How to find your local Business Improvement District (BID)

How to find your local Business Improvement District (BID)
Grow London Local
Grow London LocalMatching London small businesses to support

Posted: Fri 8th Dec 2023

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area where local businesses have voted to invest in improving the projects and services available to them.

There are currently 70 BIDs in London, with new ones proposed and developed every year. There are no restrictions on what these projects and services can be, other than that they must be in addition to those that local authorities provide.

In this blog, we explain how BIDs work, what they provide and how you can find your local BID.

How is a BID established?

You can set up a BID if:

  • you pay business rates

  • you're an individual or business that wants to develop the BID area, or

  • you have an interest in land in the area

To do so, you must submit a proposal and plan to the local authority that provides details about:

  • the size and scope of the BID

  • the services it will provide

  • the amount of levy to be paid, and

  • who will be liable for the levy

What is the levy?

The BID is funded by a levy (a fee) on all business rate payers on top of their business rates bill.

It's usually between 1% and 4% of rateable value. However, some BIDs use a banding system, where businesses are grouped together based on their rateable value and charged a percentage of that amount.

Who manages the BID?

The BID is managed by a BID body, which can be either a private company or a partnership with the local authority. Most are non-profits.

This body is responsible for putting the BID proposal into action, managing billing and collecting the levy.

What services do BIDs provide?

BIDs can provide a range of projects and services that benefit the local area.

They run a range of services, such as:

  • marketing the local area

  • training courses

  • business directories

  • networking events

  • projects to improve security and public spaces

  • environmental projects

  • discounts for business owners

  • employment and recruitment support

  • insights and updates about local business issues

What are the benefits of BIDs?

BIDs benefits local businesses in a number of ways, including the following:

  • The levy money can only be used for the BID area

  • Local businesses can decide what services they need

  • Mediating with public bodies such as local councils, Transport for London and the police

  • Promoting the local area and boosting footfall

  • Creating networking opportunities

How do I find my local BID?

The Mayor of London has an interactive map where you can find out more about your local BID. BIDs are divided into four categories: town centre, industrial, property and cross river partnerships.


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