Plan to Boost Miramar One Step Closer

20 November 2013

Miramar businesses and commercial property owners who are keen to work together to boost their local economy are celebrating a poll result which should allow them to establish a business improvement district and fund a new business association in their area.

A poll to gauge support for a new targeted rate to fund the business improvement district (BID) proposed by Enterprise Miramar Peninsula closed yesterday.

Forty-two percent of the 187 eligible voters took part in a poll and 53 percent of those supported the plan – a result that meets the criteria for approval under the Council’s Business Improvement District (BID) Policy. For a BID to be approved under the policy, at least 25 percent of those eligible to take part need to vote and a majority of those must be in favour.

Councillor Simon Marsh, the Council’s Small Medium Enterprise Portfolio Leader, says the poll result is great news and means a business improvement district in the Miramar area is one step closer.

“The Council has been assisting Enterprise Miramar Peninsula to get this one off the ground and is happy to support other business communities.”

Enterprise Miramar Peninsula now needs to organise an annual general meeting, agree to establish a business association and apply to the Council to establish a BID. Councillors are expected to make a final decision in early December.

Economy and Arts Committee Chair, Councillor Jo Coughlan, says helping local business communities to establish BIDs is part of the ‘open for business’ focus of the Council’s Economic Development Strategy.

“We want suburban centres to be vibrant and BIDs contribute to that,” she says. “They are good for local areas, the city and the economy. They empower local business communities to collectively achieve some great things.”

Enterprise Miramar Peninsula Chairman Allan Probert says the poll was the first and most significant hurdle and BID supporters were incredibly pleased that the turn-out and support were high enough to reach the threshold needed.

“Business operators who took part in the workshops and meetings we organised over the past few months are really excited at the prospect of turning shared ideas into reality and continuing to work with the Council to grow the local economy for the benefit of all,” he says.

A draft strategic plan to attract more customers to Miramar, strengthen links with central and local government and create a stronger local business network has been developed. Ideas being considered include creating a peninsula gateway in the Miramar cutting and a festival to celebrate the area’s creativity.

Business improvement districts are a way for local businesses to pool funds for projects and improvements that complement existing Council services. Commercial ratepayers in the designated area pay a special rate, which is then returned to that area’s business association to fund agreed objectives. These could include developing a website, carrying out special promotions to attract customers or helping to address other issues.

The Council can provide advice and also has grants funding available to help establish BIDs.

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.