Nail salon becomes Bishop's Stortford BID's first 'friend'
Bishop's Stortford BID (Business Improvement District) has welcomed its first "friend".
Hien's Nails is exempt from the levy imposed on town centre traders to fund the business support organisation because the rateable value of its Church Street salon is less than £10,000 – but owner Hien Le and husband Aidan Reynolds wanted to share in the advantages BID membership offers.
Ordinarily, traders automatically pay 1.5% of the rateable value of their premises if it is over £10,000. Smaller outlets like Hien's Nails that operate in the BID's catchment area can become 'Friends of the BID' and share its benefits for £150. Those outside of the BID boundary pay £100, or 1% if their premises have a rateable value of more than £10,000.
The salon has already benefited from a free safety assessment to ensure their premises and practices are Covid-19 secure after the BID footed the £215 bill. The BID set up the scheme to give shoppers confidence in town centre standards, and Hien and Aidan wanted to make sure their family business was compliant.
Their eldest child Son, 30, and daughter Hanh, 27, work with them as nail technicians. Younger daughter Thuy Anh, 17, is an apprentice hairdresser and younger son Ashton, 15, is at Herts and Essex High School.
The family live in Scott Road. They moved back to Bishop's Stortford, Aidan's home town, after living in Vietnam for six years. He met Hien there in 2001, while working in the travel industry, and they still travel extensively. Hien is a Buddhist and they enjoy visiting temples in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.
They set up Hien Nails to "offer a unique nail salon experience – one that combined quality with friendliness" and hope the BID can support them as they build their business.
Hien, 47, said: "If possible, a larger, more prominent shop on the high street would be our goal."
As well as Covid-secure assessments, the BID has provided signage and sanitiser to help traders open safely. Free social media training and advice on cutting utility bills are also on offer.