Business Improvement District (BID)

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Business Improvement District (BIDs) are formed when local businesses join together to improve, promote and undertake projects that will result in a stronger and more competitive commercial main street or business district. Information and updates pertaining to the Bridgewater BIDs will be found on this page.

BID Frequently Asked Questions


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What is a BID?

It is when businesses in a district or similar location form an association to identify and work toward common goals which will help improve business opportunities for those in the BID area. Goals such as marketing, façade improvement, special events, training (customer service, marketing, creating reasons for attracting new customers to downtown) can be achieved when everyone works together. The list of what can be achieved is limited only by our imaginations. A BID has more opportunity to speak and negotiate on behalf of businesses in the BID area and has more opportunity to apply for funding for projects.

How is a BID formed?

Businesses and Property owners determine a proposed BID area. Businesses and Property owners within the proposed BID boundaries vote on whether or not to form a BID. Businesses and Property owners in the BID area will determine what percentage of Businesses and Property owners will constitute an acceptable vote for the BID. Businesses and property owners will agree to the voting procedure and will vote on the questions of whether to form a BID. If it is agreed to form a BID, all property owners and businesses within the BID boundary will be deemed to be a BID member. A BID association will be formed and registered under Joint Stock Companies and a Board of Directors with Executive positions will be established by the BID association from BID members.

What is happening regarding forming a BID for downtown Bridgewater?

The Bridgewater Development Association has established a Steering Committee to gather information about BID's and to help determine interest by property and business owners in forming a BID and to do the leg work involved in establishing a BID. Members on the BID Steering Committee are:

  • Joanne Faulkenham, Chair, Bridgewater Town Centre Corporation
  • Liz Carter, owner/manager, The Java Bead
  • Dan Hennessey, Manager, Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Ida Scott, Manager, Bridgewater Development Association
  • Claire-Louise Osmond, Marketing and Special Projects, Bridgewater Development Association
  • Amy Wamboldt, Strategic Initiative Coordinator, Town of Bridgewater
  • Nick Brown, Development Officer, Town of Bridgewater


What will it cost and who pays? Where does the money go?

The BID organization sets their goals and based upon goals, determine how much money is needed to operate the BID and reach goals. An annual Levy is set to generate the money needed for the BID. The levy is set based on the cost per $100 of assessed value of the property. Typically BID's have identified $0.30 to $0.35 per $100 of assessment. The Property owner pays the levy. Based on $0.30 per $100 of a property assessed at $100,000 the levy would be $300 per year. The levy is collected by the Town of Bridgewater and the money is then given to the BID and the BID determines how to spend the money. Based upon goals, the BID can change the levy amount each year when they prepare their business plan and determine how much money is needed to fulfil goals.

A BID also has the opportunity to apply for funding for projects such as business development training, façade improvement, event planning or other opportunities that present themselves.

BID areas have been known to increase the value of property and to attract businesses to vacant space because of the marketing and creation of an attractive BID district.

Setting up a BID organization.

Downtown Bridgewater businesses will determine the BID district. The Steering Committee has recommended the boundaries for a BID district based upon research and input from other BIDs in the HRM area, but the businesses in the district will have the final say. The BID organization will determine the By-Laws for the organization and will help draw up a Service Agreement. Other BIDs have provided copies of their By-Laws and Service Agreements which can be used as a guide. The Steering Committee will continue to work with businesses to set up the BID organization. The BID organization will name the BID. It will be a Business Improvement District run by businesses for businesses in the BID area.

Who will be members of the BID Board of Directors?

The Board of Directors will be business and property owners located in the BID area. Members of the BID will determine the structure for their BID, including the number of Board members. The members of the BID will vote for their Board and Directors, who will all have a vested interest in the Downtown Bridgewater BID.

What will a BID do for downtown Bridgewater?

A BID is limited only by the imagination of its members. The BID organization will identify their needs, and set their goals and objectives for meeting those needs. Working together creates ideas, strength and achievements. The Steering Committee is very optimistic of what this BID can accomplish and have explored many ideas of other BID to strive for.

The Steering Committee will continue to help the BID become established and will help the BID achieve its goals where possible.


Terms of Reverence - Business Improvement District (BID) Steering Committee


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The BID Steering Committee is an adhoc sub-committee of the Bridgewater Development Association's Marketing and Business Development Action Team.


In response to the recommendations within the Town of Bridgewater's Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan, the BID Steering committee will provide the leadership and undertake activities to promote, plan for, and implement a BID for downtown Bridgewater.


The objectives of the BID Steering committee are to:

  1. Educate and inspire

    The committee will develop educational resources and hold information sessions for all interested parties on the role and functioning of a BID. The committee will develop such materials and sessions in an effort to inspire downtown revitalization in Bridgewater and promote buy-in from the community.

  2. Establish proposed boundaries

    BID boundaries will be decided and based on the physical and/or historical characteristics of the downtown area. The committee will lead consultations with the property owners and business owners to confirm the adequacy of the BID boundaries.

  3. Establish a set of preliminary goals and objectives

    Through consultation with the business community and local residents, the committee will determine proposed goals and objectives of a potential BID. These goals and objectives will be used as a basis for discussion and budgeting and will be focused on providing the right mix of retail and services, physical improvements and economic development that will attract customers and improve community ambiance.

