December 25, 2020 7.00 am This story is over 41 months old

Reflections 2020: Sarah Loftus – Supporting businesses and events in a rollercoaster year

Lincoln BIG’s CEO reflects on successful events and business initiatives in Lincoln, despite the challenges of 2020

2020 has been of unprecedented lows and some highs – it definitely feels like we have been riding on a roller coaster since January.

We have certainly been challenged and I believe all businesses, agencies and groups have risen to the challenges, making Lincoln a stronger place in the future.

Partnership has been a key theme for Lincoln BIG’s work this year and we have tried to support our businesses as much as we could during the pandemic. We certainly have been involved in some unique activities that we could never have imagined we would have implemented. For example, we designed, produced and provided 5,000 pieces of COVID secure collateral including posters, floor stickers, ‘No Entry without Face Covering’ window stickers, beer mats, and ‘Queue Ends Here’ A-boards for our levy payers.

Working with Lincoln Gin, we even produced bottles of Lincoln BIG hand sanitiser! We also assisted businesses with marking up their queue areas and carrying out courtesy checks of premises whilst businesses have been closed due to Government guidance.

In fact, we never thought that there would be a time when we could not promote Lincoln widely, shout and encourage people out on to the High Street. 2020 has had to be a year of moderation, yet we still managed to hold seven events to encourage people to exercise in their city and High Street. The Cornhill Cove in August was a great success and many people enjoyed the crazy golf.

We have seen many achievements this year. We have communicated more strongly with our levy payers and new initiatives have been undertaken. In fact, we have sent out 132 newsletters to keep our levy payers informed of help and advice. We have used technology differently, ‘you are on mute’ will be the most remembered phrase.

We have stopped doing things, that perhaps we should have stopped doing a long time ago. But, most importantly, 2020 has been a year of collective action and I would like to pay tribute to businesses, employees, volunteers and the Lincoln BIG team who have relentlessly tried to do the best for the city and ensure its recovery from the pandemic.

We were determined that Lincoln would be open for Christmas and dressed the city with a fantastic lighting trail, as well as introducing 16 cheeky Christmas imps to the city – our version of ‘Elf on the Shelf’ but ‘Glimpse on Imp’ to hopefully make people smile at the end of what has been a punishing year.

Lincoln BIG will continue to support businesses in the city and our aim is to ensure a speedy recovery in 2021. We have an exciting year ahead and look forward with enthusiasm to deliver some fantastic events in 2021. We can’t wait to start with our Valentine treat followed by Fashionista, the IMP trail, 1940s Weekend and Steampunk. Lincoln is and will always be open for business and the best city in the UK.

Sarah Loftus is the Chief Executive of Lincoln Business Improvement Group