Dingwall Business Association has existed in various guises over the last few years, with varying degrees of success. After a break of two or three years, in September 2016 a group of businesses got together to try to make a difference, put Dingwall back on the map as a place to do business, and to encourage local people to use the Businesses on their doorstep rather than head to Inverness or the Internet. Even the Ross-Shire branch of the Chamber of Commerce is under the Inverness umbrella.
The group got great support in the beginning, but it soon became clear that there was only so much we could do with a lack of funds, time being precious, and with none of the financial benefits to offer that come with the FSB or Chamber.
A chance email led a member of the association to attend the BID Scotland Conference in Perth in March 2017. They came back convinced that a Business Improvement District, with its formal structure, sustainable funding and dedicated Business Plan could be the answer. The members of the Business Association agreed and Seedcorn Funding from BID Scotland was applied for and awarded, followed by an award from the Dingwall and Seaforth Councillors discretionary budget and the Dingwall Common Good Fund. This money has allowed us to put in place a project manager and get the Dingwall Means Business project underway.