YOUR RECENT article on the Business Improvement District clearly shows that the aim of the BID is to benefit traders, yet the funding is expected to be met by all of the businesses in the city.
Many of these businesses are not traders but still make a valuable contribution to the local economy.
The proposed scatter gun approach to what is effectively a new tax would have all businesses left wondering how the ‘improvements’ to the city proposed by the BID will make any difference at all to their business prospects.
Certainly, improving footfall will have no impact for them.
This new initiative comes at a time of deep recession when the extra tax will be especially unwelcome.
Many will find the average of £500 for each business a burden but few can believe that it will stay at this level.
Will the BID team end up funding Christmas lights, public toilets, the city centre manager and anything else the authorities decide they no longer wish to fund?
If the BID tax does increase, will this discourage office-based businesses from moving into the city centre?
We already have authorities responsible for keeping our city safe, clean and accessible and this benefits everybody, not just businesses.
I think, on the whole, these centrally-funded bodies do a reasonable job in the city centre.
I believe we already have a vibrant and attractive city and that it doesn’t need much ‘improvement’.
I would urge the local authority to reconsider this initiative and all businesses – both retail and non-retail – to consider carefully what they will be locked into if the BID vote is successful.
Holt Place, Birdham