Associate membership


Associate membership
The benefits of contributing to a BID

A Business Improvement District (BID) offers members a unique opportunity to make a difference to the trading environment, providing many benefits for local businesses and for other parts of the community.

The BID is established and run for the benefit of local businesses to improve the commercial conditions of the defined area. It is funded through a % levy on a property's rateable value (RV) and introduced via a ballot. The majority of eligible businesses (by number and rateable value) must vote in favour. If the ballot is successful, the BID term is usually five years during which time an agreed set of services are delivered towards the collective objectives of BID members (levy payers). (In Sheffield city centre properties with an RV of £40,000 or more are liable for a 1% annual BID levy.)

The existence of a BID provides a way for businesses to work together to address common issues and to deliver measurable benefits to the area. There are now over 320 BIDs operating in the UK.

The BID levy is not a charge for services. It is legal charge to support a step change in the city centre environment. However, our BID levy payers do benefit from specific activities, which are also available to Associate members.

Associate membership

Only those businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of £40,000 or more are liable for the BID levy in Sheffield city centre. However, city centre businesses below the RV threshold may join the BID as an Associate Member.

What we do

The BID Company runs the Sheffield city centre BID.

  • We work closely with the Local Authority, South Yorkshire Police and other public agencies to make sure the city centre is working as effectively as possible.

  • We work on behalf of our members and with partners to identify needs, make recommendations, offer support and develop action plans. We connect, advise and help members find solutions to day-to-day and longer-term business issues.

  • Working with partners, we look for better arrangements and offer guidance around issues such as street cleaning, counter terrorism, anti-social behaviour (including rough sleepers and street begging) and streetscapes.

  • We share city intelligence, offer business training and support Sheffield’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership which provides security intelligence, training and access to the city centre’s radio network.

  • We bring the right people to the table to resolve neighbourhood issues together and deliver targeted projects.

  • Members have access to daily operational support and are also allocated a member of our Welcome Team to support communication.

Business crime reduction

  • Our member venues are offered free security training on Crime Prevention, Conflict Management and Anti-terror and Major Incidents (Project Argus).

Environmental services

Graffiti management

  • Members can access support and advice for graffiti prevention and can request free graffiti removal if they are the tenants of commercial premises affected by graffiti vandalism.

Rapid response cleaning

  • We have a Clean Team on hand to clean up detritus from rough sleepers and late-night revellers, sharps and other hazardous waste affecting member properties or in the vicinity of member premises if trade is being affected or where you consider that customers and staff may be at risk.

Property maintenance

  • We have access to fully vetted and price-controlled tradespeople who are on call to fix your maintenance problems in a low-cost and efficient manner. Whatever the issue, whether its building repairs, plumbing, decorating or joinery you could save up to 20% on a whole range of trade services.

Business briefings and training

  • We are in a unique position at the heart of the city with a business network spanning all sectors. We ensure our members have the confidence to operate effectively in a constantly changing environment.

  • From the shop floor, front of house or back office through to the boardroom, we can provide the practical tools to address priorities and concerns. We can equip teams with the right knowledge, from the right agencies.

  • To ensure your business is resilient, we can provide BID members with best practice support covering:
    • Business crime reduction
    • Commercial waste management
    • Counter-terrorism awareness training
    • Rough-sleeping and homelessness guidance
    • Roof-top trespassing guidance (urban exploring)
    • First aid at work training
    • Defibrillator training
    • Fire marshal training
    • Workshops concerning city emergencies

Business promotion

  • We are committed to supporting business growth in the city centre. We can help showcase achievements or sing your praises across a network of 1000+ businesses here in the city centre and more than 20,000 businesses across the city.

  • We offer BID members on and offline promotional platforms (such as Alive After Five, our Experience Sheffield visitor guides and visitor welcome packs for major festivals). Plus, the opportunity to engage with our network of influential personal and executive assistants and office managers to showcase corporate hospitality, venues and business services.

  • Members can also partner with Sheffield BID events such as Dine Sheffield’s Restaurant Week, Style Sheffield’s Fashion Week, Brearley Bear’s Christmas Trail and Easter Hunt and our major annual visitor trail Sheffield Bricktropolis. These events attract thousands of potential customers and generate significant regional press coverage and in some cases, national and (on occasion) international exposure.

  • We aggregate social content and boost digital engagement on our consumer channel www.sheffieldcitycentre.com (which also includes a searchable directory of BID levy payers).

Welcome Team

  • Our Welcome Team ambassadors promote our member businesses, events and visitor attractions. When not greeting the public, the team keeps BID members informed about the activities of the BID and member opportunities.

Sheffield Gift Card

  • Retail and hospitality BID members can sign up free of charge to the Sheffield Gift Card which is now accepted as payment at over 90 local businesses. We offer corporate account facilities for BID members who wish to use the card as an employee incentive scheme. For an additional charge, cards can be corporately branded.

Outdoor promotional space discounts

  • For BID members wishing to run a local campaign using one of the city-centre outdoor spaces, we can negotiate a discounted rate with Sheffield City Council.

Business support and lobbying

  • We represent BID members at a range of city forums and take an active role in lobbying the local authority, transport operators, the police and other agencies. To assist BID members, we chair forums to resolve area-specific issues. We represent members at a range of other city committees attended by partners including Sheffield City Council, Marketing Sheffield, Business Sheffield, South Yorkshire Police, the Drug & Alcohol Community Team, the Sheffield Brand Partnership, Sheffield City Region and Transport for the North.

  • We actively engage with local councillors and MPs to discuss member issues or raise a direct concern.

City intelligence and insights

  • We have established relationships with members across all sectors, public agencies, services and decision makers across Sheffield. That makes us uniquely placed to share the intel that you need. By providing a snapshot of what is going on, we can help to direct operations, maximise marketing opportunities and support business resilience. We notify BID members of major road closures, roadworks, streetscape maintenance and major events, as well as sharing footfall data and trends.

  • We maintain a diverse city centre events calendar to help businesses prepare for seasonal peaks and busy times.

Volunteer opportunities

  • Through Sheffield BID, BID members can access a network of volunteer opportunities that support employee development and corporate social responsibility.

Corporate events

BID debates

  • We organise panel debates on the hot topics in Sheffield with leading academics and journalists.

BID tours

  • We arrange free guided tours taking in the old and the new, heritage and culture as well as the quirky and unique aspects of the city centre. BID members can request a free / bespoke tour for their investors, directors and/or employees.

Mindfulness activities

  • We arrange mindfulness walks to help support the mental health and wellbeing of city centre employees who work for member organisations.

Member dinners

  • Throughout the year, strategic networking opportunities are hosted by our Chair and Board Directors.

The PA Forum

  • We run a programme of events that promote the best of Sheffield’s hospitality as well as personal and business services to this influential group of people.

Venue showcase

  • We are happy to arrange a taster event (breakfast, lunchtime or evening) for the PA Forum at hospitality venues on request.

Venue match maker

  • We will happily negotiate a free corporate taster event for your employees, at a local venue of your choice.

Venue finder

  • Whether our BID members need free meeting rooms or to hire space for conferences, events and exhibitions, we can provide a comprehensive database of local venues.

Get involved

We welcome applications for Associate BID membership from those businesses whose properties fall below the £40,000 Rateable Value. Please email us for details.

We also welcome patronage from businesses who are not directly in the BID area but who see the value of our work and who want to contribute to a vibrant economy that supports the city centre. Please get in touch for details.