Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQs below have been gathered from BIDs around Scotland so hopefully will answer most questions. If you do have a further question please contact the BID Manager Liam Christie
What will it do for Nairn?
The BID plans to help Nairn set out affordable priorities for the town and build its reputation as a successful place to do business, visit, live and work. The BID could generate the financial resources to get things done. It can help increase footfall bolstering the tourism and retail economies and bring about improvements to the town. There are 36 BIDs across Scotland.
How does a town like Nairn become a BID?
A period of extensive consultation will take place with businesses over the summer and into winter 2017. This will help to identify the BID area and the priorities as local businesses see them. From these discussions a Proposal will be drawn up which will include delivery guarantees, performance indicators and management structure. The BID Proposal is voted on by the non-domestic rate payers who will be responsible for paying the BID levy. Businesses must vote in favour of a BID for it to be established. The vote is a postal ballot conducted by an independent agency.A BIDs mandate is for a maximum of 5 years. A BID wishing to continue beyond 5 years must reaffirm their mandate through another ballot, based on a further proposal.
Who is involved?
The BID is hosted by NICE linking with businesses, the community and interest groups. A BID Steering Group is formed from local businesses and have appointed Alan Rankin as Project Manager. Alan has worked with destinations groups across Scotland and the Crieff Succeeds BID. The Steering Group will be an independent group of business people who have control of budgets, business plans and the manner in which the BID is developed. For more information on the Steering Group click here.
How much will it cost me?
This is to be decided once we have spoken to the business. To ensure that the BID satisfies your needs, it is important that we have a fully costed business plan. This will take time and can only be achieved when we know what you want. BIDs across Scotland have each agreed a levy with their local businesses. The levy is decided locally by the Nairn Connects Steering Group. The levy is usually a series of bandings across the assessed rateable valuation of the property of the business. It is not based on what the business actually pays. The banding is agreed and if the ballot goes through every business is required to contribute to the Business Plan.
When is the Ballot likely to take place?
NairnConnects is aiming for late summer 2018. Ballot papers are sent out to all businesses a minimum of 42 days before the ballot deadline. It may be that the ballot papers get sent to the local business address or to the Head Office, it all depends on who holds the vote. Once dispatched, the ballot period runs for a minimum of 42 days. Details of the ballot will be sent to all eligible persons a minimum of 42 days before the close of the ballot.
How does the Ballot Work?
The vote is a postal ballot conducted by an independent agency and is carried out under strict guidelines and regulations.
For the ballot to be successful three criteria must be met:
There must be at least a 25% turnout at the Ballot of all eligible properties owners registered in the BID area.
Of them more than 50% must vote Yes to the BID Business Plan.
Of the votes cast the total rateable value of the Yes votes must be greater than that of the No votes.
If the vote is approved, all eligible properties owners, irrespective of how they voted are legally bound to pay the investment levy for each of the five years. If the vote fails the BID goes no further.
How long will the BID run for?
The BID will run for 5 years. The BID can then seek renewal by going to ballot again, when businesses will decide whether to renew the BID.
Who is in the BID area?
The area and who is in it is not yet decided upon. The NairnConnects BID area has not yet been defined. Nairn will be the centre of the BID area but discussions will decide how wide an area will be the final chosen BID area. BIDS can be small or large areas and depend on the views of local businesses. The Steering Group will take soundings from local businesses and decide in early 2018 what will be the best area and what types of businesses will best benefit from the BID.
Who pays for a BID?
The BID levy is based upon the non-domestic rateable value of a property at the date of the ballot. Eligible persons liable to pay the non-domestic rate within the BID area pay for the BID through a separate levy invoice that is raised by Highland Council. The levy is payable on the Rateable Value of the property and not on the actual rates you pay. Each BID can decide what if any sectors are exempt from the levy. Several BIDs have excluded the likes of places of worship and youth clubs. Most BIDs do NOT exempt charitable business. All of this will be decided prior to the ballot so as to make it as fair as possible. The specific level of any investment is the decision of the business community. It the businesses who vote on the BID proposal and it are the businesses who decide on the investment levy.
If the ballot is successful and I voted no, will I still have to pay?
Yes, if a majority (over 50%) of those that vote, vote in favour by both number & rateable value, the levy will become mandatory.
Payment of the levy carries the same enforcement as non-domestic rates. If a business chooses not to pay Highland Council will pursue the property owner as they would for standard rate payment evasion.
Who controls the money?
The BID company has full control over any and all spending. The levy invoices are paid by the property owners to Highland Council who hold the money in a secure account. The BID then invoices Highland Council and draws down the money to a BID Company account. From there the BID directors have full control of the money to use to deliver the Business Plan.
If voted in who will manage the BID?
If local businesses back the plan the existing Steering Group stand down and the BID will be run by a new company, a wholly independent, non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee. It would have a Board of Directors, comprising members elected from all the business sectors, and representation from Highland Council.
Will the BID just replace what Highland Council should be doing anyway?
The BID does not replace statutory activities or services carried out by Highland Council, Police and other public agencies. The BID will agree with Highland Council a Baseline Agreement that will confirm the statutory and non-statutory services they will be held to deliver during the life of a Business Plan. The BID looks to provide additional benefits to Nairn businesses not replace services they can expect from Highland Council. The great thing about a BID is that the projects are set by businesses, through a series of consultations. The money is kept local, and spent locally, for the benefit of the local area.
Who is eligible to vote?
This is laid down by statute from the Scottish Government; It is the eligible person to pay the non-domestic rate. You will be asked, prior to the ballot, to identify the actual person responsible to vote. This is likely to be the business owner in the case of locally owned businesses. Responsibility for regional or national companies may be held at head office level. For such companies, it would be advisable that you contact your head office about the initiative and keep them informed.
Who is on the NairnConnects BID Steering Group
The Steering Group members are detailed on the Steering Group page.
How do I contact the Nairn Connects BID?
Go to the contact form to email the Project Manager Liam Christie. We will attempt to answer your questions and provide further information.