Where do BID (Business Improvement District) funds go?
Downtown Oroville BID dollars are spent 60% on marketing and 40% on beautification. However, those funds alone don’t adequately address the expenses for needed downtown improvements and development. We supplement those funds through event ticket sales and grants. The volunteer-based Downtown Board of Directors have been hard at work applying for funds to complete needed projects downtown and elevate the downtown experience to draw customers into your stores.
We applied answer awared funds from the Arts Commission to expand live entertainment and performing arts at downtown events. We always get feedback that people enjoy seeing the musicians, ballerinas, and other performing art during the events. This grant will create a greater attraction and better, more unique experience downtown. The last grant we received from the arts commission funded the light poles’ repainting and the additions of banners and flowers on the poles.
Additionally, we applied and received funds from the SBF committee to revitalize Miners Alley. Miners Alley has been underutilized and at times neglected. We recently painted one side, which spurred property owner discussion about what COULD be done to make Miners Alley a unique and interesting space for events, art shows, make it useful to businesses along the Alley, and create activities to attract more people downtown. Our last SBF grant funded the downtown string lighting, new Light Pole Christmas garland wraps, and hire a coordinator for signature events.
Each of these grants takes approximately 20 hours of work from our volunteer board members just to complete the application. When funds are granted, there are additional requirements like grant reports and invoicing that will be required. It’s a lot of work and time we’re taking out of our own businesses. Still, we’re happy to advocate for our downtown in this way, and we’re all encouraged to have a Board with experience and dedication to meeting the unified goals and vision of our district. If you hear of grant funding or project ideas, we’re always open to hearing those; it takes ALL of us to bring about lasting change that we all want to see.