First, what exactly is a BID?

BID is short for Business Improvement District, and the D.C. BID Council is an association that manages the 10 Business Improvement Districts around the city. So, what do they do? Walking around Washington, D.C., especially northwest D.C., you'll notice a lot of branding of BIDs, from garbage cans, to flower gardens, to neighborhood banners. In essence, their mission is to make a neighborhood better -- to live in, work in, and visit.
The BID itself is a nonprofit organization, but it gets its funding from the membership dues and participation of local businesses in the neighborhood. Oftentimes, the local city government can’t address issues of cleanliness, safety, and business growth in all neighborhoods in a fast, efficient manner. That’s where the BID steps in. Local businesses contribute to the BID because if the neighborhood improves, so do the shops, restaurants, and offices.
“BIDs work closely with existing businesses to help them grow and thrive, and recruit new stores and restaurants to their areas. BIDs market their areas, organize community building events, provide homeless outreach services, and activate and beautify public space,” the BID Council's website states.
There are currently 10 BIDs in Washington, D.C., and a plan in the works to open more. Aside from offering the more serious, essential services, they also host a lot of events for Washingtonians. In the summer, there are outdoor movie screenings, neighborhood day festivals, and free concert series -- just to name a few! You can learn more about the role of the BIDs in Washington, D.C., here. There you will also find links to each individual BID, where you can learn more about what yours does specifically for your neighborhood. [caption id="attachment_10238" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]BID Courtesy of[/caption] What’s your favorite part of where you live? Tell us in the comments!

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