By Kevin Ward, manager, Newport Now Business Improvement District

In November, the Newport Now Business Improvement District will be asking all BID businesses to vote on a new BID proposal and business plan for a second five-year term.

Newport Now BID – a private not-for-profit company financed by its members – will have invested more than £1.2m delivering business-led initiatives by the end of its five-year term next March.

These advances and benefits will continue with new projects for 2020-2025 but only if businesses vote yes.

A no vote would see the BID cease to exist on March 31, 2020, with the following effects:

• A further £1.2m BID levy investment in supporting city centre businesses will be lost over the next five years

• Newport would lose ground against other BID locations such as Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol (there are more than 300 BIDs in the UK)

• Events such as the Countdown to Christmas and the Festival of Classics would stop

• No business utility savings service

• No Newport Gift Card.

• Free membership of the Newport Business Against Crime Partnership will cease

• The Shopfront Improvement Grant will come to an end

• Nobody to lobby and advocate specifically for city centre businesses on issues like car parking, licensing and anti-social behaviour

• No regular marketing promotion of Newport city centre and its businesses in the printed, online and social media.

Individual consultations with levy payers have started, and we have visited more than 150 city centre businesses so far. There will be an open meeting for all levy payers in early September.

A newsletter detailing the BID's performance since 2015 and the impact of voting yes or no is now available to download via our website

We would like all BID members to help us shape our plans. We would appreciate it if you could please take a few minutes to complete our survey, available here: The deadline for responses is August 31.