05 April 2020
GO! Southampton has rolled out a range of activity in recent weeks to help support its levy payers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A key focus has been on communication and ensuring members receive regular updates about BID activities and support, as well as keeping businesses informed of policy and funding announcements from both local and national government.
Initially, a letter dated 18 March was hand-delivered to levy payers locally and shared digitally. The letter highlighted the BID’s relevant services and communication channels, reassured members that GO! Southampton was on hand to support them however it could and signposted to national support measures and useful links. Subsequently, a dedicated webpage has been created which is updated frequently as required here.
Levy payers have also been receiving regular email bulletins with all the latest local and national updates, whilst GO! Southampton is working closely with colleagues at Southampton City Council and Hampshire Constabulary to share communications, as well as actively participating in online meetings and webinars from relevant local and national groups and associations, such as Southampton Safe City Partnership, Solent LEP, The BID Foundation, British BIDS and National Business Crime Soutions (NBCS).
At an operational level, as well as feeding into key multi-agency groups such as those listed above, GO! Southampton has focused on utilising its own core services as effectively as possible. The security team’s hours have been revised to 12pm-8pm six days a week, with a more joined-up approach now in place with the Police and the Council’s welfare wardens, with an emphasis on preventing commercial burglaries from empty premises and supporting those essential businesses that remain open. Vehicle patrols have also been added to their duties to enable them to cover the whole BID area more effectively.
The street cleaning team remain active as well, working five days a week and focusing their efforts on steam cleaning all public furniture including benches, bins and finger posts with disinfectant throughout the city centre.
The ranger team are not currently in operation in the city, although they did continue to provide frontline support and reassurance to businesses prior to the full lockdown coming into force.
The BID is also using its Visit Southampton channels to continue to promote levy payers to the city’s residents and visitors, encouraging online engagement and purchases. A regularly updated blog post underlines the essential businesses which are open including trading hours, as well as spotlighting new online initiatives and delivery services offered in the city.
To subscribe to GO! Southampton’s coronavirus email bulletins please contact email@example.com.