Gary Holmes from Campaignz is a professional BID (business improvement district) Manager. He works with local business associations to help them manage their day-to-day administration and operations. He’s also currently serving his second term as a Hibiscus and Bays Local Board member.

After a very successful project using Hot Leads services a couple of years ago, it was only natural that Gary chose to work with them on his latest campaign. The new project was to establish a BID to represent all businesses in the Henderson, Lincoln Rd, Central Park and The Concourse areas. A new Central Park Henderson Association would cover approximately 1200 businesses and 1000 property owners, representing nearly two billion dollars in capital value commercial properties, and provide members with the opportunity to enhance their local business environment.

A BID for change

“The new project was an approach by Central Park Business Association and Henderson Business Association,” explained Gary. “As part of the initiative, we sent out 2000 voting papers to the business and property owners in the area to vote on whether or not they wished to be part of it.

“The brief to Hot Leads was to contact each business, update their details in our database, confirm they had their voting papers, and encourage them to vote on the proposal.”

The Covid-19 challenge

While the project itself was straightforward, no-one anticipated the impact of Covid-19 on what should have been a relatively easy telemarketing process.

“In the final weeks of the campaign,” says Gary, “Covid-19 started to hit hard. Understandably, a lot of the businesses that Hot Leads were contacting for us were focussed on survival, not voting. By the time we went into Level 4 lockdown, many of them were unable to open their premises at all. That made contacting them rather challenging, but Hot Leads handled it very well.”

Given the high levels of stress, Hot Leads needed to tread carefully. While the BID vote was important for the client, it wasn’t front of mind for the business owners, so the Hot Leads team had to act with heightened diplomacy and empathy. Despite the difficulties, Hot Leads successfully contacted over 800 people, updated their details for use by the new BID, and encouraged them to vote.

Hot outcomes

“In terms of the project itself,” says Gary, “we gained majority support which was a very positive result. We couldn’t have achieved that without the help of Hot Leads, they played a key role in  helping us reach a successful outcome.”

“Their role in contacting as many people as possible, updating their details in the database, and making sure that businesses received replacement voting papers as needed while encouraging them to vote, was vital.

“While it was often a struggle for them to track down business owners, Hot Leads persisted and did the best that they could in very tough circumstances,” says Gary. “I’ll most definitely use Hot Leads again for other projects; they do an excellent job.”