St Ives Business Improvement District (BID) has announced it is to cap the levy paid by its members as almost nine-in-ten businesses in the town are facing a higher business rates bill from April following a Government review.
The BID estimates 87% of businesses in the St Ives BID area will see their business rates rise following a national shake-up of rateable values set to take effect from April.
But the BID levy contribution will remain unchanged after BID board members agreed to help support local traders by keeping levy charges based on the previous rateable values set in 2010.
BID manager, Carl Lamb, said: “Higher rates increase the cost pressures for business locally so, while business rates are out of our control, we wanted to ensure the BID is doing to its bit to support businesses by continuing to offer all benefits of the BID that they value but at no additional cost.
“For the remaining life of the BID, the levy will continue to be based on the 2010 valuations – not the new 2017 rates – and the only exception will be for new properties after April 1 where the latest 2017 valuation will be the only one available.”
The decision by the BID has been welcomed by local businesses in the town.
Neil Whitham, owner of the Balancing Eel fish and chip shop, said: “I’m delighted that the BID has re-assured business owners in the town that the level of the BID levy, sat at the outset of the St Ives BID, will not be increasing in April despite increase in rateable values.”
Since being voted in by businesses in 2014, the St Ives BID have funded the New Year’s Eve fireworks, Christmas trees and lights, town centre planting scheme, pedestrian signage project, Food & Drink Festival, plus financial support for the new town destination website, St Ives in December, the St Ives September Festival, festoon lights and CCTV in the town.