Successful BID Ballots reflect the need for businesses to shape the future of our town and city centres.

Strong votes in favour of Business Improvement Districts including the ones renewed and developed by Partnerships for Better Business in this COVID period, reflect the desire for businesses to work with others to influence the way in which our town and city centres shape up in the future.


Given the challenges and uncertainties facing businesses on so many fronts, one might have expected businesses to be single-mindedly focussing on cutting costs and overheads. The pace of change has never been faster and businesses are having to change the way they work, the services and the products they provide and the way they trade to simply survive not just to prosper. They also recognise that working collectively means that they can exert an influence on the way in which town centres are built and function.


There is clearly an opportunity here for the Government and local authorities to work with Business Improvement Districts even more closely and tap into the commercial and innovative culture to ensure that town and city centres not only recover but take on a new role and become economically thriving hubs and attractive places for all those who live and work around them.


However, if this opportunity is to be truly exploited then consideration needs to be given to the fact that BIDs funding is closely linked to business rateable values which is the basis for an outdated and inappropriate tax for today’s economy. Well-run BIDs bring local authorities and other organisations, businesses and investors together, adding value to the implementation of local masterplans and investment plans for town and city centres for the long-term benefit for all.


Let’s capitalise on this desire for business to play their part in their local economies, to create well paid jobs for their local residents and create vibrant, attractive places for people to live, work and play. Let’s consider ways in which BIDs can play an even greater role in shaping the future of our town and city centres by opening up other funding streams for BIDs to ensure that this creates an era of which we can all be proud and not regret.