Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland agree new strategic partnership to support Business Improvement Districts during COVID-19.

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Scotland’s Towns Partnership, through its sister organisation Scotland’s Improvement Districts, has announced a new strategic partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)  in Scotland. The partnership will mean that all of Scotland’s near 40 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will be able to avail of all of the support that comes from being an FSB member through the COVID-19 outbreak and economic recovery.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership will bulk purchase the FSB memberships at a discounted rate so BIDs can avail the support free of charge. The support will include general advice on human resources, finance, legal matters, continuity planning and access to government support as well as a wide range of other services.

Both organisations are in the process of working with partners and the Scottish Government to explore options for a coordinated national town centre recovery programme. Business Improvement Districts should contact Scotland’s Towns Partnership if they wish to use the new partnership offer.

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Programme Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, said:

“Town centres, and the local businesses who occupy them, are the beating heart of the Scottish economy and this COVID-19 outbreak has been hugely challenging, against an already difficult high street trading environment. People have been working really hard in their communities to support local traders, and the support available from the Scottish and UK Governments has been instrumental. But now is the time to put our minds to the national recovery.

“This new partnership with FSB Scotland will mean Business Improvement Districts across the country will be able to access their expertise to support their recovery at no extra cost through Scotland’s Towns Partnership.”

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said:

“The FSB has long been a champion of Scotland’s local towns, so we’re thrilled that we’ve managed to strike a deal with Scotland’s Towns Partnership. This relationship will give local BIDs access to our suite of services – like our legal advice line – that we believe are essential to running any organisation.

“It will take a huge effort to get our local places up and running after the current crisis. We’ll need to see everyone with a stake in our local towns – including of course their residents – help us make sure our independent firms make it through. FSB and Scotland’s Towns Partnership look forward to playing a key role in making this happen.”

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