FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What Is A BID What does BID stand for?

A BID is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. BID stands for Business Improvement District.

How do I find out my rateable value?

You can find out your rateable value by going on to https://www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates/how-your-rates-are-calculated
You need your postcode
The bid levy is 1.3% of this figure – business rates is approximately 43% of this!!!

What does it mean to Romford?

For the first time in its history Romford town centre will be managed by the business community.

A better managed, better looking and more prosperous town centre

Better commercial experience, more visitors, staying longer spending more leaving happier

Greener, cleaner, safer

Better profile and more influence on how it grows and evolves

Is it compulsory? / Can I opt out?

Its decided by a democratic vote to ensure it is fair – if the vote is favourable (by majority) then all in the area pay for the five year period. This ensures that it doesn’t fall only a few number of businesses to carry the rest.

Together we are stronger and make a real difference.

All get to vote and all pay if successful to guarantee delivery and ensure everyone who benefits invests

It lasts for five years and then you vote again

Larger businesses pay more, smaller businesses pay less

Every business gets the chance to have their say and manage the spend. You will know what the money is spent on and be able to find out what difference it has made.

Shouldn’t the council be doing this?

Councils have no money

This is not what business rates go to

They only deliver core services and basic provision

They share all money across the borough

LBH support this and also pay the levy too

Their interests are often compromised as they have to meet the needs of the entire borough wide community and are influenced by the political environment

 

How does a BID affect me?

If you are in the BID area and have a RV above 15K you get to vote on the business plan! Vote yes!!

You will benefit in lots of ways – more customers, better town centre, more spend per head, better profile town, safer, greener, cleaner and more welcoming. Better promoted and mor business support.

If we’re successful you will have to pay. It is 1.3% of your RV. We do it this way so it is fair. Small businesses pay less and large pay more. The levy is a small amount in comparison to business rates (43%) and is ring fenced and can only be spent on projects and services that are above and beyond what the council already does. We guarantee this.

When and how do I vote?

A 28 day postal ballot

You will receive you ballot paper in the post with a stamped addressed return envelop

The ballot will be ran by ERS electoral reform society – the people who run the general election

It is a closed ballot which means we will know who has voted but not which way they have voted.

How does the ballot work?

All businesses eligible to pay the levy are balloted.

For a BID to go ahead the ballot must be won on two counts: straight majority and majority of rateable value (the value of a commercial property unit). This ensures that the interests of large and small businesses are protected.

There is no minimum turnout threshold

How Many BIDs Are There In Britain?

The majority of BIDs exist in town centres, however there are increasing numbers in industrial areas, as well as commercial and mixed-use locations. There are over 200 BIDs in the UK.

The average size of a BID is 300-400 hereditaments (businesses), with some of the smallest having fewer than 50 hereditaments and the largest at 2,500.

Annual income is typically £200,000-£600,000 but can be less than £50,000 per annum or over £2 million.

Where Did The BID Idea Start?

BIDs were first established in Canada and the US in the 1960s and now exist across the globe, including in South Africa, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

There are hundreds of Bids across the world.

Who Pays And Who Collects The Money?

The BID levy is on business occupiers ie. business ratepayers, rather than property owners. This is in line with the business rates system.

The BID levy is collected by the local authority into a ring-fenced account and passed to the BID Company for use on the projects and services set out in the BID proposal.

How Do You Create A BID?

A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on a BID Proposal or business plan for the area.

The ballot by law is run by the local authority or outsourced by the local authority to a third party.

How much will be collected to invest?

-£2.75 million over five years

– BIDs are often successful at attracting funding in addition to the BID levy. They are particularly attractive to public sector grant making bodies (such as Regional Development Agencies and GLA) due to the private sector match-funding available through the BID levy. Local authorities, property owners, and businesses outside the BID area have all provided additional income for BIDs.

How Much Would I Have To Pay?

A BID is funded through the BID levy, which is a small percentage of a business’ rateable value. The majority of BIDs charge between 1% and 2% of rateable value, however there are good reasons why some have opted for higher levies, particularly in locations with lower rateable values such as industrial areas.

Our levy will be a 1.3% levy, a business with a rateable value of £20,000 would pay £260 per annum.

How Long Does A BID Run For?

BIDs operate for a maximum of five years.

What Do BIDs Actually Do?

The improvements made by a BID are determined by businesses and can include core services such as additional cleansing and security or more wide-ranging projects such as recycling, business support, improved infrastructure, joint purchasing, area branding and promotion.