What is a Business Improvement District?
A BID is an initiative where local businesses invest collectively in additional local projects to enhance their trading performance and environment.
Why does Shawlands need a BID?
Our town centre should be a dynamic place where our residents want to spend time and now is our chance to take steps towards the future growth. The BID could generate the financial funds required to get things done. By pulling together our resources we can work on increasing footfall, customer linger time and the overall customer experience. As we collaborate, we can make Shawlands the great destination it once was..
Shawlands has the potential to be a highly reputable and successful area serving people in and around Glasgow as well as tourists and visitors from further afield. We host a variety of unique businesses; from quality independent retailers, national chains, professional services, pubs, bars and restaurants to key neighbouring assets such as Queens Park, Tramway and Pollok park with the Burrell collection.
However in recent years we’ve suffered from global pressures, the growth of online retailing, out of town shopping centres and competition from neighbouring areas such as Giffnock, Strathbungo and Pollokshields. With increasing threats it’s crucial that Shawlands “ups its game” to compete, prosper and remain the heart of the southside.
How can Shawlands benefit from a bid
BID benefits include:
A BID is the perfect vehicle to solve these issues and more. For a small collective investment, each business will have their ideas listened to, their concerns addressed and their voice heard. It will improve the area, drive footfall, reduce costs and make significant positive change for the overall business environment.
Backgound to BIDS.
BIDs first started in Bloor West Village, Toronto, Canada nearly 40 years ago, by the town’s business community. The town’s businesses were increasingly under pressure from the new shopping centres that were being developed on the outskirts of the town, diverting shoppers away from the traditional town centre out to the new shopping malls. As a result some businesses were forced to cease trading and the town started to look tired and neglected.
To stop the haemorrhage of deserting shoppers, local businesses fought back to revitalise the town. They successfully lobbied for legislation for all the businesses in the proposed BID area to pay a levy. The levy money was used to improve the physical appearance of the town, and then promote the town centre as a vibrant, attractive and safe place to work shop and live. The strategy paid off, as shoppers started to return to the town centre in large numbers.
The success of the Bloor West Village BID paved the way for future BIDs, not only in Toronto; but spreading throughout Canada, and the USA in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Today there are over 1700 successful BIDs worldwide.
An additional measure of BIDs success is in the renewal process. Most BIDs run for a period of three or five years and approximately 99% of businesses vote in favour of continuing the BID when they come up for renewal.
BIDs can support regeneration, grow local economies and create a cleaner safer trading environment. A key element to their success is that the local businesses take ownership of their trading environment, identifying the projects necessary to resolve common problems and issues, and overseeing their implementation.
How does Shawlands become a BID?
A period of extensive consultation has begun to identify the BID area and the priorities as local shoppers and businesses see them. From these discussions a Proposal will be drawn up which will include delivery guarantees, performance indicators and management structure. The BID Proposal is voted on by the eligible person liable to pay the non-domestic rate – not the ratepayer
Businesses must vote in favour of a BID in order for it to be established, the vote is a postal ballot conducted by an independent agency.
How much will it cost me?
The Levy is decided locally by the Shawlands BID Steering Group, this is based on the assessed rateable valuation of the property of the business . Every business is required to contribute to the Business Plan. The Local Authority collects the levy from each businesses and transfers it to the Shawlands BID bank account.
When did the BID start?
The BID became operational on the 19th June 2017.
If the ballot is successful and I voted No - will I still have to pay?
Yes, if a majority (over 50%) of those that vote, vote in favour by both number & rateable value, the levy will become mandatory. Payment of the levy carries the same enforcement as non-domestic rates.
Who manages the BID?
The limited 'not for profit' company is managed by the My Shawlands -BID Board. The company will operate in a transparent way, answerable to the businesses in the area. There will be a detailed set of protocols relating to this transparency e.g. publishing all meeting minutes / key actions on the myshawlands.com website and in suitable email / newsletter formats. In addition, there will be a detailed set of protocols which will cover the management of the My Shawlands BID and billing, collection and transfer of the Levy.
The Board of Directors is fully constituted and consists of up to 12 directors. Each and every levy payer (or relevant representative) has the opportunity to sit on the board of this new company. This company is run by the businesses for the businesses. The board is responsible for all decisions relating to staff, contracts and other activities generated by the My Shawlands BID.
‘The Chair, Vice Chair(s) and Treasurer have been elected from the directors of the board. Non-voting representatives from Glasgow City Council attend the meetings and there may also be non-voting members co-opted onto the board at the board’s discretion (for example representatives from Shawlands & Strathbungo Community Council etc)
The BID Company board has the authority to adapt or alter the projects and services from year to year to reflect any change in economic circumstances, changes to the business environment or opportunities that arise. This is in the best interests of the businesses and without recourse to an alteration ballot.
Should the local authority be doing these things anyway?
The BID does not replace statutory activities or services carried out by Glasgow City Council, Police and other public agencies. The BID will agree with GCC a Baseline Agreement that will confirm the statutory and non-statutory services they will be held to deliver during the life of a Business Plan. The BID looks to provide additional benefits to Shawlands businesses and organisations, not replace services they can expect from them.
The great thing about a BID is that the projects are set by businesses, through a series of consultations. The money is kept local, and spent locally, for the benefit of the local area.
Who is eligible to vote?
This is laid down by statute from the Scottish Government; It is the eligible person to pay the non domestic rate. We endeavor to contact each business and organisation by email, post, online, local press and face to face to identify the actual person responsible to vote. This is likely to be the business owner in the case of locally owned businesses. Responsibility for regional or national companies may be held at head office level. For such companies it would be advisable that you contact your head office about the initiative and keep them informed.
How long will the BID last for?
A BIDs mandate is for a maximum of 5 years. A BID wishing to continue beyond 5 years must seek renewal by going to ballot once again.
For More information visit bids-scotland.com