Boost Your Area with a Business Improvement District

8 October 2013

We’re supporting the efforts of an enthusiastic group of Miramar business people who are working hard to establish a business improvement district in their area – and we’ll gladly help other groups take similar steps to boost their local economies.

Roxy Theatre.

A proposal designed to boost Miramar’s economy is helping to bring local business people together

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Business improvement districts (BIDs) are a great way for local businesses to pool funds for projects and improvements that complement existing Council services.

Enterprise Miramar Peninsula Allan Probert says ideas being considered following recent workshops include creating a peninsula gateway in the Miramar cutting and a festival to celebrate the area’s creativity.

“Businesses within the BID boundary have been excited by shared ideas and the opportunity to work with the Council to grow the local economy for the benefit of all,” he says.

The Council supports BIDs because they are good for the city and economy. We can provide advice and also have grants funding available to help establish them. To get one off the ground, you need to have sufficient buy-in from local businesses, agree on a plan to make your part of town more successful, set up a well-coordinated business group and be prepared to put some money in.

Phil Becker, the Council’s Business Relations Manager, says once a BID is approved, the Council collects a targeted rate from all commercial property owners in the area. The amount collected is then provided to the business association that has been set up to work on the area’s behalf, to fund agreed objectives.

“This might allow a district to develop a website, carry out special promotions to attract customers or help address other issues.”

BIDs are working well elsewhere in the country and locally at Marsden Village in Karori. The one proposed by Enterprise Miramar Peninsula is the first to be planned under the Council’s new BIDs policy. The group received Council funding and has employed a company called BusinessLAB to assist.

Information has been provided to the 117 businesses and 138 commercial property owners in the BID area.

Feedback is now being used to develop a draft strategic plan to attract more customers to Miramar, strengthen links with central and local government and create a stronger local business network.

Everyone affected will be invited to a public meeting at 6pm on Wednesday 6 November at The Roxy Cinema. The meeting is being run in conjunction with a Council-run postal poll on whether the BID should be established. Poll papers go out later this month and need to be back by Monday 11 November.

For the BID to happen, at least 25 percent of those eligible to take part need to vote and a majority of those must support the idea.

For more information, email phil.becker@wcc.govt.nz or phone 499 4444.