By: Brent Barnhart
on Wednesday, July 28, 2010
How to Join or Start a Business Improvement District in San Diego
The purpose of a business improvement district (BID) is to improve the presence of a business in a local area, all done at a fee determined on the participating business. In spirit, it’s not all that different from a Chamber of Commerce in the sense that the organization exists to promote businesses on a local level. The process of joining a BID or starting your own differs greatly from joining a local Chamber of Commerce
, however. The BID program in San Diego serves as the ideal example of a successful branch, serving at the largest in California and one of the liveliest in the country. Since the formation of the city’s first BID in 1970, San Diego small business growth has been a direct result over time. Now with 18 different districts and more on the way, over 11,000 businesses participate in San Diego’s programs which raise over a million dollars each year. The success of San Diego business improvement districts helps depict just how helpful such programs can be to you and why you should consider joining one.
The key benefits of joining a BID come in the promotion that a participating business receives. Marketing, lobbying, and funding are all available at your disposal. In addition to promoting oneself, there exists a strong mentality to support local and small business as a whole. This sort of promotion and organization and creates a sense of community among businesses and locals alike. San Diego’s BID works alongside local politicians and staff to help bring forth results concerning the development of businesses in the area. While joining the San Diego Chamber of Commerce is certainly a good idea for any business looking to thrive in the local market, joining a BID may just give you the extra push or exposure that can really make things take off.
How so? BIDs tend to have aggressive and effective marketing strategies to help really put businesses out in the open. Hosting various events, parties, and other gatherings serve are just a few common ways that BIDs help to physically expose a business to a community. For example, San Diego hosts some of the city’s largest events such as Gaslamp’s Mardi Gras and Hillcrest’s CityFest. Meanwhile, the exposure from a BID continues online, naturally, through advertising campaigns to help build a business and their brand. This mixture of marketing both offline and online helps a business truly cover their bases in regards to reaching the community. And where does the money come from? In San Diego, a variety of grant programs exist to help bring in funding, all in addition to what the city itself provides. San Diego’s BIDs get so much support from the city due to the program’s ability to boost awareness for small businesses, create jobs, and strengthen communities as a whole. The commitment and dedication of BIDs makes joining one of the best small business ideas
Considering forming your own BID? It’ll require quite a bit of research, work, and determination, but it certainly can be done. Generally there’s some petitioning done to the city in order to establish a proposal. Once the aforementioned proposal is written and laid out, the affected businesses are given a copy to review. If the consensus is positive and the businesses are generally on-board, the BID will go through the legal motions to be established.
For more information on BIDs and San Diego, click here