City of AVL Approves BID

The Impact and Approval of a Business Improvement District in Downtown Asheville

The Asheville City Council recently adopted a resolution to establish a Downtown Business Improvement District (BID). This decision aims to boost economic growth and enhance the vitality of local businesses by providing additional services such as enhanced cleaning, safety, and beautification.

Why a BID?

  1. Economic Growth: BIDs have proven effective in other cities, increasing business activity and attracting investment.
  2. Enhanced Services: The BID will provide services beyond those currently offered by the city, focusing on cleanliness, safety, and hospitality.
  3. Public Accountability: A BID Steering Committee, consisting of local businesses and residents, will ensure transparency and community involvement.
  4. Community Benefits: Improved public spaces and increased safety will create a more vibrant and welcoming downtown area.

Community Reaction and Future Prospects

The proposed BID has received mixed reactions from the community. Supporters believe that it will significantly improve the downtown area by providing much-needed services and enhancements. They argue that a clean and safe downtown is crucial for attracting visitors and boosting business activity. On the other hand, some business owners express concerns about the implementation and effectiveness of BID-funded initiatives, particularly regarding the handling of mental health crises among the unhoused population.

Despite these concerns, the overall sentiment among downtown stakeholders is positive, with many believing that a BID will lead to a more vibrant and thriving downtown Asheville.

Implementation

The BID will be funded by a property tax assessment, with a proposed annual budget of $1.25 million will be funded by a new property tax. The City will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a nonprofit management organization to administer the BID, ensuring effective service delivery and community oversight.

Expected Outcomes

  • Enhanced Safety: Increased presence of trained ambassadors to address safety and hospitality needs.
  • Improved Cleanliness: Regular cleaning and maintenance of public spaces.
  • Economic Boost: Attracting new businesses and supporting existing ones.

By fostering collaboration among businesses, providing enhanced services, and ensuring public accountability, the BID is poised to create a vibrant, inclusive, and thriving downtown environment. This initiative not only supports local businesses but also enriches the overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike. For more information, visit the Downtown Asheville BID FAQ page‚Äč.