Business Improvement Districts, or “BIDs” are defined commercial areas within which business owners pay a fee in order to fund improvements to the area that are not covered by municipal services. Since the 1970s, well-maintained BIDs have been catalysts for urban revitalization and sustained economic growth. Lawrenceville Corporation, a community development corporation that has been instrumental in revitalizing Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods through numerous programs and initiatives around commercial and residential development, is working to initiate a BID in Lawrenceville’s commercial district. For a reasonable fee, businesses will benefit from enhancements like beautification of sidewalks with planters, ongoing litter removal, lighting and decoration, and signs, as well as expanded marketing services and enhanced transportation infrastructure.
In order to implement the BID program, local laws require consensus among those business owners who operate within the district. Lawrenceville Corporation asked us to design materials that communicate how the Lawrenceville BID would work and the value it would bring to the neighborhood. They held an information session using this digital slideshow to explain aspects of their plans. We also provided banners and a printed informational brochure that business owners could take with them. Visualizing improvements to the neighborhood helped stakeholders understand the value a BID would bring to their business and to Lawrenceville as a whole. Using examples of other successful BIDs and outlining the plan in a simple, graphic format proved a powerful tool for garnering support.