Frequently asked BID questions
01. 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 over 300 BIDs operating throughout the UK.
02. 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?
Before the Beddington BID was first created in 2016 satisfaction with Beddington 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 Beddington BID will make a noticeable positive impact.
04. Who manages the BID?
The Beddington BID is managed by a not for profit company limited by guarantee – Beddington BID Limited (the BID Company). The BID Company has its own Board of directors made up of businesses from the BID area who 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?
A considerable amount of research and survey work has been undertaken to help inform the Business Plan. Businesses responded to an area-wide survey plus there have been numerous events, meetings, newsletters and online information to ensure the BID delivers want businesses want.
06. 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 businesses in Beddington and a number of organisations including Sutton Borough Council.
A focus on investment to improve Beddington over a five year period.
The generation of additional funds to deliver additional services, projects and improvements to preferentially benefit Beddington businesses and employees.
A focus on the delivery of measurable improvements to benefit all businesses.
07. What will the BID deliver?
The BID will deliver the changes, improvements and projects that the businesses in Beddington 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 Sutton Council – a list of these services can be found in the baseline agreement. 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 Council.
08. How is the BID funded?
The delivery of the BID business plan is funded via a BID Levy that is based on the Rateable Value (RV) of those properties in the BID area. All businesses will pay an annual BID levy of 1% but capped so no property pays more than £6,000 per annum.
09. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. How do I know the BID Levy is spent correctly?
It’s important to remember the BID is run by fellow Beddington 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.
13. 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 Beddington 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 Beddington needs – this is what the BID provides.