SHIRLEY businesses have begun voting on whether to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID) for the Stratford Road corridor.
The BID ballot process started last week when papers were posted to businesses along with a copy of the Business Plan.
BID bosses have said it will bring an additional £550,000 investment in the area over five years.
An independent survey was carried out last year, which asked town centre businesses about creating a BID in central Shirley. Responses were received from over 100 businesses, almost 70 per cent of which supported a project of this type being taken forward.
Shirley BID’s proposals to improve the Stratford Road corridor include employing a warden to react quickly to problem issues such as litter or graffiti, working with partners to deliver improved visitor WiFi and to develop at least two major new town centre events with an annual calendar of street markets.
The BID will lobby for improvements to existing car park facilities and the introduction of parking meters where required.
Shirley BID will also make ongoing investments to improve the Christmas light displays, introduce promotional campaigns to highlight independent businesses and work with partner organisations to improve street paving maintenance.
It has been calculated that for the average business, the cost of the BID levy would be less than £1.35 per day.
Writing in the Shirley BID five-year Business Plan, Jon Wilson of Boots Shirley, said: “I am convinced that a successful BID will markedly improve the outlook for the entire community of Shirley in terms of improved security measures, local marketing and most importantly a real chance to have a unified voice and purpose for all businesses.
“This is a one-off special opportunity to have a real impact on our own turf.”
Voters have until 5pm on May 23 to vote.