Looking back in time Helensville Community News August 2013 Issue

New Business Association Alliance Launches B.I.D Campaign

Helensville Business Association merged with Kumeu Coast and Country at its’ A.G.M last week, taking the first step in a campaign to form a Business Improvement District, stretching from Kaukapakapa to Riverhead along State Highway 16.

The new entity now called North West District Business Association, believes that in order to thrive, the businesses in Helensville, Kumeu, Waimauku, Riverhead and Kaukapakapa need to join forces in a Business Improvement District, or B.I.D, overseen by Auckland Council and funded by an annual levy on the businesses.

President of the Association, Matt Hampton says the levy would take the place of a business association membership fee, and as every business would contribute, there would be enough gathered to promote and market the districts’ assets in a way that has never been done before.

He says the B.I.D will only go ahead if the business owners want it however, and they will all get to vote on it in a ballot that will be held before March 2014.

Matt says that in a survey conducted last year, business owners were asked to provide feedback on what it was that the district lacked and how the Association could respond. Priorities were identified, and included marketing the area both locally, and globally, supporting businesses through economic development and support, improving the look and feel of our settlements and lobbying for improved accessibility across the region, including public transport and infrastructure.

“Business owners can have change if they want it,” says Matt. “Mainstreet upgrades, youth employment opportunities, better transport and communications and I believe this is the only way we can achieve it.”

Although there are many other B.I.Ds, with 46 in wider Auckland, they are all focused on single business areas like Orewa, for example.  Matt says the North West campaign is ground breaking, as it’s the first time in New Zealand that a B.I.D would join several settlements together, to promote a wider district.

Rodney Local Board member Brenda Steele confirms this and says “This is exciting and ground breaking for Auckland Council, as on size policy doesn’t fit Rural Auckland.  The potential collaboration within the Business Network is huge.  We have two business projects lined up behind the B.I.Ds process.  They are guaranteed to enhance and boost the new “North West District Association” and everyone involved, should the B.I.D.s be supported and approved.

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