A Business Improvement District, or ‘BID’ for short is a defined area, such as a town centre like Dorking, where businesses come together to collectively invest to improve their trading environment.
A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on a BID Proposal or Business Plan for the area. In the UK, for a BID to go ahead the ballot must be won on two counts: a straight majority by number AND by collective rateable value of those that vote in favour. This ensures that the interests of both large and small businesses are protected.
Once a ballot is successful the BID levy is mandatory for all eligible businesses for a maximum term of five years. Before the five year term is up, a BID may choose to go through a renewal ballot to extend the life of the BID for a further term.
The vast majority of BIDs are not-for-profit companies limited by guarantee and are governed by a Board made up of levy payers representing the BID area.
The benefits of BIDs cited by the businesses they represent are wide-ranging and include: