THE business improvement district in Stirling ha suspended levy payments to help alleviate the coronavirus crisis.

Go Forth Stirling has announced plans it will halt the collection of payments made by traders in the city centre for six months.

Meanwhile, work is ongoing within a local partnership set up to help businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Danielle McRorie-Smith, of the Go Forth Stirling BID team, said: “We are working as hard as we can to support our traders during this testing time and looking for practical ways in which we can provide assistance and reassurance.

“There have not yet been any government instructions regarding whether BID levy payments should be reduced at this time in line with business rate reductions, however, we believe this is something we should go ahead with as quickly as possible and hope other business improvement districts will follow suit.

“It is not in the best interests of Stirling city centre traders to make their levy payments at this time and we have decided to suspend them for six months.”

BID levy payments in Stirling, like elsewhere, are invested in the city centre to develop projects and events that aim to increase footfall and are also used for grants and schemes to improve the environment for all.

McRorie-Smith added: “Any business which has already paid their levy in advance for the year will be able to use the suspension period towards future payments.”

The team at Go Forth Stirling is also working within the newly formed partnership – along with Stirling Council, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and other local organisations – to support businesses throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

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McRorie-Smith, who is working behind the scenes with the team on plans and projects that will help during the crisis, added: “We want to reassure traders that we are here for you and will be working on your behalf throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We will also be ready to deliver projects which will help the city and our wonderful businesses to thrive once the current crisis is over.

“We ask our members to keep in contact via our email address and share their concerns, needs and ideas with us.”