What is a BID?
A Business Improvement Districts (BID) is a business-led partnership created through a ballot process to deliver additional services within a defined geographic area. The ballot needs to see a majority of businesses in the area supporting the BID, both by number and rateable value. Providing these majorities are obtained, a BID is formed for a maximum period of five years.
How is it funded?
The BID is funded by the businesses through a mandatory levy, based on the rateable value and is payable in addition to the business rates bill. All businesses in the area (subject to the BID levy rules) have to pay the levy for the period the BID is in existence. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area. BIDs directly involve local businesses in local activities and allow the business community and local authority to work together with other local stakeholders to improve the local environment.
BIDs are not restricted in the services they provide, as long as these are agreed to by businesses. Most BIDs are established as not-for-profit companies and have a Board of Directors comprising businesses in the area who are levy payers together often with representatives of other partnership organisations such as the local authority and police. There are over 300 BIDs across the British Isles with over 60 in London.