A GROUP of Alloa business owners are campaigning for a change in the controversial Alloa First BID levy charge.

Traders within the town centre have been served their updated levy charges for the next year, which will see the BID tax rise by up to 30 per cent for the lowest rateable values.

Non domestic rates are in place for each non residential property,

As a result, a group of traders have come together to campaign for a change in the levy rate to ensure small businesses aren’t forced to close.

Daphne Hamilton, owner of the Wee Gallery on Candleriggs and former volunteer director with Alloa First, is part of a loose collection of businesses called Unfair Nae Mair to request the directors hold a alteration ballot.

Speaking to the Advertiser, she said: “I too was unaware of how much more expensive BID levies were in Alloa until I learned that my levy was going up by 30 per cent.

“Then I did my homework. But it was all too late, the council had already signed off on the 2023-2028 BID business plan.

“Over the next five years, the levy is going to take a lot of money out of the little businesses and some may have to close.

“Unfair Nae Mair is a loose association of small business owners in support of a BID with levy rates equivalent to other town centre BIDs across Scotland.

“We are optimistic that the directors of Alloa First will take advantage of the BID legislation to set things right.”

The levy hike was announced as part of the Alloa First BID 2023-2028 business plan, which was published earlier this year.

As reported by the Advertiser, businesses voted for the continuation of the BID over the next five years.

Unfair Nae Mair met with the directors of Alloa First to request a ballot to be established early next year.

Daphne added: “We took over our documents and showed them how heavily the businesses with the lowest rateable values have been levied.

“We’re the town centre BID with the highest rates in Scotland.”

The association proposes a bid rate of a maximum of 4% for each business, which in turn would raise £170,000 towards Alloa First.

Diane Brown, project manager for Alloa First, said: "Any decisions will be made by the current Board of Directors , we cannot say anything further at this time."