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In 2017 the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses (GFSB) commissioned a review of the main street in Gibraltar. In 2018 the Main Street Retail Review was completed and published. This review/document suggested that the GFSB look into establishing a Business Improvement District (BID) to effect positive change in the area to curve the inevitable.

The GFSB contacted Mo Aswat, Founder & Director of The Mosaic Partnership, an expert at High Streets Task Force/BID’s to advise and help get the BID up and running. Soon after Mo’s addition a Task Group of businesses in the area was formed.

Much work was needed with local legislation needing implementation to enable a BID and developing key documents to cover Government commitments, funding, billing and more. All this took time and with the added shock of the pandemic, the project timeline was stretched accordingly.

Extensive consultation was carried out to better understand the needs of businesses within the area and to gather ideas for improvements from local business owners and other stakeholders. This formed the basis of the 5-year BID Business Plan, which aims to improve the trading environment of our town centre. 

After months of work, the Business Improvement Districts Act 2021 was passed. HM Government of Gibraltar promised funding and showed the commitment to make it a reality. This meant the BID was ready to go to ballot.

In Sept 2021, all business owners within the area were given the opportunity to vote on the 5-year Business Plan during a month-long independent and confidential postal ballot. For the BID to come into effect, a majority ‘yes’ vote was required by both the number of businesses and floorspace. On Friday 1st October, the results were declared - businesses voted ‘Yes!’ and the green light was given to start Gibraltar’s first Business Improvement District. 

The BID was triggered, but there was still much to do to get set up. A company limited by guarantee (not-for-profit) was set up, premises were secured and the team began the staffing process required for a professionally managed place. A Project Head was appointed in May 2022 and the BID was officially launched in June 2022.

Since the launch, the team began the tireless work of developing projects set out in the 5-year Business Plan to achieve a return on investment for all BID levy paying businesses. The BID will be in place for 5 calendar years, at which point a new 5-year Business Plan will be developed and that plan will be taken to a vote where business owners, again, will have their say and decide whether or not the BID continues for a second term.

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