  4. Prepare preliminary budget proposals

    The committee will use input from consultations to prioritize goals and objectives to inform a preliminary budget for BID operation. The preliminary budget will also provide a rough guide to the levy that each business property owner would pay.

  5. Communicate the proposals to all interested parties

    Through various informational engagements, the opportunity for a BID and the proposed preliminary budget and suggested levy will be shared with stakeholders of the BID.

  6. Formalize a request to the municipality

    If there appears to be sufficient support and enthusiasm for the BID among proposed members, a formal request to the Town of Bridgewater for designating the proposed BID will be drafted by the committee. The request will be made in writing and include a final proposal with respect to boundaries, a proposed plan, and a preliminary budget. The requests will also indicate the level of support for the BID among potential members, along with details on how information was provided to potential members.

    Once a formal request has been made to Town Council, the committee will provide any input required in the drafting of documentation to establish the BID and associated levy.


The members of the committee shall ideally consist of a seven (7) voting members, as follows:

  1. Manager of the Bridgewater Development Association
  2. Manager of the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce
  3. President of Town Centre Corporation
  4. Two (2) landowners and/or business owners in Bridgewater's Downtown, who have demonstrated their support for downtown revitalization and business development
  5. Two (2) Town of Bridgewater staff representatives, including the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator and the Development Officer

There shall be no set term for committee membership.


The expectations of the individual members of the BID Steering committee are to:

  • Understand the strategic implications and outcomes of a BID for Downtown Bridgewater;
  • Appreciate the significance of the project for stakeholders and perhaps represent their interests;
  • Advocate for the creation of a downtown Bridgewater BID;
  • Be committed to, and actively involved in the work plan to establish a BID, which requires members to:
    1. Strive to attend all scheduled and special committee meetings;
    2. Prepare for meetings by reading agendas and any background information supplied;
    3. Actively participate in the discussion and decision making process;
    4. Undertake any work assigned, including special projects, participation on sub-committees, and research.


The committee may choose to allow for a consensus approach to discussion and decision-making, keeping in mind that questions of procedure and decorum shall be determined by the Chair.


Proposed agenda items should be submitted to the Chair previous to the meeting for consideration.

The Chair is responsible for meeting agenda content.

The Chair is responsible to designate a note taker to capture the business of the meeting.

The committee will be chaired by the Manager of the Bridgewater Development Association.

The Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce is providing administrative support for the committee and will continue to do so as resources are available.


Meetings will be held at the call of the Chair.


Business Improvement District (BID)


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Would you like to see a Business Improvement District in Bridgewater?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are formed when local businesses join together to improve, promote and undertake projects that will result in a stronger and more competitive commercial main street or business district.

How it all started:

In September 2011, a consultation was held to assess initial interest in a BID for Bridgewater.

The outcome was a keen interest in a new identity for Bridgewater, a request to change the slogan "The Main Street of the South Shore" to something more comtemporary and competitive starting with King St.

A new bold brand identity for Bridgewater would open the door to consistent marketing opportunities, a stronger business district and a foundation for leveraging in further investment.

Bridgewater is SMART. Bridgewater is GROWING. Bridgewater means BUSINESS. It all sounds good, but you want more, don't you?

Is the timing right for a BID?

The Town of Bridgewater has recently completed a master plan of Downtown Bridgewater.

An aspirational area-wide campaign titled WhyHere? has been launched for Lunenburg and Queens Counties. Visit:

The Bridgewater Development Association has extented Investor Relations to include Showcase Days of the town aimed at attracting investors, developers and new business owners to Bridgewater.

The timing could not be better!

How does it happen?

A committee of local businesses who wish to work collectively to improve the economic potential of the King St. area form the backbone of a BID.

A campaign to rally participation will be the fi rst step to success. A BID requires member businesses to contribute to a levy or area rate, which is returned to the BID for special projects, marketing, events and other programming needs.

A BID will enable cross-pollination of business ideas, business development and collective marketing opportunities, and most importantly, a platform from which to leverage in new partner, political and financial support.

The range of activities that BIDs undertake may include:

» Branding
» Marketing
» Website
» Business Newsletter
» Signage
» Iconic Wayfinding
» Streetscape Improvements
» Cleansing & Maintenance
» Safety Improvements
» Shopfront Improvements
» Seasonal & Special Events
» Business Recruitment
» Business Incubation Space
» Wi-Fi Business District
» Professional Development


Bridgewater Needs Survey

Property and business owners...
Would a BID help Bridgewater?
Let us know your thoughts!

Download the survey (PDF)
Completed forms can be returned to
the address indicated on the form,
or, call Ida Scott @ (902) 527-6278
to arrange for pickup.

BID Boundary Map

View Map (PDF)

How To Get Involved

The Bridgewater Development Association will help any local business get involved in making things happen.

Futher details and information can be obtained from:

Ida Scott, Manager

Bridgewater Development Association
373 King St/Bridgewater/Nova Scotia

Toll Free: 1 (877) 222.2303
Phone: (902) 527.6278
Fax: (902) 527.6279
E-mail: Click here