The Association of Convenience Stores has raised concerns about a new government scheme called Business Improvement Districts (BID) which is in its final stages in parliament.
The scheme gives businesses the opportunity to positively affect their local environment and improve footfall in their area through projects such as increased street cleaning or graffiti removal.
Businesses can vote on proposals, but once a scheme is voted for, all the businesses in an area will have to contribute to its cost.
An ACS spokesman said there was a worry about members having to pay whether or not they supported the proposal. “The best advice we can give is when the information comes through the door, don’t ignore it. If they do not vote, they cannot complain when a scheme is adopted.”
Jacquie Reilly, project director of the National BID Pilot Scheme, said safeguards had been introduced to allay the fears of small retailers who feared being railroaded into paying for a scheme they do not support. For any scheme to be confirmed, it had to have the support of a majority of businesses voting as well as the majority of the rateable value of the businesses voting.