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The start of 2021 has not been easy and Aberdeen Inspired has been working hard to assist and support businesses through this challenging time. Find out more on this and some wider updates from around the city centre below.

Night Time Industries Association survey
The newly formed APPG (All Parties Political Group) for the Night Time Economy has launched an inquiry into the devastating impact of Covid-19.

There is an opportunity through this industry survey to present evidence to parliamentarians in support of the Night Time Economy. It will take around five minutes of your time and will help support the sector. Complete the survey here:

Aberdeen FC - By Official Appointment (BOA)
Aberdeen Football Club is looking to engage with local businesses in an effort to support each business through the current lockdown and beyond.

In becoming a By Official Appointment Partner businesses have access to targeted marketing to AFC's huge audience through offering deals and incentives to Dons fans.

With over 80 businesses already signed up, see how BOA can help your business and sign up here.

Aberdeen City Centre - Essential Shopping
Due to the current lockdown the majority of businesses in the city centre are closed.
Essential shops, including supermarkets and pharmacies, remain open for essential items to those that live locally.

Current Scottish Government law is to stay at home except for limited reasons (for example, exercise and essential shopping).

Visit our website to see which businesses are open and remember to stay close to home for your essential shopping.

Aberdeen City Centre - Restaurants and Cafes open for takeaway and delivery
Our local hospitality businesses are finding new ways to stay open while keeping customers safe and following all guidelines during lockdown, offering takeaway and delivery services.

Show them your support and enjoy some delicious options for delivery or collection from our city centre. We have put together a list of many of the restaurants and cafes offering delivery and takeaway services, which can be found here
Photo by Thaikhun

HSBC UK Financial Wellbeing Programme
HSBC UK are offering businesses in Aberdeen the opportunity to take part in their Financial Wellbeing Programme, to help their employees enhance their knowledge and understanding of key financial topics, free-of-charge.

The programme includes seminars and the possibility of one on one consultations on specific financial topics such as Starting your Career, Managing and Growing your Wealth and Home Buying.

To find out more visit the HSBC UK website here

Bon Accord Mall to temporarily close
Following a change in restrictions on 16 January 2021, Bon Accord Aberdeen has made the decision to close the centre to the public from Thursday (28 January).

Boots will remain open and can be accessed through its external entrance on Schoolhill and appointments at VisionExpress will still be able to go ahead. The St Nicholas Mall will remain open.

Make a date this Valentine's Day with the Aberdeen Gift Card
We might not be able to ‘meet and eat’ or ‘sip and shop’ just now but as soon as our city starts to safely open up the Aberdeen Gift Card is the perfect gift to show your loved one how much you care about them and the city you love.

Share the love for the Aberdeen Gift Card this Valentine's Day and share our social graphics, available here

Suspended Signage and Green Space Interventions
We continue to work on the development of the Suspended Signage and Green Space interventions for which we received circa £500,000 from Scotland’s Towns Fund to develop.

We will continue to keep you updated with updates on these projects in the coming weeks.

Lobbying on behalf of our businesses
A number of difficult announcements have been made by the First Minister in recent months, including Level 4 restrictions for the entirety of mainland Scotland (effective from December 26) and a lockdown that began in early January.

Our CEO Adrian Watson made the case through the media for the urgent need for short term financial support for businesses who will be adversely affected. He also emphasised that support will be needed on a local and national level to regenerate our city centre in the recovery phases.

Bon Accord Centre announces plans for new four screen cinema in the city centre
We welcome the news that plans for the cinema development within Bon Accord are gathering pace.

Bon Accord has submitted plans to open a four screen cinema and outdoor public space on the top floor of the centre, accessible from a new entrance on Drum Lane.

The plans have been submitted to Aberdeen City Council in accordance with the City Centre Masterplan. Read more here.

Love Aberdeen at Christmas
Although Christmas feels like a very long time ago, we were delighted to support local traders and our charity partner Charlie House in bringing the Aberdeen Christmas Market to the city centre in the run up to Christmas. Averaging around 5000 visitors each weekend and playing host to over 50 stallholders, the market allowed members of the public to support small retailers in a safe and welcoming environment.

We also launched the Aberdeen Gift Card, a prepaid Mastercard gift card to encourage shoppers to keep the spend local when buying Christmas gifts.

More than 170 businesses around Aberdeen are now signed up to the gift card and over 3500 cards have been sold. These hugely positive early sales have brought in a total of £150,000 which will be brought into the local economy.

Business rates information requests – penalties
Changes have been brought in regarding information requests under property tax bills.

The Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill, introduces a sliding scale of charges for businesses which fail to respond to information requests from assessors. The information is used to calculate business rates bills.

Under the legislation, businesses which do not respond to information requests within 42 days will be issued with a penalty notice, comprising a flat fee of £200 plus 1% of the rateable value of their property. Further cumulative fines can then be issued if no response is received within 70 days of the penalty notice being issued.

We urge our businesses to be aware of the changes in timescale regarding these information requests.

Please get in touch with Aberdeen Inspired if any help or support is required with the above.

Aberdeen Inspired
The period since lockdown in March last year has been exceptionally difficult for Aberdeen City Centre. Aberdeen Inspired works hard to be the positive and strong voice for our city centre at a time when it is most needed. We not only deliver on the ground but strategically influence at a local, national and international level for the best interests of our city.

As we head towards BID ballot later this year we would love to hear from you on what you would like us to prioritise in the next five years. Our CEO Adrian Watson appreciates your continued support and would welcome any feedback. He is available to meet one to one with levy payers to discuss how we can improve our outputs in the coming term.