A healthy downtown is so very important to our city. Vibrant, safe and inclusive – it sets the tone for our region. We are the heart of the city and our collective “vibe” is important to the citizens and visitors who choose our city as a place to live, work and play. The year in front of us is exciting as begin to actualize an innovative and dynamic new vision. It’s creative and solidly welcoming to all. We are very excited to be working with business and property owners to extend our clean and safe programs south of the railroad tracks to the freeway. This is the gateway to our city’s core and it is the first impression of many visitors. Here are a few of the major goals set by your BID Board for 2021.

On December 31 the current contract held by the DSP with the City will expire. Throughout the year we will be working with our dynamic and engaged City Council to better define the vision for downtown and the ways in which the BID approaches those needs nimbly adjusting programming. In the first 25 years we’ve come a long way and the bright future will address different needs.

The 2021 budget focus will be on implementing efficient and impactful programs that continue to support business recovery and streamline the Clean Team and the Security Ambassador programs.

The Clean Team will expand sidewalk cleaning to improve pedestrian experiences in public spaces, including cleanliness and beautification of improved alleyways targeted to be activated this year as well as achieve permanent improvement of the conditions of our railroad viaducts, which serve as a bridge between the downtown core and south downtown.

BID leadership will dialogue with businesses, visitors and City partners to reevaluate the role and image of the Ambassador team to pivot back to a more hospitality focused ambassador role. Much of this is made possible with the addition of the downtown police precinct and the friendlier bike patrol officers.

Staff will promote a safe pedestrian and customer experience through the continuation of the CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) education and rebate program, offering you incentives for making improvements to your property or business that increases public safety and the friendliness of our heart.

We will expand on our strong partnerships with non-profits and service providers to increase access to services, housing and employment for people experiencing homelessness.

In 2021, the Ratepayer Advisory Board and Downtown Spokane Partnership Board approved the rollover of $95,000 in 2020 Board designated funds to assist in business recovery and implement expansion of cultural events in the downtown core.

Those funds will be used to launch a “safe return to work” campaign meant to encourage and support the safe return of employees so vital to the downtown economic ecosystem.

As employees return to the core, staff will evaluate the parking system to Increase long-term parking stock for residential and workforce population and encourage commute alternatives such as the STA “Shuttle Park” program.

The BID will reinvigorate efforts of the City Council’s Parking Advisory Committee, making recommendations to target a portion of parking meter revenue to investments in public infrastructure and amenities.

A major goal this year is to reimagine comprehensive and achievable activation and event programming for the purposes of driving downtown economic development, including expanding culturally diverse experiences and enhancing our residential quality of life.

Staff will seek to expand our community’s access to a variety of rich cultural experiences in downtown through a “new event grant” and activate alley spaces to expand on the downtown “vibe”, reduce nuisance activity and encourage community engagement and gathering

The BID will work with partners to foster relationships with, and identify specific strategies for assisting in the support and growth of culturally diverse businesses and events.

Most importantly, the BID will continue with and expand relevant business recovery tools and financial assistance to our business customers. Investment in marketing and programming initiatives will target inclusivity and accessibility for ALL individuals as well as seek to dispel negative perceptions of the downtown environment.