A Business Improvement District (BID) is an organisation made up of businesses which group together to improve the character of an area.
Reading has two of these organisations: the Central BID and the Abbey Central BID.
BID projects include organising public events such as Eat Reading food festival and the Carnival of the World, as well as the recruitment of town centre wardens who deter crime and anti-social behaviour.
Businesses within the BID area have to pay some of their rates which is invested into these projects and services.
According to financial projections, value generated from the BIDs represents a £1.5 million investment into the town centre each year.
The BIDs last for five-year periods.
But in order for them to continue, member businesses have to vote them into existence.
Ballot papers were dispatched to members on Tuesday, January 23, with the vote count taking place on Thursday, February 22.
Therefore, votes have to be undertaken before 5pm on that day.
The vote will be conducted entirely by post, with ballots being sent to the Independent Scrutineer, Civica Election Services, 33 Clarendon Road, London N8 0NW.
The BIDs have the support of Reading Borough Council.
The council’s policy committee unanimously voted to support the continuation of both BIDs in November last year.
The BIDs are managed by REDA, Reading’s Economy and Destination Agency.