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Former MEP back on campaign trail for BID vote

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A FORMER MEP is back on the campaign trail to win a vote among the business community in Paisley.

Labour veteran Hugh McMahon has been out canvassing support in a last-minute push to have a Business Improvement District set up in Paisley town centre.

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Postal ballot papers have been sent out to owners of shops, offices, cafes, bars and restaurants asking if they want to set up a Paisley BID.

Businesses now only have two days to post off their ballot papers as the votes have to be received by the Electoral Reform Services, in London by 5pm on Thursday, November 13.

In a final push for votes, Mr McMahon, who was a Labour MEP from 1984 until 1999, will be out in Paisley town centre drumming up support from businesses.

Mr McMahon is chairman of the Paisley BID Steering Group and has been using all his campaigning skills to win the vote. He said:

“Many business people have been telling us that they support the idea of a Paisley BID. But like in any election, it’s the votes that count, not what you say beforehand.

“I’ve been involved in countless elections over my political career and I know how important it is to have one final push before the ballot closes.

“We have to make sure people who have said they support us actually fill in the ballot paper and post it before the Thursday deadline.”

If there is enough support to form a Paisley BID, a board of directors will be elected from the local businesses community to run the not-for-profit company. And a small levy paid by local businesses will fund various initiatives to boost trade in the town centre.

Mr McMahon added: “Starting a Paisley BID is an important step in revitalising Paisley town centre.

“What a BID would do is increase footfall in the town centre by organising events and marketing campaigns; act as a buying group for local businesses leading to cheaper utility bills and become a campaigning voice for town centre traders on issues such as business rates, town centre cleanliness, comfort and safety.

“I would urge businesses to make sure they send off their completed ballot paper, voting to create a Paisley BID before the deadline.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Paisley BID will boost small businesses

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Paisley BID will boost small businesses.

SMALL traders are the most likely to benefit from a vote to create a Business Improvement District, in Paisley.

That’s the view of respected town centre businessman Ken MacDonald, who is backing the creation of a Paisley BID.

He says businesses elsewhere in Scotland have saved more money than they actually pay in the levy to their local BID.

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Ballot papers have been sent to businesses in Paisley town centre asking if they want to set up a BID.
And Ken, of Houston Kiltmakers, in Paisley High Street is urging fellow traders to support a BID because it will –

* increase footfall in the town centre by organising events and marketing campaigns;
* act as a buying group for local businesses negotiating cheaper utility bills;
* and become a campaigning voice for town centre traders on issues such as business rates, town centre cleanliness, comfort and safety.

If there is enough support to form a Paisley BID, a board of directors will be elected from the local businesses community to run the not-for-profit company. And the small levy paid by local businesses will fund various initiatives to boost trade in the town centre
Ken says: “Small businesses will benefit most from having a BID in the town as they have the most to gain financially from increased footfall and savings to their electricity, phone, water and credit card costs.

“As an experiment into what kind of savings a town centre trader can make through having a Paisley BID working for them, I used similar methods and I am now paying £1000 a year less on my phone bill and £600 a year less in electricity.

“This just goes to show that for the average BID levy of £349 a year – much less per day than the price of a cup of coffee – businesses could actually win back or even profit from their ‘investment’ in the BID with utility savings.

“And that’s before you even factor in the benefit to trade of increases in footfall in the town centre.”

One café operator in Alloa, Clackmannanshire has told how her local BID saved her more than the annual levy she pays. Morag Welsh, of The Tearoom said: “The Alloa BID has helped us save £1000 per year on my electricity bills throughout their free utility audit. These savings are much greater than my annual levy payment.”

Ken also points to a law firm in Kirkcaldy, Fife who saved £5,500 after their local BID negotiated savings to their utility bills and recommended other business efficiencies.
And the Woodhouse Hotel, in Largs saved £2000 in their utility bills thanks to their local BID.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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BID vote can do the business for Paisley

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BID vote can do the business for Paisley.

BUSINESSES in Paisley are being urged to back a bold action plan to revitalise the town centre.

And all they have to do to help kick-start a new era for the town is put an ‘X’ beside the box on a voting form agreeing to set up a Business Improvement District for Paisley.
Postal ballot papers, along with the BID business plan are being sent to town centre businesses on Friday, (October 3) asking if they want to set up a BID company in Paisley.

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If enough businesses vote to set up the BID, a board of directors from the local businesses community will be elected to run the organisation.

With fees paid by local businesses – ranging from as little as 55p a day – to fund initiatives, the BID company will start working to encourage more people to come to the town centre by organising events and other marketing and promotional campaigns.

The BID would also act as a voice for local businesses and as a buying group to get cheaper utility bills.

Yesterday town centre traders got together to launch the BID Business Plan and to encourage other businesses to vote to set up a Paisley BID.

Businesses have until November 13 to return their voting forms to the Electoral Reform Services, in the pre-paid envelope provided.

David Wallace is executive director of the hugely successful PACE Theatre Company, based in School Wynd. He said:
“I fully support this BID because it puts the success of the town centre at its core, it puts its future in the hands of its businesses and puts Paisley first.”

Maria Aitken, who runs Nibbles Sandwich Bar, in Johnston Street, Paisley is also backing the BID.
Maria said: “One of the most important factors in the successful regeneration of Paisley is bringing more people back into the town centre. The work that will be done by a Paisley BID will do just that.
“The more support the town’s business community gives to the proposal, the more we will all benefit. I would certainly urge businesses to back this plan and vote to form a BID company in the town.”

Abid Hamid, who runs the Newsrack shop, in Paisley High Street added: “As a small business I want the town centre to do well and bring more people to Paisley.
“I back the Paisley BID to do this.”

www.paisleyfirst.com

Pictured: Backing the BID – Paisley businesses owners with the BID Business Plan, from left David Wallace, Abid Hamid and Maria Aitken.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]