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BID FAQs

What is a BID?

A BID is a not for profit company set up by businesses to improve an area. It is directed and funded by businesses to make improvements to the trading environment. A BID is a resourced service for businesses in the BID area with funds to spend on the projects the businesses want. A BID manager will deliver projects, lobby on behalf of businesses and negotiate the best collective deals. A BID is a legal body which can only come into being following a successful ballot. There are currently 153 BIDs in operation in the UK including Camborne, Truro, Falmouth, Newquay and St Austell.

How does the BID ballot work?

Ballot papers are sent out to all businesses a minimum of 4 weeks before the ballot deadline. It may be that the ballot papers get sent to the local business address or to the Head Office, it all depends on who holds the vote. Once dispatched, the ballot period runs for a minimum of 28 days; your ballot papers, therefore, need to be completed and returned before the deadline.

Details of the ballot will be sent to all businesses a minimum of 6 weeks before the close of the ballot.

Who runs the Newham BID?

The Newham BID is run by the BID Committee consisting of representatives from businesses in Newham. Newham BID is administered by the very successful city centre BID with ring-fenced funds specifically for Newham and a position on Totally Truro's BID board. All BID levy paying businesses can put forward a representative to be on the Committee to control how Newham funds are spent.

What area does the BID cover?

The BID covers all of the Newham commercial area from the HSBC offices southwards.

Please contact us if you are unsure if your business is included.

Who pays the levy?

The levy is payable by all businesses in the BID area. All businesses pay the levy if the ballot is positive irrespective of whether they voted for or against the proposals.

How long will the BID run for?

The BID will run for 5 years. The BID can then seek renewal by going to ballot again, when businesses will decide whether to renew the BID.

How much is it?

The level of contribution, set by the Newham BIS Steering Group is 2.5% of the rateable value as at 31st March 2013).

Why do my business rates not cover this?

Business rates are collected by the local authority and handed over to central government who give a proportion back to the local authority. Funds are used for such services as fire and social care. The BID is a privately funded, business led initiative and does not receive funding from the government. Legal agreements with the local authority set out Baseline Agreements that outline what the council provides. Services provided by the BID are guaranteed to be over and above those supplied by the councils' Baseline Agreement. Rather than the resident-driven services that councils tend to provide, the BID can offer services tailored for the business community.

The BID levy is a fund generated from a fixed percentage of a business's rateable value and can be used on any project decided by the businesses, led by the Newham BID Committee, within the BID boundary. The Local Authority is normally the largest contributor of levy within the BID area.

Who decides how the money is spent?

The BID projects are set out in a BID Proposal document (business plan) which is voted on at ballot.

Who collects the BID levy?

Cornwall Council will collect the BID levy on behalf of the BID into a ring-fenced account and then pass it over to the BID Company. This is due to the work and cost intensive nature of administering a levy system for all businesses in the BID area.

What have the BIDs in Cornwall achieved?

Truro City Centre was the first BID to be implemented in Cornwall in 2007. Thereafter, Falmouth, Newquay, Camborne and St Austell all successfully voted in the BID initiative for 5 year terms. The BIDs in Cornwall are all concentrating on increasing footfall in their towns and stimulating financial growth to the business community. Truro has recently started its second 5 year term (2012 to 2017) following a successful renewal ballot.

Since 2007 the BID levy generated by businesses within the boundary in Truro City Centre has contributed to:

  • 3 concurrent Gold Awards for South West in Bloom
  • Events bringing in 25,000 people
  • The 'enjoytruro.co.uk' website receives 1000 hits per day with a free page for ever business.
  • Production of 17,500 event guides
  • Marketing coverage valued at £30,000 - £40,000
  • 9th lowest retail vacancy rate in the UK (out of 750)

Falmouth's BID achievements have included:

  • £90,000 worth of national PR exposure for events
  • A destination website with downloadable visitor information and a free page for every BID Business
  • Falmouth brand identity
  • Town centre visual improvements including 2500 metres of bunting, 200 flags, 100 floral displays, new benches and the transformation of derelict areas with colourful hoardings
  • Revitalising vacant retail sites
  • 100,000 map guides distributed
  • Over £15,000 worth of funding to develop new events
  • Free workshops, courses and seminars for businesses