Lots of business people contact this website and ask how they can stop a proposed BID. But more often than not they contact us after a BID ballot has returned a yes vote. Many people complain they didn’t know they had to pay the levy or didn’t realise they were actually in the proposed BID area.
BIDs are less of a concern for residents. At least no resident has contacted this website (at least I don’t recall) about a planned BID. However, there are numerous campaigns involving residents and often in partnership with small businesses against a proposed BID.
Don’t ignore any plans for a BID in your town or city!
The only advice AgainstBIDs can give people is to check any BID documentation very carefully.
The BID company will produce a business plan and a list of streets as well as a map for the BID area. They are legally obliged to do this. The local council will also produce a list of streets, but only in a short time period leading up to a ballot.
There are countless instances of people ignoring ballot papers or not realising their business could be in a planned BID area. Often the BID company are sloppy in the way they consult traders and have been known to give out incorrect information.
Traders need to be very alert if they hear a BID is planned in their town or city. Read the documents you get sent and don’t be afraid to contact your local councillors with your concerns.
Get organised and contact your local newspaper!
If your BID is still in the planning stages, get organised with other businesses who oppose the BID. When you have got a few people together, contact your local newspaper. That way you are forcing the issue up the local agenda and other people will get to know about it and get involved.
Complain to your local council!
If a BID has already been voted through and you are now having to pay the levy or you are threatened with court action, you are limited in what you can do. But you can get together with other businesses and complain to your local council about the way the BID ballot and consultation was handled. But you have to act quickly.
Also see this very active Facebook group who may be able to give advice as well.