We reviewed our approach to business liaison in spring 2019 and created a Business Liaison team to develop our engagement with, and response to, the needs of our levy payers.
We created the new role of Business Liaison Manager to be the ‘advice centre’ for levy payers seeking guidance on a wide range of issues within the city. Paula Ratcliffe was appointed and has developed strong links within the office sector, ensuring our contacts within businesses are made aware of any events that may affect the smooth running of the city centre, from road closures to public protests.
Paula is continuing the development of briefing and networking events, including those on Counter Terrorism and the ‘Waking up to Waste’ business breakfast. These have been well attended, typically attracting capacity audiences of up to 60 attendees.
Our full-time Bristol City Centre BID Ambassador – Iona Gibbons – is also part of the Business Liaison team and has been the eyes and ears of the BID since joining us in January 2018. She stays in regular, direct touch with businesses to help identify their issues, improve safety and make the area more desirable for everyone.
Predominantly engaging with retail businesses, you may recognise Iona from her daytime patrols on weekdays and weekends around the shopping areas as she visits retailers to address their most pressing issues, including waste, unwanted graffiti and theft. Iona also brings businesses together so they can help each other address common issues, and it was through her identification of the high rate of unreported retail crime that the Business Crime Reduction Partnership has been developed.
‘Waking up to waste’ attendee Joe Duarte, University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
The event was extremely helpful and made me realise that our vibrant city is ready to head changes.