Over the years, we have seen many failed efforts to form Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) because potential rate payers don’t see or understand the connection between the assessment they are being asked to pay and a visible return on investment. In some states this concern has led to the inclusion of sunset clauses and/or renewal requirements as part of state enabling legislation to ensure that rate payers have an opportunity to weigh in from time to time on whether to continue or retire their BID. I am generally in favor of what I consider “good government” efforts – they help ensure that BIDs remain accountable to those footing the bill, because to be honest, there is nothing like renewal to motivate BIDs to demonstrate their impact over time.
Downtown Durham, NC
“Larry Tilley of the family-owned ACME Plumbing Co. on Foster Street…said he has seen dramatic improvements since his and other businesses hired their own security in the ’80s. The BID has been a great benefit for the area.”
Seth Gross owns three businesses downtown including Bull City Burger and Brewery, and touted the downtown ambassadors, saying “we love being the fabric of Durham, and a lot of that fabric is turquoise,” referring to the ambassadors’ blue shirts.
And resident and co-founder of Art of Cool Cicley Mitchell said “it would be difficult for Art of Cool Festival to deliver the same level of cleanliness and quality without the ambassadors.”