Would a "Business Improvement District" (BID) be good for Brixton?

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Gramsci, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Why are you limiting this to street traders? Some non-trendy traditional shops are suffering to stay afloat too.

    But you'll have to take it from me (or at least until we get another BID feature on B Buzz together, if they're prepared to go on record) that some businesses are finding it very hard to pay out this kind of money. And we're talking four figure sums for something that appears to offer them nothing in return.
     
  2. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Surely not? The BID is supposed to be charged at 1.5pc on top of currentbusiness rates. Four figures would equate to businesses with annual rates of 70k and more already. No?
     
  3. editor

    editor hiraethified

    If you say so.
     
  4. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Look at this for a depressing page.
    And this shop on Coldharbour Lane? £70,000/annum to you, squire.

    del.jpg

    Sold!
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  5. DietCokeGirl

    DietCokeGirl All lost in the supermarket

    BID sent out generic mail shots, addressed 'business owner', that looked very much like junk mail - the kind of stuff shops and businesses get sent TONNES of by suppliers, advertisers, insurance companies, god knows who else - very easy to overlook, especially if you haven't been following all the fuss online.
     
  6. DietCokeGirl

    DietCokeGirl All lost in the supermarket

    To be fair, that's 70K pa rent, not business rates, which is what BID 's levy is based on, I *think*. I know some traders are currently looking into the legality of the demands and if they are actually obliged to pay, or if the demand letters are just bully tactics.
     
  7. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Indeed. They should have been compelled to go around to each and every business, explained exactly what they had in mind, and then got the owner to sing something to that effect.
     
  8. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Se have ALREADY been taken to court and ordered to pay.
     
  9. DietCokeGirl

    DietCokeGirl All lost in the supermarket

    I reckon the lack of consultation and communication was deliberate to push through some jobs for the boys all hush-hush.
     
    editor likes this.
  10. DietCokeGirl

    DietCokeGirl All lost in the supermarket

    No way. That is awful.
     
  11. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Here's how businesses are charged:
    And to answer your point:
     
  12. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Yep. And although I heard that the judge sympathised with their plight, their defence of not knowing about the scheme before it was voted through meant they had to pay up in full - with costs.
     
  13. DietCokeGirl

    DietCokeGirl All lost in the supermarket

    I just read back a couple of pages and the BB article, so now I'm a bit more caught up. It's really shit. I wish there was a stronger traders association or such to give a united voice on the subject. I wonder if some of the more thriving businesses can help put together a legal fund for some of the smaller ones. Thoughts to mull over.
     
    Tricky Skills and editor like this.
  14. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Rent is not ratable value ffs. Christ. At least try to know what you are talking about.
     
  15. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I haven't actually stated that rent is rentable value, by the way.

    Now, admittedly I'm not a big property owner like you, so forgive me if I'm not up with all the terminology, but this does seems to make a broad connection:
    Perhaps you could explain the differences?
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  16. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    To give you an idea, Foxtons rent is about £200-250K pa. According to the VOA their ratable value is £63,000p.a. Their rates are worked out on a roughly about 47% of rateable value - that means they pay £29,000 rates per annum. The BID levy is 1.5% of rateable value - so that is £945 to BID. Even a company the size of Foxtons is not paying 4 figures to BID.
     
  17. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Edit: thanks for the explanation.

    Whatever the figure it certainly seems to be far more than some businesses can afford - especially when it's for something that appears to offer them no tangible benefits.

    My confusion about the numbers also seems to be echoed amongst some of the people who are being compelled to pay up.

    Personally, I think they should scrap the whole thing and start again, and this time ensure they get a meaningful mandate from a true majority of traders.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  18. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Looking at parts of Market Row, a number are exempt from the BID levy (under £5,000 rateable value) and the rest would pay between £6 and £22pcm, typically about £10 per month. (Nour is a notable exception at £45pcm, but it is about 4-5 times larger than the next largest units). This £10 levy is on top of business rates of about £390pcm and rents of about £1,000+ pcm. To be blunt, any business threatened by that amount of levy on top of existing costs is probably not long for this world anyway.

    I’m not convinced by the argument that it is too complicated to understand. Anyone running a business should be aware of their rateable value – they pay their rates every month already – and it is simply a small percentage on top of that.

    Regarding a re-vote, it is worth noting that their pre vote gumph read:
    This appears to suggest that there will be a second vote. Anyone know?

