Following the news that York will return to Tier 2 local restrictions this week, the York BID is launching a campaign to encourage the local community to support local businesses through the crucial trading month of December. The BID is launching its ‘Make a World of Difference – Support Local This Christmas’ campaign which uses a striking ‘York Globe’ artwork from Ben Staves of local business StavesArt who trades on the Shambles Market. The campaign will run alongside a programme of events which will bring some festive fun into the city for visitors to enjoy.
The first of these events is a York Gift Card ‘Advent Calendar’ offering £25 York gift card prizes to customers who are lucky enough to be the ‘in the right place, at the right time, on the right day’, culminating in a grand lottery draw on Christmas Eve where someone who has shopped in a local business during December can win a whopping £1,000 York Gift Card. To find out how to enter the lottery, please visit the York BID’s social media channels where you will find the terms and conditions.
York Santa Search
Launching on the 3rd of December is the brand new ‘York Quest’ AR mobile phone app featuring a festive ‘Santa search’ to encourage families into the city to find a series of seven Christmas characters who have taken up residence on York’s historic streets. Take a fun photo and share on social media! The app is called York Quest, and is available from 3rd Dec on Google Play Store or App Store and has been co-funded by Make it York.
York Feature Tree
Also being launched in December is a fantastic ‘Feature Tree’ to create a spectacular addition to the winter light display at the Eye of York. With a staggering 1km of lights, it is the first installation of this type in the UK. There’s also something very special coming to the empty window space of Debenhams and Virgin Money stores which families won’t want to miss! We’ll let you know more about this closer to the time.
Supporting York’s businesses this Christmas
Andrew Lowson, Exec Director of the York BID says, “We are urging people to shop and spend local this Christmas. Our local businesses need us more than ever before, because we are not going to get visitors from further afield with many of our neighbouring counties in Tier 3”. New data the BID and City York Council has procured from Visa & 02, shows the likely loss in spend. In the three months leading to Christmas in 2019, 41% (£59m) of all spend in the city came from visitors travelling 50 kilometres or further away. The BID is realistic that much of that spend will not be recovered, as visitors spend in different ways to locals e.g. hotel stays.
However, Andrew Lowson believes there is also reasons to be optimistic; “The data we have from 02 dispels the myth that the city is not for local people, because even in the recent October half term when we welcomed visitors from around the country, 68% of those using the city centre were from the York local authority area. York’s businesses have spent time and money making their premises covid secure and welcoming environments. The BID and partners will highlight the great offering the city has, because if we can encourage local people, who we know use the city centre, to visit, and most importantly spend, it really could make a world of difference this Christmas.”