Business Improvement Districts

What is a BID?

The idea of an organization devoted to serving a particular Business Improvement District (BID) is a very simple one: businesses in a defined area, typically a downtown or commercial main street, hold a vote and agree to create a special levy, which is added to their commercial taxes. This levy goes to a specific organization with a mandate to do marketing, events, advocacy, placemaking, networking, and undertake other projects of common interest. The very first BID in the world was created on Bloor Street, Toronto, in 1970. In the 50+ years since, hundreds of BIDs have formed in Canada, thousands in the United States and many more around the world.

How is DHBC Funded?

Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) was established through a vote of the businesses in the Downtown in 1987. Once created by vote, the levy is mandatory. It is charged to all commercial property owners, identified as a separate line item on their municipal tax bill (which consists of eight different rates). Landlords typically then charge this proportionately to their tenants. Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) collects the levy and remits it to DHBC.

DHBC is led by a Board of Directors, consisting of members who are elected to their positions at the annual general meeting each June. The Board creates an annual budget and sets the appropriate levy amount to fund it. This amount then needs to be approved by HRM Council, as part of their annual budget process.

DHBC always seeks to provide excellent value for members. Whether you are a large multi-tenant landlord paying tens of thousands of dollars, or a small business paying several hundred dollars, we are happy to meet with you to discuss the return on investment you are getting from your DHBC membership.