So far nearly fifty areas across Scotland are either developing a BID or have an operational BID already in place - the majority started by small independent business owners or local groups who decided much more could be done to change and improve their area and trading environment.
BIDs can be developed for town centres, tourism areas, business parks, rural areas or by single business sector groups such as whisky and textiles.
BIDs are designed to bring together businesses and other stakeholders in a defined geographical area, so they can develop projects and activities, which will help boost the local economy.
The Scottish Government supports the development of BIDs and grant funding of up to £20,000 is available to help with the cost of developing a Business Improvement District.
1: Local businesses decide and direct what improvements they want for the area to improve the local economy and trade, which in turn increases local opportunities and employment.
2: The business community as a whole are represented and have a voice on issues effecting the area in which they trade; be it parking, cleansing, safety and security or perhaps more importantly the future long term direction, development and prosperity of their area.
3: The BID levy is ring fenced for use only in the BID area – unlike business rates which are paid to and then redistributed by the Scottish Government. The BID levy can be used to lever in additional funding that is not available to an individual business or in some cases the local authority.
4: BIDs help to increase footfall through the delivery of events and promotions, improved car parking and public transport provision and a co-ordinated online presence for the businesses.
5: BIDs help increase staff retention through the delivery of projects such as employee discounts at local shops, stores and businesses.
6: Business cost reduction (stock loss, crime, joint procurement) through the provision of Ambassadors, Taxi Marshals, additional Police Officers, crime reduction initiatives and local procurement projects that could reduce utility and waste costs.
7: Area marketing and promotion to the local community and visitors through radio, press, TV and social media and the delivery of projects such as loyalty cards, town gift vouchers, and town pounds.
8: Networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses, business to business trading and supply to keep the money and employment local.
9: BIDs have a proven track record in both lobbying and championing business concerns with Local Councils, Police and other public bodies. A recognised and respected voice with the ability to talk to the right people in the right place at the right time.
10: Reduced risk, by working together the businesses and local authorities can provide a clarity of vision, leadership and strategic focus for an area, encouraging private and public sector investment.
BIDs work across the local community, developing strong links between the businesses, the residents, local community groups, local authorities and other bodies and agencies.
For more information on BIDs contact:
Ian Davison Porter, Director, BIDs Scotland
Telephone: 0131 629 0065 or 0780 106 4733