BID stands for Business Improvement District which enables businesses within a town or district to work together, and positively impact upon the local community. The Steering Group decided that our application to become a BID should be an island BID, not just Rothesay. We want to ensure this BID is fully inclusive, and benefits as many areas as possible, working together to address our prioritised areas for improvement.
Currently there are 37 BIDs effective in Scotland. Many are town BIDs but all aim to make a difference to their local community and economy by actioning what they believe is essential for their area. The first stage of our Isle of Bute BID has already been successfully led by our Steering Group, and now that we have been awarded a seedcorn grant by the Scottish Government, our next step is to develop a proposal to present to businesses across the Island prioritising what we know needs improving.
BIDs can only exist if they get support from a clear majority of local businesses in a vote. Other successful BIDs have explained what a positive difference can be brought to their town or district. BIDs operate for a fixed five years at a time and are developed, managed and paid for by businesses through a compulsory BID charge called a Levy. If the businesses that are part of BIDs want them to continue once the five years are up, another vote must take place. The Levy is a charge that is additional to a normal Business Rate, and this is why projects decided upon for our BID are additional to those services provided by the Police and Council, it does not replace these essential services.
This BID Levy is separate from the Council Business Rate and is a Levy to which the Council have no access to – it belongs to the Island and can only be used for our Island projects. Not all local businesses will be eligible to pay the levy, only those above a rateable value, but all businesses will be able to benefit from the projects.