Rebellious businesses in Coventry have resisted paying an additional Business Improvement District (BID) levy after ‘technical delays’ have meant that many are yet to receive the various benefits and services promised to them.
According to today’s Coventry Telegraph, more than 600 of the 2,600 firms on 84 industrial estates in the city that are being forced to pay this extra tax (averaging at around £500!) have received court summonses this year for non-payment. Of these, 400 are now being faced with the bailiffs and even jail, all at a time of worrying recession for these smaller enterprises.
The BID company – the ironically named ‘Coventry Best for Business’ – has completely failed to provide these small businesses with the new WIFI and CCTV they were promised in return for the fee, and yet legislation leaves the City Council pretty impotent as they remain obliged to push forward with it’s collection.
The local authority is keen to see a reballot of all 2,600 of these companies on the BID’s future and seemingly refunds will be considered, but that doesn’t detract from what a stressful waste of time, money and effort (from both the public and private sectors!) this represents.