Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) represent an excellent vehicle in which retail business can collaborate to make respective Town Centres pleasant and safe places to both shop and work. However, there is a concern that previously some BID models didn’t focus enough resources on the ‘safety and security’ element. Therefore, a manifesto has been launched calling for the provision that a suitable proportion of the BID levy is spent on safety and Security.
As the number of BIDs continues to grow (over 300), and funding from the levy businesses pay is estimated to be in the region of £100m a year, there is a desire from the business community to ensure that a reasonable proportion of this is dedicated to tackling business crime. Many businesses support BIDs and agree the funding, as they want to create an attractive, safe and secure environment for customers, staff and visitors. There is a recognition that the scope, scale and quality of BIDs varies enormously; from those that have £multi-million budgets to those that rely on volunteers. In addition, the budget and resources needed to be dedicated to business crime will vary from place to place according to need and perception.
The overall aim is to make BID areas better trading locations, more attractive to customers and users, and therefore thriving places. Without being overly prescriptive, it is the right of any retailer, leisure business or other levy payer, to ask what arrangements are included in the BID business plan that promotes the protection to staff and security of goods. There is an expectation that any BID Business Plan will clearly state what it can do, perhaps in partnership or through others, to tackle business crime.
The Manifesto sets out a number of Key Principles, which major retailers will use to judge whether to vote in favour of a BID proposal, either at inception for a new BID or at renewal.
The Manifesto (including the list of supporters) is available on the NBCC website in the guidance section here.