Q What is a BID? v
A Business Improvement District or BID is an arrangement under which you plan and agree how to improve your own trading environment. Businesses identify projects or services that will add value to their business and also how to manage them and how much they are prepared to pay.
The funds collected are ringfenced and used only to deliver a structured and guaranteed set of activities voted on by the businesses within the BID. The BID and the projects it will carry out DO NOT and CANNOT replace those services statutorily provided by the public agencies such as the Police and Ealing Borough Council. The BID can only provide projects and services over and above.
Q How is the West Ealing BID funded? v
West Ealing BID is funded by those in the area paying a levy of 1.07% of the rateable value of their business. We will not be increasing the levy for the renewal term. The levy is all ring-fenced and spent by West Ealing BID on projects and services agreed by you. It is actually nothing to do with your normal business rates which pass straight to the Government. It is simply a fair way to decide who pays what. The smallest businesses, those with a rateable value of £10,000 or less will be exempt from the BID levy.
Q Who manages the BID? v
West Ealing BID is a private and independent company run by a Board of Directors chosen from those businesses that actually pay the BID levy, including both small and large businesses, from a variety of different sectors. We work hard at keeping our running costs down and have reduced operating costs by 23% and we will continue to look for ways to reduce this further by ensuring the management of the BID is cost neutral through sponsorship and marketing opportunities. We are determined to ensure that 100% of the levy will be used to deliver the BID agenda.
Q Are you part of Ealing Borough Council and shouldn’t they be doing this? v
No. The West Ealing BID is an independent, private, not for Profit Company. Ealing BID is formed and managed by the businesses that pay the levy and operates solely to deliver projects that are paid for and requested by businesses.
Q What are the benefits to businesses? v
Evidence from the West Ealing BID and other BID areas show that there are many benefits to be had by businesses, property owners and public agencies including:
- Increased spend
- Increased footfall
- Reduced business costs
- A more appealing environment for employees
- Links with Public Agencies
- Harnessing the private sector and providing a powerful voice
- Lobbying voice to the Local Authority on behalf of its businesses
- Achievable Projects
- Additional Funding
Q Who else is doing this? v
There are now over 220 BIDs in the UK. More importantly, all 11 BIDs who had a BID the first time round like Ealing and have gone for vote for a second term have been successful. This is the clearest indication of success.
Q Why are some businesses exempt? v
The smallest businesses would pay so little in BID levy that the cost of collecting it would be greater. It also means that the BID can concentrate on those that have more to gain from the activity generated by the BID. Those who do not pay do not get a vote
Q Isn’t this what I pay my Business Rates for? v
No. Business rates are a national tax that is collected by the council, passed on to central Government and then redistributed back to councils. Businesses have little say in how that money is distributed or spent.
The great thing about a BID is that the level of investment or levy is agreed by the businesses; the money is kept and spent locally under the management of the West Ealing BID Board. Even better the levy fund is added to by voluntary contributions by large local organisations which recognise the value of the BID. And it can be used to “pull down” match funding pots of money from Government – in Ealing this meant £40,000 in additional investment, and we believe we can get even more.
Q How much will I pay? v
In order for the projects and services to be delivered, the West Ealing BID levy will be set at 1.07% of the rateable value of your business.
Over 85% of businesses will pay less than £1 a day.