Ms McRorie-Smith added: “We’re delighted that so many small businesses and sole traders have taken advantage of the scheme and look forward to seeing the results once their new online platforms go live.”
Further BID projects include working with partners, including City Fibre, on the final stages of delivering a free state-of-the-art WiFi network throughout Stirling city centre by the end of 2020.
The BID also offers a shop front grant scheme aimed at sprucing up the appearance of the city centre generally and helping businesses increase footfall by enhancing their signage and shop entrances.
Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District (BID) represents close to 400 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve the area’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.
The BID was set up in September 2017 following a vote among the city’s traders and runs for an initial five-year term.