FOR MORE INFORMATIONwww.smartbridgewater.ca/bid

Contact: Ida Scott - manager@smartbridgewater.ca phone 902 527 6278

BID Frequently Asked Questions

What is a BID (Business Improvement District)?

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. It is made up of a combination of both business and property owners. The group is part of a self-tax / levy that is used to fund special projects improving the area. A BID is supported with a by-law by the municipality, but driven by the business community. The focus of a BID is community improvement.

How is a BID formed?

Businesses and Property owners determine a proposed BID area and then they vote to see if the majority of business and property owners are in favor of a BID area. 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 will a BID do for downtown Bridgewater?

A BID is limited only by the imagination of its members. The BID is a collective voice of the merchants and business owners within the district. 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 successful in other BID's throughout the province.

"The creation of a BID provides Council with the business voice from the BID area. It provides the vehicle for effective and meaningful two- way communication that is so important to positive development in our community." - Mayor David Walker

Successful BID's have implemented the following items:

  • Shop local campaigns / group marketing campaigns
  • Collective voice on parking / snow removal / signage issues
  • Branding
  • Business newsletter / Professional Development
  • Streetscape improvements
  • Safety improvements / Façade improvements
  • Wi-fi business district

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.

Setting up a BID

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. 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 BID organization will name the BID. It will be a Business Improvement District run by businesses for businesses in the BID area.

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

The BID organization sets their goals and, determine how much money is needed to operate the BID and reach the 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 $0.40 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.

Who is on the Steering Committee?

  • Ida Scott, Bridgewater Development Association
  • Shawn Patterson, South Shore Breaker
  • Patrick Hirtle, Town of Bridgewater
  • Rob Keevill, River Pub
  • Kenneth Young – Town Center representative
  • Nick Brown, Town of Bridgewater
  • George Young, retired
  • Bernice Theriault, BDA Project Coordinator