Given the circumstances, all BIDs are considering the best way to ensure funds for continued operation but to also give due consideration to the pressures on their levy payers at this time.
However, the legislation is clear that BIDs must bill as normal via their billing authority, both in order to meet their legal obligation, to enable their support to communities, and to ensure their ability to obtain BID levy now and in the future.
- BIDs should, though, tailor their enforcement, considering and offering payment options to their levy payers where possible (see options below)
- In all cases, billing activity should be accompanied with communication acknowledging the pressures of COVID-19, setting out specific plans the BID has developed to support businesses during the crisis, and detailing any planned resource or budget reprofiling.
- We have prepared a template for guidance which is available to download.
- Where bills have already been issued, we recommend that BIDs email levy payers to set out the mitigating measures they have in place.
This advice is founded in the legal framework for BIDs. You can download the full rationale and we hope it gives BIDs and their stakeholders full confidence in the legitimacy of this approach.
The following enforcement options may be considered (full details can be found in our expanded guidance):
- Offering a temporary freeze on enforcement (e.g. 3 month delay on payment), specified within the Demand Notices
- Allowing payment by installments
- Offering a future rebate, should the BID secure sufficient finance through billing and/or other financial aid
- Accepting third party payment of part or whole of the Demand Notices (e.g. from the Billing Authority or from government grant etc).
If you have questions about any of the above, please contact us.