Viva Fall River

What is a BID?

Aug 16, 2022 | Uncategorized

What is a Business Improvement District?

A BID is a legally defined geographical area where local stakeholders plan, oversee, and fund the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of their commercial district. chant associations because a BID offers a dedicated and sustainable revenue stream and the professional management of the activities of the district. Over 40 years of success proves BIDs work. Examples include Downtown Boston, Amherst, Springfield, Hyannis, Worcester, Hudson and Boston Greenway.


What can a BID do for Downtown Fall River?   

The goal of a BID is to improve a specific commercial area by attracting customers, clients, shoppers, and other businesses. 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. BIDs create vibrant, clean, and safe business districts that attract residents, customers, clients, shoppers and other businesses.

What does a BID cost?

Each BID creates its own unique fee structure in order to be self-sustaining. BID fees are often some percentage of a property’s assessed value, typically only a fraction of 1%. BIDs can also leverage other funding sources such as donations and grants by forming a non-profit.

How is a BID formed?

BIDs are created through a petition process that is supported by at least 60% of real property owners and at least 51% of the assessed value represented. In addition to the signatures, the petition includes a map of the district, plan of services, and fee structure. The petition is sent to the City Council for a public hearing and final vote. Once formed, participation by property owners is mandatory.

How long does a BID last?

BID property owners vote at least once every 5 years to reauthorize the BID for the subsequent 5 years. At any time, a BID can be dissolved with a petition of at least 50% of property owners and a final vote of the City Council.

BIDs can supplement the standard municipal services to enhance downtown for all who live, work, or play in the district.

Top 5 Benefits to Forming a BID in Fall River

  1. Stability Through Political Change: BIDs 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 they will transcend administrations.
  2. Proven Impact on Tenancy and Property Values: BIDs are a major driver in the rise of property values and sustaining tenancy within the district. For example, property values within the Hyannis BID have doubled since its formation in 1999. BIDs also help districts maintain their values and tenants during downturns in real estate cycles.
  3. Advocacy with a Unified Voice: Working together, property owners have a more powerful voice to influence action on issues impacting the district and the public policy process. For example, the Springfield BID worked with the city to purchase and install security cameras and lighting in targeted areas to improve public safety.
  4. A Stronger Position in the Regional Marketplace: 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. A great example is Bryant Park in New York City.
  5. Predictable Funding for Programs: 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.

What kind of services can we bring to OUR BID?

In coordination with municipal government, BIDs provide a wide range of supplemental services and assist in the continued economic development of the district. BIDs are tailored to meet the needs of the businesses within each District.

Typical downtown district services include:

  • Marketing and promotions
  • Retail
  • Business/housing development
  • Beautification/maintenance
  • Transportation/parking
  • Arts and cultural programming
  • Place-making
  • Advocacy/communications
  • Safety/hospitality

What’s Next?

Forming a BID requires a high level of consensus, political cooperation and property owner support to be successful. There are several phases to the effort:

  1. PHASE ONE – DETERMINE FEASIBILITY: Does it make sense? Is there political and private support of the concept?
  2. PHASE TWO – CREATION OF THE BID IMPROVEMENT PLAN: The Fall River BID steering committee has started to conduct outreach efforts to property owners and stakeholders, providing information on the BID concept and forming a steering committee to guide the petition process. The learnings will shape the formation of the BID Improvement Plan, which contains a detailed description of the proposed BID work program, including boundaries, operations plan, budget, fee structure, management, memorandum of agreement with the municipality and other required information.
  3. PHASE THREE – CONDUCT THE PETITION PROCESS: or spring/summer 2023 with a target launch of spring 2024.