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Make a bid for BIDS

Last updated 05:00 27/03/2014
NRN Business

VOTE NOW: North West District Business Association members, from left: Marilyn Dwyer, Danielle Hancock, Robynne Pringle, Brian Wallis and Bruce Cowan encourage landlords and business tenants to consider forming a Business Improvement District (BID).

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More jobs and a booming economy could be on their way to the norwest if a new partnership with the Auckland City Council gets off the ground.

Voting on the proposal closes on March 30 and landlords and business owners are being urged to make sure they have a say.

The plan is being pushed by the North West District Business Association which has applied to the council to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Riverhead, Kumeu, Huapai, Waimauku, Helensville, Parakai and Kaukapakapa.

A BID is funded through commercial property rates and is designed to improve business, boost marketing, enhance fundraising opportunities and help with promotion.

Auckland already has 46 BIDs in operation and new areas wanting to come on board need to have local support in order to qualify.

Landlords and business operators have been sent voting forms and 25 per cent need to be returned before the council will consider any application. Fifty-one per cent must be in favour of a BID if the scheme is to be introduced.

The association has been working on the project for three years and trying to muster support.

Its campaign closes this week and it will be three years before the area gets a chance to reapply.

Association chairman Bruce Cowan encourages everyone to make the most of the opportunity. Warkworth and Matakana has also lodged an interest and will be the next BID area considered when the north-west ballot closes.

Mr Cowan says businesses and landlords can't sit back and expect others to carry the vote for them. "If we don't vote now and Warkworth/Matakana becomes a successful BID area before us, it will make our efforts that much harder."

There will be a small increase to commercial property rates if the bid is successful.

"We know that some businesses are concerned about higher rates when we are already struggling, but the combined power of dedicated group marketing of the area is priceless," association member Danielle Hancock says.

"Businesses need to ask themselves if they could develop and roll out effective marketing campaigns across the year, petition Auckland Council for roading and services improvements and run a number of key promotional events, all for a few hundred dollars a year.

"We can't sit on the fence when it comes to business improvement."

The association is managed by volunteer business owners. But a new elected committee will employ a dedicated manager to do the work if the BID goes ahead. Council resources will also be made available to obtain grant funding from other sources.

Landlords or business tenants who have not received voting papers should contact Claire Siddens at Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.

Go to northwest business.co.nz or email secretary@northwest business.co.nz.

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THE NUMBERS

51% must be in favour if scheme is to be introduced

25% of forms need to be returned before the council will consider application   

46 BIDs in operation in Auckland

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