Penzance International Money transfer company based in St Mary's terrace Interior Shot

What is a BID?

A BID is a not for profit company set up by businesses to improve their local trading environment.

A BID provides a resourced service for businesses in the defined BID area with funds to spend on the projects the businesses want. In addition to delivering projects a BID manager lobbies on behalf of businesses and negotiates the best collective deals.

A BID is a legal body which can only come into being following a successful ballot.

There are currently 205 BIDs in operation in the UK including eight in Cornwall: Truro, Falmouth, Newquay, Camborne, St Austell, Newham Industrial Estate, St Ives and Penzance.

How does the BID ballot work?

Ballot papers are sent out to all businesses a minimum of four weeks before the ballot deadline. It may be that the ballot papers get sent to the local store or to the head office, it all depends on who holds the vote.

Once dispatched, the ballot period runs for a minimum of 28 days; your ballot papers, therefore, need to be completed and returned before the deadline.

Details of the ballot will be sent to all businesses a minimum of six weeks before the close of the ballot.

Who runs the Penzance BID?

The Penzance BID is run by a Steering Group consisting of representatives from businesses in the town. Once the BID is successful the Steering Group will form a not for profit company limited by guarantee.

All BID levy paying businesses can put forward a representative to be a director.

Cornwall Council is supporting the development of the BID under the Steering Group’s direction.

What area does the BID cover?

The BID area is shown on the map on the BID Boundary page.
Please contact us if you are unsure if your business is included.

How long will the BID run for?

The BID will run for five years. The BID can then seek renewal by going to ballot again, when businesses will decide whether to renew the BID.

Who pays the levy?

The levy is payable by all businesses in the BID area. All businesses pay the levy if the ballot is positive – irrespective of whether they voted for or against the proposals.

How much is it?

The level of contribution is fairly proportioned as a percentage of rateable value and is agreed by the Steering Group.

Why do my business rates not cover this?

Business rates are collected by the local authority and handed over to central government. They are used to pay for services such as fire and social services.

The BID is a privately funded, business led initiative and does not receive funding from the government. Legal agreements with the local authority set out Baseline Agreements that outline what the public sector provides. Services provided by the BID are guaranteed to be over and above those supplied by the council’s Baseline Agreement.

Rather than the resident-driven services that councils tend to provide, the BID can offer services tailored for the business community.

The BID levy is a fund generated from a fixed percentage of a business’s rateable value and can be used on any project decided on by the businesses within the BID boundary. The Local Authority is normally the largest contributor of levy within the BID area.

Who decides how the money is spent?

The BID projects will be set out in a BID Proposal document (business plan) which is voted on at ballot.

Who collects the BID levy?

Cornwall Council will collect the BID levy on behalf of the BID into a ring-fenced account and then pass it over to the BID Company. This is due to the work and cost intensive nature of administering a levy system for all businesses in the BID area.