FSB co-hosted with Metro Bank in Maidstone at the Metro Bank an informal networking event on the 21st March. FSB member Peter Searle of Business Doctors arranged for a brief talk to be given about the Town Centre application to be designated a Business Improvement District (BID), which will affect members in the town centre and have a ripple effect out side the town if implemented.
A Business Improvement District (or BID as they are commonly known) is a business led and funded scheme. Businesses pay a small levy that, unlike business rates where central Government determine how they are used, is ring fenced specifically for use in the BID footprint. The levy is usually around 1 – 1.5% of rateable value. Other successful BID areas have seen an increase in footfall, improved staff retention and promotion of their designated area.
Duncan Simmons, the Metro Bank Manager, who sits on the “One Maidstone CIC” explained the concept and advised that the next step would be a vote by businesses in the area to confirm if they would like to be part of the scheme.