The York BID prospectus highlights the need to support the independent sector. The Indie York initiative was created by a group of independent business owners known as the York Independent Business Association, or YIBA, with the aim to help restore independent businesses affected by the 2015 Boxing Day floods.
A grant from York BID in 2016 helped YIBA develop a website and a bespoke navigational map, designed to guide visitors to the diverse range of independent and specialist shops located in and around the city centre. Since 2016, the BID has helped Indie York achieve the following;
- grow from 50 to 200 members;
- distribute over 45,000 maps to members of the public, targeting times of high footfall such as Christmas markets;
- in the two years to Jan 2019, the website has had 92,000 page views; 20,000 unique users; average user time 2mins 12 sec; with top viewing locations being 1. York 2. London 3. Leeds 4. Middlesbrough 5. Scarborough.
- 9 public meetings involving Independent businesses and 12 steering committees;
The York BID is committed to supporting the Independent sector, especially in a climate where demand for large retail space is declining. In January 2019 the BID agreed further funding to help Indie York recruit a part time administrator, with a remit to drive membership growth, organise further events and networking events and build a self-sustaining operational model.