Spotlights on Value Capture Strategies in Practice (United States)

Business Improvement Districts, City of Long Beach, California

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The City of Long Beach, just south of Los Angeles, has one of the world's largest shipping ports and is the home of the Queen Mary luxury liner, now a hotel, and museum. Its more than 463,000 residents enjoy 11 miles of sandy beaches, waterfront venues, and activities like world-class kitesurfing. The City also features Southern California's largest aquarium, eclectic neighborhoods, and a dynamic arts district.

Financing Challenges and Indicative Solution

The City wanted to strengthen small businesses, create more jobs, retain existing ones, improve quality of life, and revitalize commercial corridors. To supplement standard City services and provide special programs and initiatives, the City created business improvement districts (BIDs). BIDs allow property and business owners to pool funds for agreed-upon improvements in their respective areas, making them more vibrant, clean, and safe.

Business Improvement Districts

While Long Beach BID services vary, they usually include business expansion, attraction, and retention; marketing and special events; placemaking and beautification; public safety; and hospitality. Each BID is managed by a BID Association that works with the City and community.

The City enters into agreements with BID Associations, which use assessment revenues to provide services and improvements in BID areas. Each BID Association has a board of directors that serves as an advisory board to the City Council, offering recommendations on programs and services, budgets, goals, policies, and staffing. Every year, the BID Associations submit an annual report to the City Council outlining their proposed annual assessment rates, programs and services, and budget for the upcoming year. Once approved by the City Council, each BID Association delivers their report to the BID.

BID programs and services are funded by a special assessment billed to merchants or property owners within each district. The methods used to determine assessments are unique to each BID. The City helps collect the special assessment, which is distributed directly to the BID Association that manages the BID. Collection methods vary based on the type of assessment district. The BID Association receives all revenues collected, which are used for the purposes described in each BID's management plan or annual report.

The City's BID Associations and respective BIDs are: Belmont Shore Business Association–Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Area (PBIA); Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association–Bixby Knolls PBIA; Downtown Long Beach Alliance–Downtown Long Beach PBIA, Downtown Long Beach PBID; Zaferia Business Alliance–Zaferia PBIA; Fourth Street Business Improvement Alliance–Fourth Street PBIA; Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau–Long Beach Tourism BIA Downtown, Long Beach Tourism BIA Airport; Magnolia Industrial Group–Magnolia Industrial Group Property Based Improvement District (PBID); Midtown Property and Business Owners Association–Midtown PBID; and Uptown Property and Community Association–Uptown PBID.

Each BID addresses the unique needs of its specific area. For instance, the Midtown BID, home to Cambodia Town and Long Beach's landmark of diversity, has 184 business owners and 14,000 residents from 37 countries. Its mission is to unite different cultures and help businesses succeed, plus make the community safer, cleaner, and better. Midtown BID promotes a spirit of togetherness by building awareness of the more than 100 events held in the BID community every year and making it possible for residents to experience the rich heritages around them.

From revitalizing business and entertainment areas to turning formerly neglected neighborhoods into desirable destinations, the City's BIDs play a vital role in improving quality of life–and driving growth and prosperity.


Long Beach Website - Business Improvement Districts
Midtown Business Improvement District - Welcome To Midtown Bid: Home Of Cambodia Town
Visit Long Beach - Homepage
World Population Review – Long Beach, California