01. What is a BID (Business Improvement District)?
What is a BID (Business Improvement District)?
A BID is a defined geographical area, within which local businesses collaborate to invest in projects, services and initiatives that improve the environment in which they work. BIDs deliver additional services to those provided by the local authority and the police. A BID is funded by businesses and organisations in the defined area, through an annual BID levy. The funds are ring-fenced to that area and controlled by businesses through the BID Company. At the moment there are about 300 BIDs operating throughout the UK.
02. How long does a BID last?
How long does a BID last?
A BID lasts for up to five years. At the end of the life of the BID the Business Plan is updated and business have to vote again for the BID to carry on in a Renewal Ballot. Only if the majority of businesses vote in favour can the BID continue for another five years.
03. Why do we need a BID?
Why do we need a BID?
Before the Manor Royal BID was first created in 2013 satisfaction with Manor Royal as a place to do businesses was very low. A number of studies that also concluded that the business district was losing pace with other business parks and, without action, was in danger of stagnating and it would not be enough to rely on the basic Council services. The additional services and improvements provided by the Manor Royal BID have made a noticeable positive impact that would be continued and extended in BID2 to ensure Manor Royal continues to improve and compete.
04. Who manages the BID?
Who manages the BID?
The Manor Royal BID is managed by a not for profit company limited by guarantee - MRBD Limited (the BID Company). The BID Company has its own Board of directors made up of businesses from the BID area, who are elected at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and volunteer their time. In this way the BID is created and managed by businesses for businesses.
05. How is the BID Business Plan put together?
How is the BID Business Plan put together?
A considerable amount of research and survey work has been undertaken to help inform the Business Plan. About 30% of businesses responded to an area-wide survey plus there have been numerous events, meetings, articles in Manor Royal News, the eBulletin and online to ensure the BID delivers want businesses want. On top of this the BID has commissioned and drawn upon independent research like the Green (soft) and Grey (hard) infrastructure studies, the Transport Study and the Economic Impact Study to ensure the Business Plan is robust.
06. How does my business benefit?
How does my business benefit?
The direct business benefits include:
- Delivery of practical projects driven by business ideas
- Development of the area influenced by businesses
- An effective working relationship between the Manor Royal businesses and a number of organisations including Crawley Borough Council.
- A focus on investment to improve Manor Royal over a five year period
- The generation of additional funds to delivery additional services, projects and improvements to preferentially benefit Manor Royal businesses and employees
- A focus on the delivery of measurable improvements to benefit all businesses.
07. What will the BID deliver?
What will the BID deliver?
The BID will deliver the changes, improvements and projects that the businesses in Manor Royal want and need and have identified as being important to them. It is important to remember that the BID is not there to replace the services provided by Crawley Borough and West Sussex County Councils.
The BID's activities must be additional to services which the businesses would have otherwise received. Services from the Police, the local authorities and other agencies are benchmarked and monitored by the BID Company to ensure that the money generated through the BID is used for the improvements voted for by the businesses in the BID area and not to subsidise the either Council.
08. Who decides and when?
Who decides and when?
All businesses who are expected to pay the BID Levy will get a vote in the Renewal Ballot (a postal vote) that takes place in February 2018. The announcement of the ballot is expected on 02 March 2018.
09. What is the BID Ballot?
What is the BID Ballot?
The ballot is a 28 day postal secret ballot administered in the same way as a local election by the local authority electoral services team.
10. How does the BID Ballot work?
How does the BID Ballot work?
The ballot is a confidential postal ballot, the same as a postal vote in a General Election or local authority election. All eligible businesses located in the BID area will have the opportunity to vote on the BID Business Plan. The BID will only be approved if more than 50% by turnout and by ratable value of the properties vote in favour.
11. How is the BID funded?
How is the BID funded?
The delivery of the BID business plan is funded via a BID Levy that is based on the Ratable Value (RV) of those properties in the BID area. Each property with a RV of £12,000 or more will pay an annual BID levy of 1% but capped so no property pays more than £3,500 per annum.
In addition to the levy raised from the businesses, the BID will also seek to lever in other funding. The Manor Royal BID has been particularly successful at this and generated over £1m in additional funding in the first five years.
All the funds generated by the BID are ring-fenced exclusively and solely for use in Manor Royal in accordance with the aims of the Business Plan.
12. Who pays the BID Levy?
Who pays the BID Levy?
The person or organisation liable to pay the non-domestic rates for the property is liable to pay the BID levy. Where a property is occupied this will be the occupier, for empty properties the person or organisation entitled to occupy the property is liable to pay. This will normally be the leaseholder or the owner.
13. Can I opt out of the BID?
Can I opt out of the BID?
No. Once the majority of business vote to create the BID every liable business within the BID area is legally bound to pay the annual levy, even if they voted against the BID. Businesses moving into the BID area after the BID has been created also have to contribute.
14. What happens to the BID Levy money collected?
What happens to the BID Levy money collected?
The levy is collected by the local authority and passed to the BID Company, which can only be used to pay for BID services set out in the Business Plan businesses voted for.
15. How do I know the BID Levy is spent correctly?
How do I know the BID Levy is spent correctly?
It's important to remember the BID is run by fellow Manor Royal businesses who are accountable via the BID Company to each company that pays the levy.
A series of performance measures are agreed as part of the Business Plan and regularly reported.
The BID is committed to holding an Annual General Meeting, producing an annual report, publishing fully audited accounts online and sending a detailed BID Levy Statement with the BID Levy bill setting out how the BID Levy was spent in the previous year and how it will be spent next year.
The BID also keeps businesses informed by publishing a quarterly magazine, monthly eBulletin and hosting regular events throughout the year.
16. Does the Council already do this?
Does the Council already do this?
No. The regulations governing BIDs state that the services provided by BIDS must be additional services not already provided by the Council or police. The Manor Royal BID only provides new, additional or enhanced services.
A series of Baseline Agreements are signed to ensure that what the BID does is additional and that the local authorities maintain their service levels.
The basic level of services the Councils have to provide are not enough to bring about the improvements Manor Royal needs - this is what the BID provides.