San Diego’s Business Improvement District (BID) program is a precedent setting collaboration between the City of San Diego and San Diego’s small business community. For over 20 years, San Diego’s BID system has sponsored various activities designed to improve business conditions in San Diego’s older business districts. The seventeen local BID programs organize the City’s largest outdoor festivals, manage street banner programs, provide newsletters, websites and business directories, generate special marketing campaigns, manage public parking programs, drive redevelopment activities, organize security programs, supervise public right-of-way maintenance, manage public improvement and beautification projects, recruit new business starts, and sponsor various neighborhood activities such as farmers’ markets and restaurant walks. The dramatic turnaround of some of San Diego’s older commercial areas is a direct result of the BID system’s activities, advocacy, and ingenuity.
Twenty five percent of the City’s small business operators are located within the boundaries of one of the City’s BIDs. Merchants in these neighborhood shopping areas have chosen to assess themselves an annual fee to establish Business Improvement Districts that are authorized by state statute and local City Council policy. Each commercial district, comprised of hundreds of businesses, is in turn represented by a constituent-led, neighborhood chamber or Mainstreet organization incorporated as a nonprofit management corporation. Under contract with the city, these nonprofit management corporations are responsible for administering programs and activities to promote and revitalize San Diego’s original historic shopping districts.
In 1989, representatives from San Diego’s BIDs formed the Business Improvement District Council (BID Council) to serve as a collaborative resource for the neighborhood BIDs.
San Diego’s BID Council is the only municipal-wide coalition of individual business or property-based special district programs in the nation. Instead of having individual BIDs all work on similar projects, the BID Council could now more efficiently carry out those programs on a citywide scale. Since then, the BID Council has been providing a unified voice for San Diego small businesses and their communities. In addition, the BID Council provides additional or value-added activities designed to enhance the effectiveness of its member districts when city or system-wide initiatives or responses are judged to be the most appropriate course of action. Board meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month at a changing location. See the latest meeting information under Programs, Monthly Meetings.
The address is: BID Council, 1503 Garnet Avenue, San Diego 92109
Contact Info: Warren@bidcouncil.org