Well, what a year that was! We have lived, and still are living, thorough historic times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have all had to deal with situations and problems that none of us have faced in our life time and I hope will never have to face again. I would not have believed that when we left our AGM last year, that would be the last time we would all be together for more than a year and counting. All of our members have faced problems. Some of these common to all of us and some specific to each business. The Chamber, like its members, also had to find a new way of functioning. All of our plans for the year effectively got written off in March last year when the first lockdown started and we had to reprioritise our goals very quickly….
Later this spring the English Riviera BID will be up for renewal, for a further 5 years. The BID will provide funding of over £3m over the next 5 years to be spend on Destination Marketing, promoting the English Riviera around the country (and abroad) as a perfect location for a holiday.
The current BID is in its 5th and final year and is responsible for all the collective destination marketing there has been in this time. From the website to the guides posted all over the country, national TV adverts to posters on the London underground, this is all paid for by BID income.
The ERBID Company has published the ERBID2 Consultation – Draft Business Plan in its quest to secure a further £3.5 million to promote the English Riviera for a further 5-years from January 2022.
The formal consultation process involving over 1200 eligible businesses will start in mid-February with the ERBID2 renewal ballot scheduled for May 27th to June 24th. Businesses are to be invited to join online ERBID2 Consultation Workshops and take part in online surveys to share their views.
The Final Plan will be mailed to eligible businesses at the beginning of May and will be the document on which eligible businesses vote and decide whether they want ERBID2.
All hospitality, leisure, accommodation and tourism businesses with rateable value above £3000 will get a vote on whether to support the BID.
As a Chamber we believe that this ongoing marketing is VITAL for Brixham and the wider Torbay economy. Money from tourism brings huge value into our bay which, directly or indirectly, benefits every business. We urge local businesses to vote YES when you get your ballot paper!
For further details please try one of the following:
- Workshops where you can discuss the BID with other local businesses – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ERBID2Workshops
- A website with info specifically about the new BID that is being proposed – http://www.englishrivierabid.co.uk/erbid2/
- Or contact email@example.com if you’d like to chat to one of us about it.
Our usual Chamber activities have been heavily disrupted by the pandemic, and we are all looking forward to the chance to get together in person again. We are aiming to resume networking opportunities with our first face-to-face Chamber meeting in the late summer.
In the meantime our AGM will be held via Zoom at 7pm on 30th March and we invite you to join us there. We will have a review of the year and discuss how Brixham’s businesses have fared, with a chance for all attendees to participate.
We will also hold elections to the chamber’s executive committee, for which you are very welcome to stand! If you’d like more information on these or if you’d like to register for the zoom meeting (so we can send you the login details) please contact Alex Foley.
by Alex Foley, Vice- Chair
I hope you have made it through the winter months ok and that the roadmap out of lockdown is giving you hope for a successful 2021. With the end of the tunnel in sight and with our AGM approaching it feels like a good time to contact you with a short update from the Chamber.
Financial support for businesses: You’re probably aware of the various support options available at present and the budget announced plenty more support for businesses and self-employed workers. Overall, the support appears to have met the government’s aim with covid causing very few business casualties in our town, although we do know that some people have felt frustrated about how unevenly the support has been distributed (many Brixham businesses are self-employed individuals or suppliers to tourism businesses and have received limited direct help). Over the last year the Chamber have been able to help a number of local businesses and organisations to get access to grants, or help to expedite payments from the council. If you would like us to try to help you at all, please do ask me.
AGM: Our usual Chamber activities have been heavily disrupted by the pandemic, and we are all looking forward to the chance to get together in person again. We are aiming to resume networking opportunities with our first face-to-face Chamber meeting in the late summer. In the meantime our AGM will be held via Zoom at 7pm on 30th March and we would love to invite you to join us there. We will have a review of the year and discuss how Brixham’s businesses have fared, with a chance for all attendees to participate. We also hold elections to the chamber’s executive committee, for which you are very welcome to stand! If you’d like more information on these or if you’d like to register for the zoom meeting (so we can send you the login details) please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership: The chamber currently contains 127 member businesses: recent new members include the Curious Kitchen, the Pudding Parlour and several of the Arts and Crafts Market stallholders. Engaging with and supporting our members is our reason for existing – how can we help you and your business? If you have ideas of ways we can be more relevant to you, please let us know.
Markets and tourism promotion: We are planning for the Arts and Crafts market to reopen from April 12th under the old fish market. As with last year this will be in a smaller space, but over more days, Wednesday to Saturday each week and some Sundays too. The Sunday Fore St market is still under review. Our tourism promotion including the Love Brixham brand continues online and on social media, and a lot of the “Visit Brixham” leaflets that we publish and distribute around the UK are still continuing from last year.
A busy season ahead: Accommodation businesses around Torbay are reporting they are booking up extremely quickly, and it looks as though our region is in for the busiest spring and summer season in memory. Is your business ready?! Those of us with businesses which serve tourists directly are being advised to use the next month effectively for planning, recruiting and stocking up. One initiative being supported by the town council is for Brixham shops to buy hanging baskets, which their lengthsman will help you to water throughout the spring and summer. We know a number of businesses including the Middle St Traders are planning to do this – contact the town council direct if you’re interested to learn more.
We all look forward to the chance to catch up with you in person in the coming months!
Alex Foley, Vice-Chair, on behalf of all the Chamber Executive
Torbay Council are pleased to reveal a new virtual High Street Guide that provides live connectivity from local businesses, as part of the Reopening High Streets Safely project.
The High Street Guide enables shoppers to see businesses near them and view their social media content.
Once the High Street is reopened it will also allow retailers to connect with shoppers when they are nearby and communicate Covid-19 safety messages. Every purchase by a registered shopper in participating retailers reveals a live visual local guide to other nearby retailers. It does not require any apps to be downloaded and is free for shoppers and businesses to access.
The Torbay High Street Guides showcase not just what’s available to buy but also convey the essence of our local high streets. We are urging every high street business in Torbay to sign up. Whether you’re in Brixham, Paignton or Torquay or a retailer, hospitality or hair and beauty business, both you and your customers can benefit from this scheme. Communicate your safety messages, your latest offers and reward your customers.
The High Street Guides have been created by Maybe*, a social media management platform that helps businesses use social media to sell. For businesses that need help to increase their digital activity, this provides all the tools and training they need. For those that are already good at social media, it helps them improve their results.
Businesses and shoppers can sign up here: https://www.localrewards.chat/
To learn more about the support on offer please attend this webinar it happens every Wednesday at 10am: http://www.maybetech.com/maybe-webinars
More info here: New virtual High Street Guide – Torbay Council