A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area within which businesses pay an additional tax or fee in order to fund improvements within the district’s boundaries. Grant funds acquired by the supportive Civic Governments for special programs and/or incentives such as tax abatements can be made available to assist businesses or to recruit new business. BIDs may go by other names, such as business improvement area (BIA), business revitalization zone (BRZ), community improvement district (CID), special services area (SSA), or special improvement district (SID).
The idea behind BIDS is simple, and growing across the province. Allocate funds from both the public and private sector to do things to improve a defined district in a community. With at least 4 BIDS in Saskatoon, 2 in Regina, 1 in Prince Albert and 1 in Yorkton and 1 more in Humboldt, the growth is continuing. Even small communities with as small a population are looking at BIDs to help create enduring government / business / Community Group partnerships that can continually improve their community.
Going back to the beginning it was the YBID who pushed to get the Liquor Store in the Downtown area. Because it was and is a destination point. This also led to the eventual development of the City Centre Park next door, A multi-year New Street Lights Initiative (which the YBID purchased and donated back to the city) park benches, garbage containers, sidewalk cleaners, the Old Mill Park, Sask Tel Pioneers Park on Betts, Gallagher Centre Seating Area – with much, much more to come.
The YBID and other Saskatchewan BIDS focus on getting things done by forming PARTNERSHIPS from within the community. Almost everything we have accomplished as a YBID, has a partner or multiple partners attached to it. That speaks well of our community.
Not just our YBID is doing this, but many other BIDs in Saskatchewan, and many others throughout the rest of North America are working towards the needs of their specific districts and communities. Some do sidewalk sales, some look after parking, many, like Yorkton BID focus on improvements to make their district a great place to have a business, to hold events, and to draw business and customers to them.
The YBID and BIDs in general have done a lot, but they can do more because their ideas come from their members, and members in BIDs are local people operating and owning local business. THAT is what makes Yorkton a great place to do business!