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What is a BID?
An arrangement whereby businesses get together, decide what improvements they want to make in their place, 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 5 years and must be able to demonstrate how it benefits the businesses that have funded it.
Have BIDs been supported elsewhere?
There are over 300 BIDs in the UK and over 2500 worldwide including in mainland Europe, USA, Africa and Asia. Most of these are underpinned by legislation, which would need to be introduced in Gibraltar.
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.
Why do businesses support BIDs?
A BID is a mechanism which allows businesses to raise a sum of money 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 improvements.
Who can develop a BID?
A BID can normally be proposed by any business ratepayer, property owner, local authority or other key stakeholders with an interest 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’. Typically then, an independent and formal vote 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.
How will the BID be managed?
BIDs are normally controlled and managed by local businesses that are paying the levy, currently the majority of successful BIDs are delivered through a Company Limited by Guarantee (not for profit). The BID Company would be responsible for the delivery of the BID projects and services and directly responsible to all businesses through a board elected from those businesses that pay the BID levy.
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. This is based on a detailed consultation process with businesses. The business plan will include the projects, cost, delivery guarantees, performance indicators and the management structure. A confidential postal vote is held, all the businesses that would pay the BID levy get a vote. To become a BID a majority of those that vote must be in favour by number and rateable value. A successful BID then has a mandate for a maximum of 5 years after which the BID would need to seek a re-ballot. The indicative timetable for developing the Main Street and Surrounds can be found here.
Does this mean the Government will stop delivering services?
BID money should 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 are benchmarked. This sets out the level or service provided at that point in time. The BID Company is then aware and can agree to provide additional resources to deliver a higher level of service over and above the benchmarked level if this is what businesses have identified.
How is a BID monitored?
Like any good business plan, specific key performance indicators (KPI’s) are set and performance is monitored against the KPI’s by the BID board. The BID Company is answerable to the businesses that pay the BID levy, and will be required to monitor and inform its members on its progress towards the agreed KPI’s.