THE Newport Now Business Improvement District is proud and delighted to again be supporting the South Wales Argus Business Awards as headline sponsors.

The BID was the main sponsor of last year’s hugely-successful inaugural awards and has renewed its partnership with the Argus this year.

The BID decided to renew its headline sponsorship following particularly positive feedback from Newport Now members.

Their overwhelming view was that last year’s awards ceremony was a great night for Newport city centre and its businesses.

With two awards categories again open only to BID Levy payers – one for independent businesses and one for national chains – the event will again be a fantastic way to recognise and celebrate some of the amazing businesses and people that are a credit to our city centre.

More than 400 businesses across both sectors are represented by Newport Now, which is one of more than 300 BIDs across the UK.

Not-for-profit private companies funded and run by local businesses for local businesses, BIDs work to enhance business opportunities in the areas they operate; finding ways to increase footfall and create a better experience for businesses, visitors, shoppers and staff alike.

All BIDs are set up following a ballot of local businesses to deliver a five-year plan. BIDs then seek renewal via another ballot of their members for a further five-year term.

Newport Now is in its fifth and final year of its current operations and its renewal ballot takes place during November.

The BID has been consulting with its members via one-to-one interviews and an online survey to understand what they want to be included in Newport Now’s business plan for 2020-25.

The plan will be unveiled at a special launch event at the Riverfront Theatre on Thursday, October 3. All BID members and other partners are invited to attend the event, which starts at 5.30pm with a drinks and canapes reception.

At the end of the BID’s current term next March, it will have invested more than £1.2m in the city centre and delivered numerous successful business initiatives.

Since 2015, Newport Now has delivered:

• BID ambassadors: Our uniformed ambassadors are on duty seven days a week. Part of their role is to liaise with businesses and log any issues they may be facing. They aim to visit 140 levy payers every month. In addition to this, they will also attend to incidents in the city centre reported by businesses. Typically, the number of incidents they attend each month number more than 100 and relate to issues including anti-social behaviour, shoplifting (dealing with or assisting), general public enquiries, general crime, parking/traffic, medical emergency.

• Newport Business Against Crime Partnership: All BID levy payers are NBaC members via funding from the BID. As such, they all have access to intelligence-sharing software and an app.

• Gift Card: The Newport Now Gift Card can only be spent with participating businesses in the city centre. At present we have 86 businesses participating in the scheme and cards worth £11,000 have been sold – money which can only be spent in the city centre. Any unspent money on expired gift cards is refunded to the BID and can then be spent on other projects.

• Events: The BID has organised and delivered and/or sponsored: Countdown to Christmas, Festival of Classics, Food and Drink Festival, Urban Beach, Big Splash, Record Store Day, Small Business Saturday, City of Newport Half Marathon, Newport Wales Marathon, Christmas Market, British Transplant Games etc. These events have helped to significantly increase footfall in the city centre. For example, in 2018 there were nearly 8,000 more people in the city centre for the Countdown to Christmas event compared to the previous Saturday.

• Savings Service: Our Savings Advisory Service has identified business savings of £48,500 for BID members on items such as energy, telecoms, merchant fees and pest control.

• Grants: The BID offers a Shopfront Improvement Grant to its members. Funding of more than £10,000 has so far been provided to improve the look of city centre shopfronts.

• Lobbying: The BID is the voice of local businesses in Newport city centre. It has lobbied the city council and the police – both privately and in public – on issues such as anti-social behaviour, parking and begging. Working with BIDs across Wales, Newport Now successfully lobbied the Welsh Government on behalf of its members to ensure business rate discounts propose for England were adopted in Wales.

When levy payers are asked during November to vote to renew the BID, a yes vote will secure a further five years of project deliveries like those above. Voting no means all services provided by the BID would cease on March 31 next year, with no funding available to replace them.

For more information about the BID, the business plan launch or the renewal ballot, contact the BID Kevin Ward on 07824 472543 or