There is genuine irony surrounding business improvement districts (“BIDs”) today. On one hand, many leaders of municipalities and chambers of commerce are unaware of how they could be used, or assume BIDs are suited primarily to huge urban centers. On the other hand, the BID (or in Canada, BIA – business improvement area) is an elemental way of pooling revenue together for collective purposes, and a tool with great potential for communities small and large.
There are over 400 BIDs operating in the
Here are three reasons to love business improvement districts as an economic development tool:
1. Custom built. The boundaries, the basis for assessing the charges from participants, and how the district chooses to brand its downtown can be tailored to what face the civic and business leadership most wants to show the world.
2. Local priorities drive. Communities have used BIDs for a broad range of applications. New York City’s fifty-five BIDs have over twenty years channeled $830 million into capital improvements, sanitation, beautification, public safety and tourist programs. In
3. Suited to communities large and small. In addition to the metropolitan cases noted above, BIDs have been used to great effect by smaller towns, as well. Take the City of
Communities, planners and business leaders interested in exploring the benefits of a business improvement district can contact Jon Commers, principal at Donjek. We can assist in thinking through the process, running preliminary scenarios, and evaluating the use of BIDs to meet you goals.