For Christchurch to be a great place to do business and to have communities that are great places to live, we need strong local economies with vibrant business areas.

The Christchurch Business Improvement District (BID) programme enables the Council to partner with Christchurch’s business sector to improve our local business environment and boost the city economy.

The Council has adopted a Business Improvement District policy that provides a framework within which local businesses can work together to establish and operate a Business Improvement District programme.

What BIDs do

A business association or an appropriate alternative entity is responsible for successfully operating a local BID programme and undertaking activities to support the objectives of that programme.

Community boards are also encouraged to be partners in any BID programme in their local community. The community board and the BID operator share an interest in the success of the local area and will share goals that include economic prosperity, community identity and pride.

A BID programme delivers benefits through local business investment, promotion and joint initiatives with the council and government agencies.

Each BID programme has strategic and business goals that it seeks to achieve through:

  • promotions, events and marketing campaigns
  • business support and enterprise
  • local economic development activities
  • skill and expertise development
  • crime prevention initiatives
  • networking and shared services
  • local improvement projects
  • advocacy to local and central government.

Business associations or alternative BID operators must be legal entities established under the Incorporated Societies Act and are independent from Christchurch City Council. 

How we can help

We will provide guidance, support and assistance to any business association or alternative entity looking to establish a BID programme. We will work with you through the process to assess whether a BID programme is right for your business community and if so, will support your organisation through the feasibility and establishment processes.

When you have your BID programme running we provide support, direction, monitoring and oversight on the governance of a BID programme.

If you think a BID programme might work for your business community, we would love to hear from you. Email and we can discuss how best to progress your assessment of a BID programme.

Contestable grant fund

The Council is introducing a contestable grant fund for business associations to apply to assist with progression towards BID programme establishment.

Business associations are likely to require seed funding to improve their administrative and communication functions to build membership and cohesion. Further on there are costs associated with processes such as communication, holding a ballot, incorporation, and systems to enable appropriate monitoring and reporting.

A budget of $50,000 per year is to be added from the 2016/17 year. Criteria for the fund and information on how to apply for a grant will be available from the Council website before the end of June 2017, with application able to be made from 1 July 2017.

BID policy

The Christchurch City Council BID Policy 2016 provides a framework within which local businesses can work together to establish and operate a Business Improvement District programme.

The BID policy has been structured to apply anywhere in the Christchurch City Council district and be able to be applied to any situation regardless of where in the district and for any size business community.

Establishing a new BID

Initiation of a process to establish a new BID programme must come from a business community.

The Council will not propose the establishment of a new BID but will work with a business community to decide whether a BID programme is appropriate and viable for that community and, if so, will work with the business community towards establishment of a BID programme.

Targeted rates for BIDs

Funding for a BID programme comes primarily from a targeted rate on all commercially rated properties located within an approved BID area. The targeted rate is based on the capital value of each property and / or a fixed charge per property. The way the rate is calculated is established during the establishment phase of the BID programme and is tailored to best meet the needs of the business community it is applied to.

All revenue collected through the targeted rate is provided to the BID operator as a grant. This provides a regular income to fund activities that support local economic development.

More information

Email for more information about the Christchurch BID programme.