Frequently Asked Questions

  • BID stands for Business Improvement District.

  • BIDs were first established in Canada and the US in the 1970s and now exist across the globe, including in South Africa, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

  • 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 nearly 300 BIDs in the UK.

  • 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.

  • If you are in the BID area and have a Rateable Value of £20K and above you get to vote on the Romford BID business plan.

    You will benefit in lots of ways – more customers and more spend per head, a better town centre with an improved profile. Not to mention a safer, greener, cleaner and more welcoming Romford that is promoted properly on both local and national platforms.

    If successful we guarantee delivery and ensure everyone benefits. 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.

  • You can find your rateable value on All you need is your postcode.

  • 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. The Romford BID will have a 1.5% levy, therefore, a business with a rateable value of £20,000 would pay £300 per annum.

    Once a ballot is successful the BID levy is mandatory for all eligible businesses. BIDs can choose to exclude certain businesses from paying the levy (and therefore from voting in the BID ballot) Businesses with an RV below 20K are exempt.

  • 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.

  • A 28-day postal ballot will take place between the 31st May 2018 and 28th June 2018. You will receive your ballot paper in the post with a stamped and addressed return envelope. The ballot will be run by ERS electoral reform society – the people who run the general election.

    If you do not receive your ballot paper or business plan by the 31st May or you lose it please contact us immediately and we will ensure you are sent out a replacement.

  • A BID is decided by a democratic vote to ensure it is fair – if the vote is favourable (by majority) then everyone in the area pays in for the five-year period.

  • The BID levy is on business occupiers i.e. 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.

  • If the Romford BID does not go through, businesses will have less influence or control over how the town centre changes. This may affect the amount of investment in the commercial area, which could impact on Romford’s ability to compete with other shopping destinations. The business community will also likely be less organised and cohesive in its approach to the addressing the challenges we face.

  • The Council will do its best to nurture and support local businesses, but have to operate with limited budgets which are reducing annually. The Council also have to meet the needs of the entire borough and are influenced by the political considerations. Your business rates are set and controlled by central government and not the local Council. The BID offers the opportunity to focus on your business and your trading environment with all the money raised spent entirely on the projects you have chosen in the Business Plan.

    In addition the Council is strongly supportive of the BID concept and will pay as well as work in partnership with us.

  • Over £3 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.

  • BIDs operate for a maximum of five years.

“I believe that a Business Improvement District is a great opportunity to showcase our town. Romford has so much to offer, from its shopping, to its vibrant night time social and entertainment scene, as well as a great place to live and work. As a business community it would be valuable for us to come together to drive even more success within Romford, creating a positive impact on the towns economy, residents and potential new visitors.”

Jonathan Poole, RTMP


Keep up to date on the latest developments and subscribe to our email.


Contact Us

If you have a question about the Romford BID or want to find out more, you can contact us here or by using the details below:

London Borough of Havering Development, Town Hall, Main Road, Romford, RM1 3BB
07496 718580