FAQs

WHY WAS SDBD FORMED?

Concerned about the physical condition of the area and its adverse impact on local businesses, a group of local business owners and organizations formed this nonprofit organization to combat deterioration and promote economic revitalization.
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HOW IS SDBD ORGANIZED?

SDBD is formed as a not-for-profit corporation pending IRS 501(C)(3) designation.

WHO SERVES ON THE SDBD BOARD OF DIRECTORS?

The current directors were appointed by the City of San Diego Council to serve as the founding board. All board members are volunteers and serve a two-year term. SDBD will be holding its annual election in late 2013.
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HOW IS SDBD FUNDED?

SDBD was awarded a capacity building grant by LISC of San Diego, as well as sponsorships from local companies and organizations for specific projects. SDBD has been selected (pending IRS exempt designation) by the City of San Diego to manage the Diamond BID. BID is funded through special assessments paid by local businesses located within the BID boundaries. As a not-for-profit business organization, SDBD can also receive private donations and other public funds and grants.
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WHAT IS A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID)?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are a type of assessment district in which business owners choose to be assessed a fee, which is collected on their behalf by the City, for use in promoting and improving the business area. In California, BIDs date back to 1965 with the approval of Assembly Bill 103 – the “Parking and Business Improvement Area Law.” But most San Diego BIDs are formed under the “Parking and Business Improvement Area Law of 1989”.
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HOW CAN A BID BENEFIT MY BUSINESS DISTRICT?

A BID provides a business community with the resources to develop marketing campaigns and promotions, hold special events, increase awareness, advocate for the business community, seek additional funding, and potentially enhance City funded public improvement and beautification projects.
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HOW CAN INCREASED AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY HELP?

An organized business community can work more effectively to create positive change and increase support for businesses in the area. In San Diego, BIDs work closely with elected officials and city staff to voice collective concerns, monitor business regulations and identify funding or support for their business development projects.
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WHAT KINDS OF MARKETING ACTIVITIES DO BIDs UNDERTAKE?

The BIDs have developed a variety of successful marketing activities that generate business for the districts. These activities range from special events such as restaurant tours, block parties, weekly farmers markets and holiday festivals to developing public relations and marketing materials. BIDs use the Internet, develop coupon books, coordinate cooperative advertising campaigns and develop and distribute district brochures. BIDs also coordinate some of San Diego’s most popular, large-scale street festivals, including the Adams Avenue Street Fair, Gaslamp’s Mardi Gras and Hillcrest’s CityFest. BIDs also market the districts to potential businesses in an effort to reduce vacancies, provide a good mix of businesses and strengthen the BID. All of these activities help to further market the district to customers.
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DOES BID STATUS OPEN THE DOOR TO ADDITIONAL FUNDING?

BIDs currently receive additional funding through the Small Business Enhancement Program. Some BIDs also receive additional funding through other various City (grant) programs. BID assessments may be used to leverage funding for a variety of projects. While a BID pools its resources through assessment, the City of San Diego may be allocating additional dollars for similar business development and revitalization goals within BIDs.
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WHAT OTHER HELP DOES THE CITY PROVIDE TO BIDs?

The City of San Diego is committed to supporting BIDs because they are strengthening the small business community, creating new jobs, attracting new businesses, and revitalizing older commercial neighborhoods across the city. The City has a number of programs for individual businesses as well as commercial neighborhoods which are outlined in the City’s “Small Business Program Guide”.
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DOES THE CITY PROVIDE HELP TO INDIVIDUAL BUSINESSES WITHIN A BID?

Yes. In addition to SBEP funds and strategic assistance that BIDs receive directly, individual businesses may participate in the City’s Storefront Improvement Program, which provides small businesses with matching grants to assist in storefront renovation costs.
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HOW ARE BIDs ESTABLISHED?

Typically, a BID is initiated by local business owners petitioning the City to establish a BID on their behalf. If a mailed ballot of the businesses determines that a majority of responding businesses support the BID then the establishment request may be forwarded to the City Council. Once the City Council has approved a resolution of intention, a copy of the BID proposal and resolution is sent to all affected businesses. After the City Council conducts two public hearings it may approve the BID establishment by ordinance, provided written protests are not received from business owners who will represent 50 percent or more of the total assessments to be collected.
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HOW ARE ASSESSMENTS DETERMINED?

The formula for determining the assessment amount is determined by the business organization that initiates the BID process, not the City. The respective business group takes into account the type, size, and location of the businesses. Assessments are levied on businesses on the basis of relative benefit from the improvements and activities to be funded. In San Diego, these assessments generally range from $40 to $500 per business each year. A few of the newer BIDs have higher assessments, ranging from $90 to $1,200 per year, with some anchor businesses paying up to $5,000 to support BID-related projects.
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HOW ARE ASSESSMENTS USED?

The assessments help to fund BID board-approved business related activities and improvements which will benefit the businesses. Activities, programs and improvements range from farmers’ markets to business promotions to installing street lighting and removing graffiti. By pooling private resources, business owners in BIDs collectively pay for activities which they could not afford on an individual basis. Further, since a BID assessment not a tax, BIDs can consistently enact programs without relying on scarce public funding. BIDs are one of the most valuable and effective finance tools available to the small business community.
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HOW ARE THE ASSESSMENTS COLLECTED?

The City of San Diego collects the assessment on an annual basis. The BID assessment is included as a separate charge on the business tax certificate bill that every business receives. All assessment funds are returned to the BIDs through annual contract agreements. The City of San Diego does not charge BIDs for the City staff or administrative costs associated with this service.
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WHO OVERSEES BIDs AND HOW MANY ARE THERE?

The City of San Diego’s BID program, is administered by the City’s Office of Small Business. San Diego’s program dates back to 1970 with the creation of the Downtown Improvement Area, California’s first metropolitan downtown district. Since that time, the small business community and the City of San Diego have created 20 separate districts. More than 12,000 small businesses participate in these self-assessment districts, raising around $1.3 million annually.
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HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?

For more information, contact the City of San Diego’s Office of Small Business at (619) 236-6505.What is a Business Improvement District (BID)? BID is a City-designated geographic-based area where the business owners are assessed annually to fund activities and improvements to promote the business district. The City of San Diego supports BIDs as a tool for strengthening small business communities, creating new jobs, attracting new businesses, and revitalizing older commercial neighborhoods across the city. The City partners with business associations, representing the assessed business owners, to implement and administer the BID program.
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WHAT AREAS DOES THE DIAMOND BID COVER?

The Diamond business community area is within the 4th Council District with the following address ranges:

47th St. North
47th St. South
54th St.
61st St.
63rd St.
69th St.
Air Way
Akins Ave.
Churchward St.
Euclid Ave. North
Euclid Ave. South
Federal Blvd.
Gateway Center Ave.
Gateway Center Dr.
Gateway center Way
Imperial Ave.
Lisbon St.
Lockridge St.
Logan Ave.
Market St.
Naranja St.
Raven St.
Whitmore St.
100-1650
100-1000
1800-1962
400-500
400-500
500-700
4500-4800
5900-6700
5000-5150
100-1913
100-1000
4500-5300
3600-3800
700-800
600-1000
4400-6945
6900-7000
3900-4100
4600-5150
3900-5400
5000-5400
400-500
400-500

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

There are many ways you can support economic revitalization in your community. You can serve on one of our committees, help with day-to-day administrative duties, volunteer at a special event, and help with fund and friend raising campaigns, or just send us your ideas on how to best serve our community. No matter how you choose to get involved, we welcome and value your participation.
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