Great Cities Collaborative: Updates

Over the past few months, the Great Cities collaborative has been busy researching and reaching out.

It seems as though there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Special Service Districts (SSDs) and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) – there’s some confusion as to what is what, and what the differences are. Complicating the matters – some of these things vary from city to city and SSD to SSD. Dispelling the myths to create an accurate picture has been a big part of our research. We feel we’ve got a pretty good handle – and have some information about this posted to our F.A.Q. section. As we find out more, we’ll share that with you here.

We’ve been meeting and talking with other BIDs and SSDs, learning about their struggles and successes. How they’ve worked to overcome obstacles is going to be key for us moving forward. For example, we’ve yet to find a BID that has a snow removal service like the SSD on Central Avenue has. Does that mean it can’t be done? No – but we’ll be charting new territory as we find a way to sustain that valued service, if we move forward.

What we’ve been up to:

  • Speaking with other BIDS and SSDs and their struggles and successes.
  • Outreaching to other organizations in Minnesota that are also in the planning process.
  • Meeting with Carol Becker, who has been doing fantastic research with Business Improvement Districts nationally.
  • Outreaching to businesses and stakeholders in our areas.
  • Updating our three-year timeline according to the new information and concrete milestones.

Our next steps are:
(Pending approval of our 2nd year of research funding)

  • Meeting again with elected officials, city staff and with new city officials.
  • Laying out budgets – what will the actual numbers be and what would it cover?
  • Continuing to meet with businesses and stakeholders in our areas.
  • Drawing up ordinances.

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