Time for business to vote on a BID

Spalding businesses have until later this month to vote on whether or not to create a Business Improvement District (BID).

The proposed scheme aims to raise £1m to make the town centre more appealing.
A five-year business plan has been prepared and now town centre businesses decide if they want to give it the green light.
During a feasibility study carried out for a business plan, a number of areas were identified as needing work.
The list included better transport, business support, more evens and better markets.
If a BID is created, the businesses within its boundaries will pay a levy to create a pot of money to work with.
Initially the aim was to raise around £250,00 a year from members.
The Spalding Business Board was created to draft initiatives and ideas on how to meet objectives. On creation it was made up of representatives from 20 companies.
More than 35 project ideas were identified through engagement with local businesses. Key areas were highlighted as needing a boost:
lLooking great, welcoming and safe including greening and landscaping, hotspot cleaning and more litter bins.
lMarketing, promotions and events including developing and improving the market, along with developing a ‘high quality’ calendar of events.
lMoving around aimed at developing a collaborative relationship with Springfields.
The Backing Business idea would see proactive help and centralised procurement to help reduce costs.
A five-year business plan says it wants to help the town keep up with the rapidly changing retail and leisure environment.
The amount each business pays towards the pot depends on the rateable value of its premises.
Posting of ballot papers began at the end of May and traders have until June 28 to cast their votes with the result announced on July 1.
If the BID is given the green light, the smallest independent businesses with a rateable value of less than £2,500 will be exempt from paying the annual levy.
Those with a rateable value of £100,000 would pay a levy of £2,000.
In 2009, 75 per cent of businesses in the town rejected the creation of a BID.
Plans for the new district will only go ahead if traders vote for it.
Money raised by the BID levy can only be used to carry out projects and services which are additional to those provided by public agencies, such as the district council.
lThe Spalding Town Board, led by chairman Robin Hancox, is a separate organisation which has been created to oversee the £20m of levelling-up money from central government.

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