Voices are growing to persuade Harrogate businesses to vote for BID by this Thursday's closing date in a ballot which may shape the town centre for a generation.
The chair of the team pushing for Harrogate to make improvements to the town centre by forming a Business Improvement District, John Fox said local business should vote 'yes' because the BID business plan would deliver a better town centre with greater footfall and fewer empty retail units.
And other leading figures in the Harrogate business community are making passionate pleas to fellow businesses to use their vote to say 'yes' to BID in time for the ballot's closure at 5pm this Thursday, November 8.
Richard Wheeldon, senior consultant with Berwins Solicitors' commercial property team, said:
“I feel passionately about what we are trying to achieve. I have been resident in Harrogate for over 25 years.
"Berwins has been providing legal services in the town for over 30 years. Harrogate is a wonderful place to live and work and it has some fantastic attractions which other towns are not lucky enough to possess.
"However, it is not immune to the challenges which face all towns and cities and my fear is that, if we don’t seize this opportunity, the town is in danger of losing its advantage.
"The benefits which will accrue to all businesses from a successful BID will significantly outweigh the costs.“
Adam Green, general manager of Hotel du Vin in Harrogate said: "Hotel du Vin is backing the Harrogate BID as it offers a unique collaborative approach to further enhance our town.
"Through marketing Harrogate and being open to new events and initiatives, we see opportunity to boost both Business and Leisure tourism."
Mike Procter, Parliament Street Seviced Apartments on Parliament Street in Harrogate, said: "I support the BID because in an environment of town centre decline it is a fantastic example of self-help by businesses.
"And it is equitable because if the majority of levy payers agree, all have to pay.
"If it fails to deliver its business plan, we shut it, refund the money and try something else. It’s what Harrogate has been crying out for, for years."
John Fox, chair of Harrogate BID, said: "Harrogate cannot afford to stand still. It needs to refresh but achieving that will present challenges.
"Individuals and organisations will need to play an active role in the transformation that needs to occur.
"Public agencies, investors, businesses and many partnerships have achieved much, but with the formalisation of this support we can achieve so much more.
"The business plan is designed to deliver plans we share for a place that is proud of its heritage but also working towards a modern, vibrant, connected and high quality location able to meet the challenges and benefit from the undoubted opportunities that lie ahead.
"I encourage our business community to support the Harrogate Bid by voting YES before Thursday, November 8.
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