The Executive Director of HullBID vowed to help city centre businesses look to the future as they celebrated success and survival during two years of battling the pandemic.
Kathryn Shillito said there was no hiding place from the disruption inflicted by Covid-19, but that the future is bright thanks to the efforts of the businesses and the partners who are working on a number of transformational projects.
Speaking at the HullBID Awards 2022, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and attended by around 300 business representatives and their guests, Kathryn highlighted the encouraging trends and the ambitious plans which will deliver better times for businesses.
She said: “Footfall is increasing, the number of empty units is decreasing, hospitality is gradually picking up, strong independents are replacing empty chain store properties.
“Plans are in place to regenerate Whitefriargate and develop the brand new Albion Square scheme whilst the exciting Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project is progressing at pace – another reason why Hull is on the move.
“We will continue to deliver business boosting activities from bespoke brochures and trails to the ever-popular Yum! Festival of Food and Drink.
“We’ve also secured funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside to bring a Ministry of Steampunk festival along with the thousands of people it attracts. The economic benefits presented by these and other activities including the forthcoming Awakening Festival, the Wizarding Wand tour, Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and more will give a much-needed shot in the arm!”
Kathryn praised HullBID’s partners at Hull City Council, Safer Hull, Civic 1, Emmaus and Humberside Police for the support which helped businesses get through the pandemic.
She said: “HullBID established early on that connectivity was key and our mission was to guide business owners to access grants and funding quickly, to provide an easy route to sign up for upskilling and practical support and, importantly, being there with words of encouragement when things became too much.
“Our relationship with Hull City Council highlighted how a good working partnership should be, from the business rates team responding quickly to our requests for specific support to our interaction with the public protection team and the Covid business support team, all working together as a first response.”
Businesses demonstrated the value of HullBID by delivering a majority of 81 per cent in last year’s renewal ballot and Kathryn pledged that the hard work would continue.
She said: “We pave the way for access to City Council decision-makers and we keep in touch and in tune with our ward councillors calling on their support too. We’re backed strongly by our board of directors, by Emma Hardy MP and Jonathan Evison the PCC and we offer forums and meetings to bring parties together to discuss issues and opportunities.
“But above all it is our direct support for businesses that’s at the heart of what we do. As a small, independent organisation with a team of six our broad knowledge of how the city is ticking is invaluable.
“It really is a huge success story and here we are, two years on, bringing businesses together at the HullBID Awards 2022. This year has been no exception to the numbers and quality of entries received across every sector. The standard has been very high and I’d like to thank our sponsors, our independent judging panel and everybody who entered.”
HullBID Awards 2022 sponsored by HSBC UK – Roll of Honour
Safe City Award sponsored by Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union
Winner: David Huggins of Tesco Express.
Shortlisted: Civic 1 CCTV and Emmaus Hull and East Riding.
Dressed to Impress Award sponsored by AA Global Language Services
Winner: LW Plants.
Shortlisted: 19Point4 and Bronx Clothing.
Outstanding Employee or Team Award sponsored by East Yorkshire Buses
Winner: Lisa Rushworth and Lisa Wadsworth of McDonald’s.
Shortlisted: Humberside Police Community Team and Ousman Newlands of ABM UK at St Stephen’s.
Innovative Marketing Award sponsored by 360 Chartered Accountants
Winner: Hop and Vine and The New Clarence.
Shortlisted: Bad Wolf Gaming and Mr Hugo.
Customer Service Excellence Award sponsored by Kingston Recruitment
Winner: Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union.
Shortlisted: Courtney Naylor of Long An Restaurant and Holiday Inn Hull Marina.
Judges Special Recognition Awards sponsored by Allenby Commercial
Winners: Hammonds of Hull and the Hull Maritime Project, Hull City Council.
Contribution to the Community Award sponsored by Hammonds of Hull
Winner: Prestige Recruitment.
Shortlisted: AA Global Language Services and KCOM.
Best Business Progression Award sponsored by St Stephens
Winner: Hotham’s Distillery.
Shortlisted: Nazar Design and The Comedy Lounge.
Commitment to Training & Development Award sponsored by Pepperells Solicitors
Winner: AA Global Language Services.
Shortlisted: Admiral of the Humber and Marie Clare Hair Salon and Beauty Rooms.
Best in Food and Drink Award sponsored by Hull Trains
Winner: Furley and Co.
Shortlisted: The Brazilian Churrascaria and Bar and The Lexington Rooftop Bar.
Outstanding Contribution Award sponsored by HSBC UK
Winner: Hull Truck Theatre.
Shortlisted: The Hideout Hotel and Rollits LLP.