Plans for a Main Street Business Improvement District (BID) have been announced by the BID Task Group in conjunction with UK-based international place management consultancy The Mosaic Partnership, and backed by HM Government of Gibraltar. The BID will be led by local businesses and the BID Task Group, comprised of over 20 Gibraltar business representatives from both large and small organisations. Essentially, this is a project is led by Gibraltar, for Gibraltar.
The Mosaic Partnership have nearly 30 years’ experience with BIDs, working with over 150 locations on Place Management, Placemaking, and Place Marketing, from Chicago to Chippenham. In the UK alone they have delivered 110 BIDs, bringing in over £100m in income.
What is a BID?
An arrangement whereby businesses get together, decide what improvements they want to make in their place, how they will manage these and what it will cost them. This all goes into a business plan which is voted on by all those who would have to pay. The BID lasts for a maximum of 5 years and must be able to demonstrate how it benefits the businesses that have funded it.
As outlined in the BID Fact Sheet: “A Business Improvement District is an exciting way to help businesses take control of and improve their trading environment. If you are a business within the defined BID area (see map) you have the great opportunity to identify the projects, you want to implement that will make a positive change to your business and your place.
“We need to collaborate and work together to invest in our place.”
Commercial districts cannot be complacent in the current climate in terms of competition. We need to collaborate and work together to invest in our place. This will allow us to enhance our trading environment and make a real difference, attracting more shoppers and visitors and in the long term, businesses wanting to invest. Doing nothing is not an option and with government backing and potential investment, the time feels right to capitalise on what we do well and be part of tackling the challenges that are ahead of us.”
The BID looks to raise approximately £400k per year from all businesses within the area. This will be collected as a BID levy, with each business contributing £0.50 per square foot of floorspace per year (a minimum levy of £100 and a maximum levy of £5000 per year will be in place). HMGoG Ministry for Business has generously committed to a pound-for-pound match in funding, bringing the BID’s annual budget to approximately £800k per year, or £4m in the five-year project lifespan.
What will a BID offer?
BIDs can deliver any projects or services that are agreed by the businesses in the BID area and that are over and above anything that the Public Sector provides through your business rates. In most cases they include marketing and promotional activities, increasing safety and security for businesses and customers, attracting new businesses and investment, reducing costs and enhancing the customer experience. The important thing is that the BID is focused on delivering the operational and other projects as determined by detailed consultation with all businesses in the BID area.
The BID will look to develop a ‘uniquely Gibraltarian experience’, ensuring we provide a clean, green and welcoming area for tourists and locals alike.
The Minister for Business, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP, said: “Coming from Main Street myself, I am very excited to be the Minister leading on this magnificent project. I would like to reassure everyone that the Government fully supports the Main Street BID, especially during these tough times. It was this Government that introduced the BEAT COVID measures, it was this Government that reduced rates and it was this Government that introduced life saving measures for businesses. We are very proud of that and we will continue to support businesses, who, at the end of the day are the backbone of our economy.”