BIDs for Success

By on 13/05/2013 in Cllr Ali, News
Cllr Tahir Ali

Cllr Tahir Ali

Businesses in two of the most vibrant and distinctive areas of the city will have the opportunity later this year to take control of their futures and boost their communities by setting up Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). In September, if agreed by Birmingham City Council Cabinet on May 20th, eligible businesses in both Soho Road and Sparkbrook & Springfield will be offered the chance to take part in a ballot to set up their own BID.

A BID is where businesses within a defined geographic area agree to pay a small levy, so that the collective funds can be used to deliver improvements agreed by the businesses that promote and support the businesses within the area and contribute to the regeneration of those areas.

Birmingham’s current ten BID areas range from Broad Street to Kings Heath and Jewellery Quarter to Acocks Green, and have seen significant improvements including supporting new business start-ups and reducing vacant shops on the high street, improved trading environments including better lighting, Street Wardens, improved festive lighting schemes, access to business support and marketing. Every BID area has its own unique character, and the two prospective BID areas in Soho Road and Sparkbrook & Springfield offer something different again, highlighting the breadth and diversity of their businesses and communities:

• both prospective BID areas are unusual in that a very high proportion of the businesses in the areas are independent – in fact, Soho Road is made up of at least 90% independent businesses – highlighting the areas’ reputation for entrepreneurial dynamism

• Both areas would also be the first BIDs in the country to be formed of majority ethnic communities – sending a clear signal that all of Birmingham’s people are involved in supporting opportunity and growth

• Both areas are renowned for their vibrant, lively atmosphere, with well-earned reputations for value and excellence in food, clothing and jewellery retail.

Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills said:

“The proposed BIDS for Soho Road and Sparkbrook & Springfield are a really exciting opportunity for businesses to come together with a strong collective voice, reflecting their rich economic and cultural diversity. This represents a significant expansion of business improvement opportunities for areas within the inner city. Our experience of BIDs in Birmingham has shown that they provide a powerful platform for businesses and communities to attract growth and investment.”

– ends –

Note to Editors:

• If approved by Birmingham City Council Cabinet the proposals will be put to all businesses in both BID areas in a ballot to take place in September, over a minimum period of 28 days. Each BID has an initial five year term and will become fully operational within three months of a positive ballot result.

• Birmingham is seen internationally as one of the leading cities for BIDs, with ten successful operations in place since the first BID was launched in 2005. The areas are:

Broad Street; Retail Birmingham; Erdington; Kings Heath; Colmore Business District; Southside; Acocks Green; Northfield; Sutton Coldfield; Jewellery Quarter.

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