What is a Business Improvement District?

A defined area within which the local business community work together to collectively invest in projects and services to improve the business environment

It is an independent business-led ‘not for profit’ company committed to delivering services additional to those provided by public authorities

There is always a fair and transparent ‘levy’ on all eligible occupiers within the BID area, complemented by additional voluntary contributions from other stakeholders including property owners and developers

A ballot with a majority ‘YES’ vote is required, both by number and rateable value, for the BID to be implemented

There is then a five year initial term, after which a renewal ballot becomes necessary

What is the BID Levy and how much does it cost?

BID levy bills are distributed to all eligible businesses alongside their Business Rates Bill in April every year. The levy is charged on all businesses at a % of rateable value (RV)  whose premises have a RV over £10,000.

What do you get for your levy payment?

In our proposal document we pledged to make a difference in 10 particular areas. These 10 pledges are:


Improved visitor experience

New and repeat customers

Pro-active local management team

Added value

Support from Birmingham’s other city centre BIDs

A safe and welcoming environment


Positive brand and profile


Effective business ‘voice’


Sustained additional investment

Business led, local and inclusive decisions

Can you opt out?

No – all businesses are required to pay (charitable organisations receive a rebate) as the work of the BID will benefit all Southside businesses without exception.

Can I pay in instalments?

No, the levy must be paid in full, however if you contact the BID Manager before 1st June in each calendar year, you may be able to arrange for staged payments. (maximum 3 instalments)

What happens if I refuse to pay?

As with Business Rates, Birmingham City Council will pursue recovery of the debt through the usual legal channels on the BID’s behalf. For further more detailed information, you can access the explanatory note here: Southside Statutory Explanatory Leaflet 2015_final

Why should I pay more?

Although your business rates are collected by the City Council, it is Central Government that receives the proceeds. You have no control over how this money is allocated and spent. The relatively small additional BID levy you would pay will be 100% reinvested in the Southside area by your BID Company.