The International Downtown Association (IDA) just released the U.S. BID Census. Commercial district management entities can use this information to compare their activities with their counterparts around the nation.

A few additional notable findings as they relate to typical BID budgets and programmatic priorities include:

  • Cleanliness and maintenance are a priority for most BIDs. According to the survey, three out of four BIDs provide litter and graffiti removal and more than half do rubbish collection and/or sidewalk washing, usually through contract.
  • Marketing and promotional activities are priorities for most BIDs. Common marketing programs are: advertising campaigns (86%); maps and area information (80%); holiday decorations (76%) and festivals (71%).
  • Security programs exist, but are not common BID activities. Relatively few BIDs have any form of security-related program. Of those that do, 25% provide uniformed “ambassadors”. However, 81 BIDs (40%) also offer “ambassadors” as a marketing and hospitality service.
  • When BID’s get into the business of retail leasing, they do so through marketing. Business recruitment and retention is done primarily through marketing (82%). Other related programs are: market research (62%); active recruiting (57%); and performance reporting (50%). About 30% of BIDs offer financial incentives to new or expanding businesses.
  • Funding capital improvements through debt service is uncommon. Only ten (10%) percent of BIDs reported funding debt service to pay for capital improvements.

The survey findings are available for purchase, but a short synopsis is available for free by clicking here.