Who pays for a BID?
How does an area become a BID?
How big a vote is needed for the creation of the BID?
More than 50% of the businesses who vote must vote in favour of the proposal. The 'yes' votes must represent more than 50% of the total rateable value of all votes cast and there must be a minimum turnout of 25% of eligible voters. If the vote is approved, all businesses, irrespective of how they voted are legally bound to pay the investment levy for each of the five years.
Is the BID not just a way for the Council to save money?
The BID is certainly not about supporting SLC cutbacks. It is about developing additional or improved services. It does not replace statutory activities or services carried out by the South Lanarkshire Council, Police and other public agencies. The Hamilton BID has baseline agreements from the Council and Strathclyde Police to ensure that businesses are not short changed in the future and to avoid any duplication of services.
As I am paying rates, why am I paying again?
Business Rates are a national tax that is collected by Local Authorities on behalf of Central Government and then redistributed according to a national formula. The Council's income from this redistribution is spent throughout the town on statutory and discretionary services for residents and businesses. Accordingly businesses in Hamilton have very little say in the way the funds are spent.
The great thing about a BID is that the projects are set by businesses, through a series of consultations. The money is kept local, and spent locally, for the benefit of the local area.
The BID levy is based upon the rateable value of the building in order to treat all businesses in a transparent manner. The funds collected through the BID levy will be kept in a separate BID bank account, held by Hamilton BID Ltd. This income from the levy and from voluntary contributions will then be used to fund local activities and services, as targeted by the businesses.
Isn't the recession a bad time to be developing a BID?
Actually this is a good time to develop a BID because it provides an opportunity for businesses to work together to drive down overheads. A BID also makes your money go that much further with larger marketing budgets which can reach out and promote your business to more people both locally and further afield. A BID offers great opportunities for economies of scale.