A Business Improvement District (BID) is “a designated zone or area in which businesses benefit from a wide range of additional services over and above those funded through the standard commercial rates and council services”.
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are created by businesses and organisations which come together to collaborate on initiatives that improve the location where they trade or do business. BIDs are driven by participating businesses – who work together to draw up a business plan which is voted on and, if agreed, is then funded through a levy based on business ratable values, as well as trying to lever in additional funding where possible for investment into the delivery of projects for the benefit of businesses.
This levy is collected by the relevant Council and paid directly to the BID company. This is a not for profit company which has been set up by business representatives and will be accountable to the businesses in the BID Area to manage the delivery of the BID Business Plan.
After a deep recession and now the economic turbulence of Brexit, the need for businesses to work together for a better future has never been greater.
The benefits of a BID do not just come from the ability to deliver projects and services from a guaranteed budget but come from the collective influence of the businesses in the BID Area. It can positively influence perceptions about a place for potential visitors to the area and potential new business investors and of the residents, that they can have pride in where they live.
The influence of the collective voice of businesses working together also translates into productive relationships and outcomes when working with stakeholders, such as the Local Authorities, the Local Economic Partnership and other organisations including the Police, to meet the Oswestry business community’s needs.
Oswestry is Shropshire’s second largest town, it has a rich cultural heritage and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. It has seen the development of many strong entrepreneurial, independent and family run businesses over the years, operating in a variety of business sectors with national and international reputations. However, in many respects the town has become isolated with challenging infra-structure links and struggles to retain young skilled people or attract new skilled people to live and work in the area.
Oswestry has many opportunities to further develop its attractiveness as a tourist destination and as a touring centre, in particular. There is also great potential to build upon the reputation of many of its successful businesses at a regional, national and international level to drive further trade and encourage expansion and new investment.
This BID Business Plan has been developed to ensure that it:
Has deliverable and achievable objectives It clearly lays out a business-led programme of investment to tackle issues identified by the business community with the aim of creating a positive, more profitable and growing trading environment to benefit all business sectors in the BID Areas. To achieve this, the BID levy will be set at 1.75% of rateable value (RV) for business rate payers with an RV of £12,000 or more, with charges rising in line with inflation each year.
In addition to receiving the broad benefits that BID offers your business in terms of driving local business investment and growth, you will have exclusive access to collective business cost saving and security initiatives, the opportunity to participate in seminars and workshops offering business support, guidance and advice and invitations to regular BID networking events to facilitate greater local business community collaboration.
You will also gain direct access to participate in promotional initiatives and have the opportunity to link into social and digital media activities and much more.