Benicia BID renewal
Do you love the tree lights on First Street in Benicia?
If the answer is “yes”, then we need to thank the First Street business owners.
In November 2012, businesses fronting First Street and its adjoining areas voted to form a special benefits assessment district in Benicia to help fund beautification and special projects downtown. This is known as the Benicia Business Improvement District or Benicia BID.
The BID is managed by the Downtown Benicia Alliance (DBA), which is a volunteer group of local businesses with common interests that advocate for downtown improvements. It’s an example of a productive public/private partnership with the city of Benicia. This joint venture has made First Street more appealing to residents and guests who live, work, shop and dine in the city.
Thanks to the support from the Downtown Benicia Alliance’s BID more than 76,000 decorative lights have been wrapped our trees on First Street, making the street and sidewalks safer and more inviting. But this tree lighting program is more than meets the eye. It’s also about economic development.
Since the lighting of the trees, First Street sales tax revenue has increased 23 percent, but downtown isn’t the only area benefiting. Solano Square, just across the street, has seen its revenue grow 18 percent.
Nevertheless, keeping the lights on on First Street is not assured.
The Benicia Business Improvement District is up for renewal at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
What the Downtown Benicia Alliance has done to keep First Street alive and vibrant, through its tree-light program, has been very beneficial for the people of Benicia. Its continued contributions are dependent on the downtown businesses signing a petition to renew the Benica BID for 10 more years.
More than 100 First Street businesses have supported the renewal of the Benicia BID with their signatures. This demonstrates they view the Benicia BID as an investment – an investment not only in their business but also in a more sustainable future for the downtown overall. Benicia very much appreciates their commitment to the downtown, and their leadership.
If the Benicia BID is renewed by the City Council next Tuesday, new lights will be installed in time for the holiday shopping and dining season. In addition, one third of the lights will be replaced each year thereafter to ensure the downtown streets are as bright as they can be at night.
For the supporters of the Business Improvement District, Benicia won’t forget that you helped to keep the lights on on First Street.