A call to remember smaller independent shops was made last night as Chichester City Council supported the continuation of the city centre’s Business Improvement District (BID).
While the council voted unanimously in favour of renewing the BID’s five-year term, Cllr Sarah Sharp said shopkeepers in smaller outlets were ‘very cautious’ of the BID.
She said: “They give a lot of money and they do like the Christmas lights, but through the year, and I’m reporting what I’m hearing and I do think we should support this, but I think we have to be very careful that we do support our smaller independent shops and don’t give them too much of a burden.”
Cllr Sharp went on to cite concerns raised about food waste in South Street and urged the council to work ‘proactively’ to produce something that made the lives of smaller businesses better.
The city council, like all members of the BID, has one vote in the consultation on whether to extend the original term.
A business levy on members will increase from one per cent to 1.25 per cent.
It was noted at the council meeting that some businesses had left the BID due to the rise in rates, but the extra money would allow the BID to do more and compensate for lost membership.
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