Here are some FAQs that may help you with any queries you have about the BID and paying the BID levy. If you have any other questions about the Commercial District BID, how the money is spent, or you would like to tell us your views, the BID team will be happy to hear from you. Please email Kevin.Whittaker@liverpoolcdp.com
The business plan sets out in more detail how the Commercial District BID will operate. You can download the pdf here.
What is a BID?
A business improvement district (BID) is a designated zone in which occupiers benefit from a wide range of additional services over and above those funded through standard commercial rates. These extra benefits are aimed at vastly improving the quality of the area and its attractiveness to new investors. They can include physical projects such as better lighting and street cleaning as well as the creation of green spaces, crime reduction programmes, events, transport and accessibility improvements, in addition to marketing, networking and inward investment initiatives.
Occupiers pay a levy based on a small percentage of their rates to fund these improvements. The BID is then a powerful, independent voice representing the interests of a community of like-minded organisations who are committed to working together to ensure that the area continues to progress whilst providing the best possible trading and working environment for its resident businesses.
Why do we need a BID?
The Liverpool Commercial District Partnership operated on a voluntary basis for four years and has successfully delivered a wide range of projects which have transformed the area and made a huge difference to local organisations. Liverpool’s Commercial District is one of the most important business areas in the region with a huge amount of potential to develop further. It needed to become a BID so that this activity and larger scale initiatives can be continued over the next five years which will provide businesses with unrivalled opportunities to develop and thrive.
Without BID status there would be a serious risk, particularly in the current economic climate, that occupiers could lose important benefits which would have a detrimental impact on the area and the wider region. If this happens this would undermine the huge amount of regeneration work and investment that has made such a positive difference over the last few years.
Is there any evidence that BIDs actually deliver and make a difference?
Liverpool already has one business improvement district. City Central BID is widely recognised by its members as a vital asset. Since achieving BID status City Central has played a key role in reducing crime and boosting trading opportunities for businesses in the area.
On average 98% of business improvement districts in the UK achieve a successful ‘yes’ vote after their first term which demonstrates their value to members.
How much does it cost?
Each occupier pays a levy which will amount to 1% of rateable value. This system is designed to be the fairest and most affordable way to ensure that the interests of both small and large businesses are represented. On average, each organisation will pay around £600 per year. For most organisations this represents a cost of just a few pence each day per employee.
Do all businesses in the Commercial District BID area have to pay a BID levy?
The levy applies to all Non-Domestic ratepayers whose property falls within the Liverpool Commercial District BID area and whose rateable value is above £10,000
Is paying the levy a legal requirement?
Yes. Just like Business Rates, it is treated as a statutory debt. The legislation which relates to the BID levy is The Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004 and the Non Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989. You can view this legislation here.
When are the BID levy bills due?
The chargeable period is from 1 June to 31 May each year. Because of the time-scales between winning the vote and billing last year demand notices were issued in November 2011. From now on the demand notices will be sent out in June.
What if I cannot afford to pay?
You must contact the Non Domestic rates team on 0151 225 3812 during the following times: Monday to Thursday 8.30 to 4.30 to discuss an arrangement to pay. It is important you do not ignore the notices you have been sent as you may incur further costs.
How is the BID levy calculated?
The BID levy is calculated by multiplying the rateable value by the BID multiplier of 1%. The BID levy calculation will be based on the rateable value shown on 1st June each year in the Local Non-Domestic Rating List.
How do changes to the Rateable Value affect the BID levy?
Increases or reductions in rateable values will not affect the BID levy during the year in which they occur. Any changes will take effect from 1 June and be applied in the following BID levy year.
The property my levy bill relates to is empty. Do I still have to pay?
Yes. Liability for the BID levy will fall upon the occupier of the property. If the property is empty, liability will fall upon the person or organisation entitled to possession of the property.
If I was a ratepayer on 1st June but subsequently vacated the property in September do I have to pay the full levy? Or should the landlord?
The liability for the levy bill lies with the organisation that is listed as a ratepayer on the 1st June in the previous year whether or not they vacated the premises.
Do registered charities have to pay?
Yes. Under the Commercial District BID Business Plan there are no discounts or relief available for charities or charitable organisations.
How do I pay the Business Improvement District Levy?
Details of how to pay are outlined on the reverse side of the BID levy bill. Payment can be made:
On line: Log on to www.liverpool.gov.uk and pay by debit card
By Cheque: Make your cheque payable to Liverpool City Council and write your account number on the reverse of the cheque. You should forward your cheque by post to Liverpool City Council, PO Box 1, Liverpool L69 2DQ.
By BACS: Details to be quoted when making payment are Sort Code 20-51-01, account number 50294217 and your account number shown overleaf. If you are paying for more than one property, you should send a copy of the remittance advice to us by fax on 0151 225 4778 or email RBS.Cashoffice@liverpool.gov.uk
How do I Contact Customer Services?
If you have a query about your BID notice contact the Non Domestic Rates team:
By phone on 0151 225 3812 during the following times: Monday to Thursday 8.30 to 4.30
By fax: 0151 225 3847
By e-mail: Business.email@example.com
By post: Business Rates, PO Box 2012, Liverpool L69 2DX
How much will be raised in total?
At least £550,000 will be raised annually. All of this money sits under the control of the BID Company. It is not in the hands of any local or national government organisation and all members can have a say in how it is spent.
What was the outcome of the ballot?
The individual responsible for paying the rates was given the right to vote. Each occupying organisation with a rateable value of more than £10,000 was eligible to submit one vote. The ballot took place in May 2011 and was conducted and managed by the Electoral Reform Society. A successful 60% yes vote was achieved.