Why have a Business Improvement District

Blog Post by Mark Stevenson 23 November 2014

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are becoming very common in the UK. The majority of BIDs are in town centres but there are a growing number in industrial areas. So why consider having a BID in your area?

Blackburn Town

BIDs are formed to deliver services over and above what the Local Authority does. They are not there to replace those services.

So why have a BID?

  • Businesses decide and direct what they want for the area
  • Business are represented and have a voice in issues affecting the area
  • BID levy money is ring fenced for use only in the BID area – unlike business rates which are paid into, and redistributed by, government
  • Increased footfall
  • Increased staff retention
  • Area promotion
  • Networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses
  • Assistance in dealings with the Council, Police and other public bodies.

Do they work?

  • It’s important for BIDs to measure performance to demonstrate to levy payers the improvements it is making to an area
  • Many BIDs commit to formal targets
  • It can be difficult for a BID to demonstrate their role in improvements that may be the result of BID efforts in combination with a number of other factors, for example: a reduction in crime in the area, or cleaner streets
  • Businesses within the area get a say in how the BID is managed and what it delivers on, so that when the renewal time comes round (5 years) they say whether the BID has been a success or not by voting in favour or against.

So having a BID can improve the appearance of the area as well as increasing business in that area.

More information on BIDs can be found at www.britishbids.info


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