What is a Business Improvement District (BID)?
A Business Improvement District (BID) is an exciting way to help businesses take control of and improve their trading environment.
It is an arrangement whereby businesses get together, decide what improvements they want to make in their Town Centre, how they will manage these and what it will cost them. This all goes into a business plan which is voted on by all those who would have to pay.
The BID lasts for a maximum of five years and must be able to demonstrate how it benefits the businesses that have funded it.
There have been over 300 BIDs developed in the UK since the legislation was introduced in September 2004 – bringing in more than £100 million of new finance to develop town centres.
Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Cambridge and Saffron Walden have all seen the benefits of having a BID. Now is the time for the businesses of Haverhill to join together and make a real impact to the future of OUR town.
What might a BID deliver?
It’s up to you. BIDs can deliver any projects or services that are agreed by the businesses in the BID area and that are over and above anything that the Public Sector provides through your business rates.
In most cases, they include marketing and promotional activities, increasing safety and security for businesses and customers, attracting new businesses and investment, reducing costs and enhancing the customer experience.
The important thing is that the BID is focused on delivering the operational and other projects as determined by detailed consultation with all businesses in the BID area.
Who pays for a BID?
Once projects and services have been agreed by businesses along with how they are going to be delivered and managed, they
are costed up and set out in a detailed business plan.
The cost to each business is worked out on a pro rata basis. ‘This is called the ‘BID LEVY’. An independent and formal vote then takes place
on the agreed projects and services and if the majority vote YES then ALL within the BID area HAVE to pay.
The BID levy is normally paid by the occupiers of a property. In addition, BIDs can draw in other voluntary funding, grants and ‘in kind’ contributions to supplement the BID levy.
Facts about BIDs
- There are over more than 300 BIDs across the UK investing more than £300m in our towns and cities.
- BIDs are a mechanism by which businesses get together to carry out improvements in projects and services and raise the profile of a defined geographical area.
- BIDs are directly funded by the businesses who fall within the area boundary. BID businesses pay an annual amount over a 5-year period to carry out the improvements.
- BIDs are voted on by the businesses who would pay. They decide if they want the initiative to go ahead.
- BIDs last for a maximum of 5 years.
- The closest BIDs to Haverhill are Newmarket Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Ipswich and Lowestoft.
- In order for a BID to be established, a ballot of all eligible businesses in the BID area is held. For the ballot to be successful, the following conditions must be met:
- Over 50% of businesses that vote must vote in favour of the BID. Of the businesses that vote, those voting yes must represent a greater total rateable value than the ones that vote no.