We know it has been a difficult and testing time and we wanted to allow businesses time to adjust, plan and access the support available from the Government and other sources. We hope this has provided you with some breathing space during this challenging time.
Without the collective investment, which the BID levy represents, the BID will be unable to operate and deliver projects and services for you, including the Christmas Lights. The BID is uniquely placed to help our business community through the Coronavirus pandemic.
If the income to your business has reduced, due to the Coronavirus pandemic or something else, then please contact us. If the operation of your business has not changed, it will help the BID to help others that are struggling, by making arrangements to pay the outstanding amount of BID levy as soon as possible.
Help Available……. The Council has published information on Government schemes and other help for businesses on their website.
We are truly grateful to the 35% of businesses that have already paid their BID levy – and so far we have been able to:
• help to connect businesses to the support available;
• provide advice and guidance to help businesses navigate through the fast paced and ever-changing situation;
• continue to provide services to businesses digitally;
• deliver marketing campaigns to promote businesses and provide guidance to the public on how they can support their local business community;
• re-introduce a 4 days per week cleansing service;
• install planters and hanging baskets in the city centre;
• collate data on the impact of Coronavirus on businesses to help shape future business support services;
• contribute to the development and implementation of the ongoing city centre recovery strategy.
Our very small team will continue to support businesses in the BID area as much as we can. However, one thing we cannot do is reduce your BID levy. In line with national legislation (BID Regulations Act 2004 and Local Government Act 2003) and our BID Levy Rules, the BID is not permitted to discount the levy without an alteration ballot. It would also be unfair to the many levy payers who have already paid the levy without discount.
BRITISH BIDS’ RESPONSE ON LEVY PAYMENTS
British BIDs’ Chief Executive, Christopher Turner, has issued a letter to a number of national businesses in response to recent correspondence surrounding the request for a reduction/waive of their levy payments. The full letter can be read here.
”Most BIDs are thus working flat out with extremely tight cash flows. We asked government for some assistance, and received some small amount -5% of income – to cover three months operational costs, and many of us are facing a major reduction in our levy payments. Of course, many of our levy payers are keen to pay; they know they have received an amazing service during the lockdown and they are keen to work with their BID in planning for the future.
We thus believe that there is no argument for waiving or reducing BID levies at this time, and our discussions with BIDs across the country confirms this. Some BIDs have large reserves or for other reasons have been able to give reductions in their levies, we do not believe this is always or necessarily fair or appropriate. Our regulations preclude any changes to the levy % without an alteration ballot, and individual piecemeal reductions for particular levy payers doesn’t seem fair to those who have managed to pay and are keen to continue to do so. Of course, many retailers in managed centres already receive a reduction, and some local authorities, who collect our levies, are able to offer payments plans.
We therefore do ask that BID levy payers pay their levies, and we particularly ask that our national colleagues recognise that many independents are also trying hard to pay their dues in building for the future of their towns and cities. We know that many national retailers have already paid levies to some of their BIDs and are keen to support their BIDs, and we are very keen that all do so.”
In Exeter can provide you with your BID Levy Reference Number and the various ways to pay your levy or send you a replacement bill.
Many of our independents have paid the full amount, so to the national chains asking for reductions, we know you are going through as it is the same as the independents and everyone else, we state again that:
”In line with national legislation (BID Regulations Act 2004 and Local Government Act 2003) and our BID Levy Rules, the BID is not permitted to discount the levy without an alteration ballot. It would also be unfair to the many levy payers who have already paid the levy without discount.”