Peninsula merchants eye business improvement district to maximize lure
by Patricia Walsh
May 16, 2012 | 1411 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
May 23 forum set to discuss pros and cons

The Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is inviting businesses in the Point Loma Village and Shelter Island community to participate in a discussion about the possibility of forming a business improvement district (BID) for the area.

The chamber is asking area business owners to share their input and ideas about the viability of a BID through a survey it mailed last week and again during the forum to be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 at the Bali Hai restaurant, 2230 Shelter Island Drive.

“We want to help Shelter Island become more of a destination,” said Matt Kalla, president of the Peninsula Chamber and owner of Matt Kalla Insurance Agency. “The idea is to promote commerce to get more people to come to Shelter Island and spend money. It’s clean, it’s got a lot of attractions from the fishing fleet to great restaurants, and crime is low.”

To facilitate the research and discussion of a BID, the Peninsula Chamber has retained Mike McLaughlin of TurpinMcLaughlin Communications, who has experience in creating BIDs in Mission Hills and Old Town.

“This is in the very beginning stages,” McLaughlin said. “The important thing for businesses to realize is there has been some discussion, but no decision about a BID. We are in the talking stages and the forum on May 23rd is designed to continue the conversation.”

The forum is expected to run about 90 minutes. Business owners will have the opportunity to discuss issues of importance and to turn in their surveys.

BIDs are a collaboration between the city and the small business community. The businesses assess themselves an annual fee, which the city collects and returns to the BID through a nonprofit organization. Currently, there are two successful BIDs in the Peninsula: one in Ocean Beach run by the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA) and one in the Midway District, managed by the North Bay Redevelopment Project Area Committee.

Throughout San Diego, there are 17 local BID programs that organize festivals, provide newsletters, websites and business directories, generate special marketing campaigns, manage public improvement and beautification projects, and sponsor various neighborhood activities like farmers markets and restaurant walks.

“Our motto is forward together, meaning businesses working together,” said Kalla, who is also a board member of the OBMA. “There’s some political gain we can get out of a BID. We will have a say as a business community. It will also give businesses a chance to work together and make decisions best suited to community.”

For more information on the proposed BID for Shelter Island/Point Loma Village, call the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce business forum hotline at (619) 295-5171.

For more information on the city’s Business Improvement District Council, visit www.bidcouncil.org.
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