Archive for the Harbor Business Improvement District Category

Why Form a Business Improvement District?

Posted in Harbor Business Improvement District on August 3, 2010 by Eric Mercer

Cost-Effective Way to Tackle Common Issues and Respond to Specific Needs

“Through a collective effort, the BID can achieve dramatic results with programs like supplemental maintenance and marketing that no one business could cost effectively undertake alone.  For example, it is more cost effective and efficient contract with one vendor to provide landscaping services to the District and for each property owner to do so individually.”


“Programs can respond in specific issues: enhancing gateways or addressing maintenance issues like graffiti, cleanliness and alleys and high traffic pedestrian locations; improving streetscapes; or recruiting businesses.  Targeted marketing can promote residential, commercial and cultural opportunities to specific audiences.”

Stronger Position in the Regional Marketplace

“Creating and branding the location as a district destination, allows downtowns to competitively positioned themselves in the marketplace.  Using the same marketing and management principles used by malls, the BID maintains and promotes the district as a whole rather than the individual parts: as a destination where patrons can shop, dine, live and conduct business.  Some examples are Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont, the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and Bryant Park in New York City.”

Advocacy with a Unified Voice

“A BID provides individual [businesses and]  individual property owners with a strong collective voice on issues that impact the physical, residential and business environment in the district.  Working together, [businesses and] property owners have a more powerful voice to influence action on issues impacting the district and the public policy process.  With better public safety as its goal, the Springfield, Massachusetts BID work in partnership with the city to purchase and install security cameras in targeted areas.”

Predictable Funding

“The guaranteed revenue stream allows the BID Board of Directors and staff to maximize the resources available to the BID and ensure the continuity of services.”

Proven and Positive Impact on Tendency in Property Values

“Due to BID efforts, properties benefit from improved values and higher occupancy rates, but also maintain their values and tenants during downturns in real estate cycles.  Property values within the Hyannis BID have doubled since its formation in 1999.”

Stability amid Political Change

BID’s can insulate a district during times of political change or uncertainty by providing the continuity needed to maintain programs and projects that have been identified as priorities for the district and will transcend administrations.”

Recommended Reading:  for more information, please read this report on Business Improvement Districts, published by the State University of New York,


The Harbor Business Improvement District

Posted in Harbor Business Improvement District on July 20, 2010 by Eric Mercer

What is a Business Improvement District

A BID is a special assessment district in which the property owners vote to initiate, manage and finance supplemental services or enhancements above and beyond those municipal services already provided.  The assessment is loaded only on property within the district and expanded within the district for a range of services and/or programs included in the BID Improvement Plan, such as marketing, maintenance and public safety.  This stable, local management structure provides a sustainable funding source for the revitalization and long-term maintenance of city/town centers, neighborhood commercial districts and even industrial areas.  BID’s attract residents, customers, clients, shoppers and other businesses.

What Are the Common Things That BID’s Do

▸    Special Events
▸    Public Relations
▸    Collaborative Marketing
▸    Promotional Print Materials
▸    Websites
▸    Holiday Lighting and Decorations
▸    Historic Tourism

▸    Streetscape Plantings/Trees/Windowboxes and Hanging Baskets
▸    Maintenance of Grass and Planting Beds
▸    Watering

Capital Improvements
▸    Wayfaring Signs
▸    Streetscape/Pedestrian/Traffic Calming Design Improvements
▸    Lighting
▸    Trash Receptacles
▸    Public Art
▸    Alleyway Design

Business Development
▸    Market Analyses
▸    Business and Retail Recruitment
▸    Merchandising Incentives and Outreach

▸    Street and Sidewalk Cleaning
▸    Graffiti and Gum Removal
▸    Spring Cleanups

Public Safety
▸    Public Safety Officers
▸    Visitor Assistance–Guide Programs
▸    Public Safety Information Networks
▸    Solicitation Deterrence Programs

Community Services
▸    Homeless Programs
▸    Youth and Student Programs
▸    Fund Raising

▸    Housing Development Incentive Programs
▸    Residential Services

Economic Development
▸    Own, Lease, Choir, Manage Real Estate
▸    Historic Preservation
▸    Infrastructure Enhancements
▸    Facade Grant Programs

▸    Advocacy for Zoning
▸    Community Planning
Parking Facilities