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Wight BID court orders issued to Isle of Wight businesses

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 10:12

MORE than 100 businesses on the Isle of Wight have been issued with court orders, calling for them to pay the controversial Wight BID levy.
Liability orders, demanding the businesses pay the tourism marketing levy, were issued by Isle of Wight magistrates yesterday (Monday) to 101 businesses.
Businesses who do not pay could face a visit from bailiffs.
But following yesterday’s magistrates’ court hearing, Visit Isle of Wight and the Isle of Wight Council gave businesses a chance to avoid £80 court costs by attending a three-hour presentation on March 16.
It will explain the benefits of the bid, why the statutory process was selected, and how to make the most of it, says the tourism organisation.
Ten per cent of the Island’s 1,012 tourism businesses have not paid, despite Isle of Wight Council and Visit Isle of Wight reminders.
The figure was much higher, but 129 bills were either paid or withdrawn on the day of the hearing.
Visit Isle of Wight said just over £371,000 had been collected and the money was being spent promoting the Isle of Wight between September 1 2016 and August 31 2017.
Only businesses described as tourism-related in their business rates demand have to pay, not the wider retail sector.
Visit Isle of Wight launched an appeals procedure in November and invited any prospective levy payer who disagreed with their inclusion in the scheme to submit a formal appeal which would be considered by the Wight BID’s revenue admin group.
As a result a small number of businesses were removed from the BID process.
The appeal criteria can be read here https://visitwightpro.com/wight-bid-appeals-process/
Visit IOW chief executive David Thornton said: "Our intention is not to make life harder for businesses struggling to keep going on the Isle of Wight, but to assist them to develop and grow their income from tourism.
"The BID plan lays out the strategy and many of the ways in which we hope to do that.
"This was voted for, by the industry, and it is our statutory obligation to carry this plan out for their benefit.
"I have heard that the Wight BID was a surprise to a few — despite the letters and publicity we sent out to all last year, and also that any request for funds can be seen as adding to their woes.
"But I also believe that the Wight BID fund will be put to good use to increase visitor numbers in the future and that with everyone’s support, advice and guidance this can be achieved within the five-year lifetime of the BID.
"I urge those who have paid to follow our work closely and participate in our campaigns so that they can capitalise on their investment."

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

 


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