    Now I’m not sure about this – someone correct me if I’m wrong – but I think their representation system is “one business one vote” so the smaller businesses should in theory be very well represented by the BID. If they want to they could be quite powerful in directing it.

    The recent performance of one time key figures – such as incoherent ranting on here about the racism of the council towards black owned businesses; and attempts by another to obstruct an investigation into a gun attack in their venue – did not instil confidence in me – but I’m not sure what their involvement is now. There seem to be some pretty competent people on the board.

    Without seeing some specifics, I don’t think there is much evidence that the levy itself could cause financial hardship to any business. BID is in now, so they need to pull out all the stops to show that they can be truly representative, inclusive and effective. That is what they should be judged on.
     
    Winot likes this.
  19. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Of course it bloody might if your business is struggling. Even £100 will hurt when you're already being hit by soaring rents.

    And unbelievably though it seems for you to accept, some local businesses are struggling to understand what the BID is about and what benefits it will bring. I know this because I've talked to several. In fact, a few have asked me to explain it to them.
     
  20. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    The Valuation Office Agency will give the rateable value of any business premises just enter the post code
    Take the rateable value and use the multiplier
    2013/2014 Standard - 47.1p Small Business -46.2p
    to calculate the actual amount in rates

    So Morleys Brixton Road rateable value £202,000 pay £95.142 in Business rates

    BID contribution = £1427

    "Brixton BID will be funded by an annual levy of 1.5% of the rateable
    value of all eligible businesses (with a rateable value of £5,000 or over)."



    VOA Morleys.JPG
     
    editor likes this.
  21. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    As I said, £10 per month on top of rates and rent of £1,400 per month, not to mention utilities and other business costs, is not going to cause hardship. If the business is struggling it will not be as a result of the BID levy. Soaring rents - yes. High rates -yes. Increasing utilities - yes. The BID levy, controversial and unpopular as it might be, is insignificant compared to these other fixed business costs. No business will go over the edge as a result of it.
     
  22. editor

    editor hiraethified

    You really have no idea about how some people struggle, do you?

    £10/month for a service you don't even want (and quite possibly does nothing for you) may be just loose change and 'insignificant' to someone as well off as you, but to others it can be a hard sum to find on top of everything else - even more so if they've been compelled to pay court costs.
     
  23. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    Sorry Rushy kind of repeated all you have done - didn't check the thread properly this morning...

    A Small business with a Rateble Value of £5001 would pay £23.10 per year to BID
     
    Rushy likes this.
  24. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I look forward to your break down and analysis of the figures of your case in point. Doubtless mixed in with a few more personal digs for good measure. :facepalm:
     
  25. editor

    editor hiraethified

    It's nothing to do with personal digs - it's about your inability to recognise that some people will struggle to find monthly sums of money that you dismiss out of hand as 'insignificant'.
     
  26. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    I personally voted against the BID levy as I believe Business Improvement is something that should be part of the core duty of the Council and therefore paid for out of the Business Rates that they already charge - but 1.5% increase in the business rates is not a large amount in the great scheme of things...
    But only of it is put to good use!
     
    DietCokeGirl likes this.
  27. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Anyone got any ideas on what they will be doing with all that dosh (after they've paid their exec up to £65k/year)?
     
  28. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    BID Website made by people in Piano House so money is being spent in Brixton

    "Current BID services include:
    • Lower cost waste collection and free cardboard recycling
    • Free training for employees in Health and Safety; Food Hygiene; Customer Service; First Aid; Maths & English
    • BID members can advertise for free in the BID section of Brixton Bugle, with discounted rates for additional advertising
    Should you wish to request a meeting with one of the BID board or team please contact us on admin@brixtonbid.co.uk.
    The Brixton BID has been established to work with all local businesses to improve trading conditions and provide a voice for Brixton businesses.
    Since becoming a BID, we have begun to deliver on our promise to provide services that benefit Brixton businesses and the area as a whole. We'd love to have your input and will be running meetings for businesses to have an impact on how money is spent.

    Our new website is on its way in autumn 2014" (Late)

    Free training is worth a lot to small businesses - tell people to get their moneys worth!
     
  29. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I recognise that some businesses are struggling. I am saying that they are not struggling because of the BID levy, which is a tiny proportion of fixed costs. Perhaps if you would post some actual details everyone could make up their own minds about whether your example is an exception which proves me wrong.
     
  30. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Oh, they can advertise for free in the Brixton Bugle. Well, that's money well spent then. But why not not the Lambeth Weekender given its far wider circulation?
     

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