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What are BIDs?
BIDs are an arrangement whereby businesses come together and decide which improvements they feel could be made in their place, be it town, city centre, tourism destination or business park, how they will implement these improvements and what it will cost them. BIDs are financed and controlled by the businesses within the selected area. BIDs deliver additional projects and services over and above those already provided by public bodies.
Why do businesses support BIDs?
A BID is a mechanism which allows businesses to raise a sum of money collectively to manage and deliver projects that they have identified and believe will improve their trading environment, ultimately increasing trade for those businesses who are paying for the improvement.
Who pays for a BID?
Once projects and services have been agreed, businesses will pay a small amount (known as the ‘BID Levy’) to manage and deliver projects that they have identified and believe will improve their trading environment and performance, ultimately providing a return on their investment.
How is a BID monitored?
Like any good business plan, specific key performance indicators (KPIs) are set and are monitored against the KPI’s developed by the BID board. The BID Company is accountable to the businesses that pay the BID Levy, and will be required to inform and communicate with its members on progress.
How does an area become a BID?
Normally a ‘BID Task Group’ is set up which is responsible for putting together a detailed business plan setting out the projects it aims to deliver on behalf of the businesses in the BID area and is based on a detailed consultation process. The business plan will include the projects, cost, delivery guarantees, performance indicators and the management structure. An independent and confidential postal vote is held with all the businesses that would potentially pay the BID levy. To become a BID a majority of those that vote must be in favour by both number and size (business floor space). A successful BID then has a mandate for a maximum of 5 years after which the BID would need to seek a re-ballot to continue.
Who is developing the Main Street & Surrounds BID?
The Main Street & Surrounds BID was initially proposed in 2019 by the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses (GFSB), with the backing of the Chamber of Commerce and HMGoG. Shortly thereafter, The Mosaic Partnership, a UK-based consulting team of BID and place management specialists, was brought onboard to develop and manage the Main Street & Surrounds BID project. The Mosaic Partnership has a 100% BID success rate, with every BID they’ve worked on successfully voted in by the businesses involved, and has worked on projects globally, including the UK, USA, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and more. A BID Task Group was formed in October 2019 consisting of a range of businesses that cover the BID area geographically and sector wise. The BID Team welcomes the involvement of more businesses, and should you wish to work with the, please do get in touch.
Do BIDs actually work?
Yes. BIDs have been around since the 1970s, and have continued to grow in popularity because of the big benefits businesses see. There are now over 2000 BIDs around the world, including over 300 in the UK. In the UK alone, BIDs raise over £150m in total, with individual BIDs raising anywhere from £100k to £30m. Currently, over 100,000 UK businesses pay a BID levy. Businesses continue to vote for BIDs time and time again because of the positive impact they’ve had, with 9 out of 10 re-ballots (voting on whether to continue the BID after its initial 5 year term) successful. In addition to this, governments are increasingly preferring to distribute their own business support measures through BIDs as they benefit from a formal legal structure and corporate governance.
Does this mean the Government will stop delivering or reducing services?
No. BID money can only be used to carry out projects/services ADDITIONAL to those that public services have to provide. Prior to the BID business plan being produced, the current services being delivered by all public agencies including HM Government of Gibraltar (HMGoG) and Police are set out in Baseline Statements. Baseline Statements for the following areas are available for the Main Street & Surrounds BID:
- Cleansing & Maintenance
- Festivals & Events
- Business Support
- Landscape & Planting
- Transport & Car Parking
- Waste Management
- Street Furniture & Lighting
This means that HMGoG continues to deliver that level of service. The BID Company can agree to provide additional resources to deliver a higher level of service over and above the benchmarked level is this is what businesses have identified they want.
How will our businesses benefit from Main Street & Surrounds becoming a BID?
The great thing about BIDs is that it’s the businesses who decide and direct what they want for the area. The benefits of BIDs cited by businesses within them are numerous and wide-ranging. These include:
- Stronger voice and significantly more influence
- Businesses get the opportunity to shape their commercial area effectively, being able to control the space outside their business’ premises
- Businesses are represented in issues affecting the area
- BID levy money is ring-fenced for use only in the BID area – unlike business rates which are paid to, and redistributed, by government
- An enhanced visitor experience resulting in increased footfall and increased spend, for both consumer-facing and business-to-business businesses
- A cleaner, greener, more welcoming town centre
- Facilitated networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses
- Assistance in dealing with HMGoG, Police and other public bodies
- Significant improvements to look, feel and value of commercial area
- Better promotion and marketing of our town centre leading to improved perceptions of both local residents and tourists
- Targeted solutions for individual sectors and areas
- Reduced business costs and improved return