Edmonds Chamber explains its connection to the Business Improvement District

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The following article was submitted by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce

Some questions have been raised about the relationship between the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and the proposed Business Improvement District, and we’d like a chance to clarify the Chamber’s role.

As many long-time residents are aware, there have been a fair number of collaborative projects over the years directed at attracting visitors to Edmonds. Each of these projects involved voluntary financial contributions by some, but not all, businesses located in the downtown area. When Business Improvements Districts are created, there is a requirement for a sustained financial commitment by all businesses in the designated district. This provides the BID with a reasonable annual budget that will allow for more confident planning and execution. BIDs have proven successful in many parts of the state and elsewhere throughout the country, both in visible physical appearance changes and increased foot traffic. We are optimistic Edmonds residents will see these changes once BID becomes official.

The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce is a front-row champion of BID and our staff provides some administrative support for the process. A well-established and fully functioning BID will contribute to the economic vitality of the city, matching precisely the mission of the chamber. While BID will be focused on a defined area in the downtown core, the chamber represents all parts of the city, and actually extending beyond, as a fair number of chamber members are located in Mukilteo, Lynnwood and other nearby cities.

The chamber’s role is to promote its members to draw attention to the many retail and service options available right here in Edmonds. Members and guests are connected through networking breakfasts and regular luncheons that include speakers, ribbon cuttings and other events. Workshops are held for existing businesses in the Business Education Series and for startups in the 425 Launch series. The chamber advocates for its members on selected issues where the interests of the business community are at stake.

The chamber is proud to be a significant supporter of this community by hosting important events such as the annual 4th of July Parade & Fireworks, the Taste of Edmonds, the Car Show, Halloween Night, the Christmas Tree Lighting, and an annual golf tournament. These events are funded by local businesses and donations from individuals and foundations.  The Downtown Edmonds Merchants Association – a part of the chamber – holds the popular Third Thursday Art Walks, sidewalk sales, the annual Fashion Show, and other events designed to attract visitors and serve our residents.

A BID will be funded by businesses within the BID district. The assessment is based on square footage of the business, with walk-in businesses (examples: Arista Wine Cellars, banks, coffee shops) paying a higher rate than businesses like dentists or lawyers. The assessment is self imposed by the owners of those businesses and is not a tax.

For more information, go to www.edmondsbid.org.

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