What is a Business Improvement District?
- – A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led partnership, created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to businesses within a pre-determined boundary.
- – A BID is funded via an additional levy based on rateable value (usually between 1-2%) on businesses within the boundary.
- – There are now over 200 Business Improvement Districts throughout the UK.
- – BIDs are governed by statute and there are specific regulations around the development and management of a BID.
- – A BID should provide additional services, they give business a voice in the management of their town.
- – More than 50% of voters by number and rateable value must say yes to secure a BID.
- – A successful BID can help lever additional investment into the town.
A BID for Halifax
- – Marketing Halifax will be the proposer of a BID for Halifax. They will work closely with businesses in the town, the local authority and a consultant who will help guide to the ballot stage.
- – Tracy Harvey, Managing Director of Harveys of Halifax and board member at Marketing Halifax confirmed that her business is a keen supporter of the BID. She introduced Ian Ferguson of Partnerships for Better Business UK who has been appointed to guide Marketing Halifax through the BID process.
- – A steering group has been created, the membership is not finalised, if you want to be involved, get in touch. The group will make decisions about boundary, levy rates and final business plan.
- – Initial consultations will take place with cross section of town centre businesses.
- – Report produced in January 2016 detailing business aspirations for the town centre.
- – A database is being built to record opinions and suggestions. Based on the National Non Domestic Ratepayer information held by Calderdale Council.
- – We will also begin to work out budgets.
- – Our boundary is not yet decided, finalised summer 2016.
- – Extensive consultation with businesses in spring and early summer of 2016.
- – We start to speak with partners at the council, police and others to clarify spending commitments in the town. These commitments are reviewed annually.
- – Creation of a 5-year business plan (on which potential levy payers would be voting).
- – 28-day period postal ballot, scheduled to be held in autumn 2016.
- – Result known the day after the ballot closes.
- – If successful, the BID would begin operation in April 2017.
- – The BID would be run as a not for profit company.
- – Revd. Canon Hilary Barber of Halifax Minster and Chair of Marketing Halifax closed the event with a Q&A session.
Questions from those present
Q: How would a BID impact on wider Calderdale?
A: Whilst this project will be for Halifax town centre, there is nothing to prevent our other market towns considering the model in future.
Q: Match funding was mentioned, how would be go about sourcing this?
A: Ian keen to say that a BID should not chase funding for the sake of it; this should be purely to deliver objectives within the business plan.
Q: Where will the boundary be?
A: This will be one of the final things to be decided and a decision will be made following intensive consultation between February and June of next year.
Q: How will businesses be attracted to be involved?
A: The message has to be put across in the right way. Key points are that it will be a business led initiative, by business for business.
Q: Is the levy an additional payment or is it taken from existing business rates?
A: It will be an additional payment, it will be used specifically to deliver the business plan.
Q: Do those who vote No still have to pay the levy?
A: Yes. A yes vote of over 50% by RV and number of those who vote means that the BID would go ahead and the levy payment is legally binding.
We will aim to start speaking to a cross-section of businesses over the coming months. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org