Map of BID Boundaries
What is the Business Improvement District (BID)?
The Downtown Spokane BID is a unique financing mechanism that helps more than 850 business owners and 350 property parcels in the 80-block BID area to collectively pool resources to provide supplemental services and improvements that enhance - not replace - existing municipal services.
Authorized by Washington state law, the BID was established by downtown property and business owners with support of the City Council in 1995 and reauthorized in 2001.
The BID aids general economic development and neighborhood revitalization by focusing on key services its stakeholders (BID Ratepayers) have identified, including safety and security, cleanliness and maintenance, marketing and events, urban planning and beautification, and transportation.
Why does downtown need a BID?
Spokane joined more than 1,000 cities across the country when it created the Downtown Spokane BID. The BID provides a way for downtown business owners to pool financial resources to more effectively pay for enhanced services and programs to supplement the services that are provided by the City of Spokane. BID services and programs are unique and tailored to the needs of the district’s business and residential community and have broad-based support for its effectiveness. As Spokane continues to grow and evolve, the demands on BID services will also grow and change. It is important that the BID and the City continue to work together to learn from each other to improve BID services and management.
How is the BID funded?
The BID is a way for downtown to get needed services supplemental to what the City provides. When business and property owners pool their funds, the result is a strong organization with more impact than any single entity could have. The BID is funded primarily by Ratepayer assessments and private investment, including supplementary contracts, event sponsorships, grants, and other contributions.. By providing a stable funding source, the BID can invest in community priorities and services equitably for the benefit of all Ratepayers within the district.
How are BID assessments spent?
The BID supports economic vitality and neighborhood beautification to encourage livability, vitality, and community. BID programs focus on key areas making downtown Spokane a more desirable place for businesses, employees, residents, shoppers, and visitors. Similar to other BIDs across the country, BID programs focus on clean, safe, marketing & events, and business support.
- Clean: The Clean Team works 7-days-a-week to remove trash, leaves, graffiti, and weeds, provides common-area snow and ice removal, augments City services after large events, cleans and sterilizes railroad underpasses, and plants and maintains garden boxes and hanging baskets across the district.
- Safe: The Security Ambassadors provide security and hospitality services throughout BID daily. The program coordinates a collaborative network of private security with the police and provides valuable information and assistance to visitors and workers.
- Marketing & events: From amplifying downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment options to coordinating events like “First Friday” and holiday programming, marketing and events help to generate traffic for businesses and make downtown a vibrant and friendly destination for residents and visitors.
- Business support: From supporting ribbon cuttings to business access to resources and information, business support is economic development. Helping ground-floor and skywalk retailers thrive is critical to creating a vibrant downtown.
- Transportation: Parking validation (EasyPark) and satellite-parking programs like ShuttlePass are important parts of the “Park Spokane” programs managed by the BID to support finding and using downtown parking. The BID also provides advice and recommendations to support enhanced parking options, public transportation, micro-transit and road improvements.