SBID Leads Vibrant Business Climate in Superior
Another public/private organization dedicated to supporting businesses in Superior is the Superior Business Improvement District (SBID.) Created in 1989, the SBID represents property owners within its boundaries with the goal of “sustaining, promoting and enhancing a vibrant commercial district.”
A business improvement district (BID) is a defined area in a city where businesses are required to pay an additional tax (or levy) in order to fund projects within the district’s boundaries. BID’s are often funded primarily through the levy but can also draw on other public and private funding streams.
The SBID comprises 89 blocks and features over 300 businesses that serve the central business district of Superior. It is supported by a tax assessment to all property owners within its borders. The mission of the SBID is to represent property owners for the purpose of “sustaining, promoting, and enhancing a vibrant commercial district for the greater good of the community.”
Who Runs the SBID?
The Executive Director of SBID is Lindsey M. Jacobson, and she along with Administrative Assistant Jodi Rochon are responsible for representing, leading and assisting the property owners in the district. The board of directors is comprised of eleven business people from businesses within the SBID, with 51% of the members required to be commercial property owners or their representatives.
Current SBID board members are Dave Miller (Northwest Outlet), Aaron Dandrea (Vintage Italian Pizza), Johanna Kirk (Kirk Law Office), Thad Whitesel (TW Wood Designs), Karen Geegan (Jack’s Place/Capri Bar), Gigi Koenig (UW-Superior), Nick Korhonen (Korhonen Agency), Gary Banker (Citizen Representative and President), Donald Nummi Jr. (National Bank of Commerce), Brian Lammi (AMSOIL), and Katie Nummi-Perrault (Nummi Jewelers).
How The SBID Supports Development
Encourage • Develop • Promote are the three key words that the SBID lives by. With that goal in mind, the organization seeks to foster a “unique and quality investment in the district to make it a desired destination in which to conduct business, shop, dine and find entertainment.”
Additionally, the SBID has sponsored such events as free trolley rides during Superior Night of the Homegrown Music Festival, promoted Summerfest, and sponsored events supportive of downtown stores such as the BIDEarthDay that called attention to the antique, consignment and second-hand stores located within the SBID.
Additionally, through its website and Facebook page, the SBID acts as a clearinghouse of news and information about what is going on within the district. They are currently playing a role in informing the public about the progress and prospective disruptions caused during the Belknap Street construction.
No less than twenty-two Belknap Construction “Savings Zone” offers are currently listed on the SBID website. These are special promotions from SBID members to encourage residents to shop and dine in the district during ongoing construction. Follow THIS LINK to see all of these offers.
Advocacy By SBID
Business owners routinely experience both positive and negative results while doing business in any community. For this reason, SBID advocates to government and community organizations on behalf of SBID business stakeholders. The staff and board members are active members in the Superior community and are deeply involved in state and local issues, and keep its members advised on issues that affect the district.
When appropriate, the SBID speaks out at meetings of the Superior Common Council, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and during Superior Days at the State Capitol. Representing and educating the public about the needs and opportunities available within the district is a key component of what SBID has to offer.
Arts Activities In Our Downtown
The SBID has become an advocate for the arts in our downtown through development of both short and long-term art-based projects. The Superior Public Art Creating Community Environments – SPAC2ES was formed in early 2009 as a joint effort between local artists and the SBID with a mission of using art to revitalize Superior.
This group is active and engaged in planning and working with representatives from a broad section of the community including artists, cultural organizations, businesses, and city agencies. Projects to this end that have been undertaken so far include the painting of murals and exhibitions throughout downtown Superior.
During the Tower Avenue reconstruction a few years back, SPAC2ES initiated the Backdoor Project that led to the creation of numerous murals in the alleys of businesses on Tower Avenue. The goal was to beautify the back entrances of these businesses during a time when their front doors were inaccessible.
Another project of SPAC2ES is the Phantom Galleries Superior, which has turned the vacant storefronts and spaces on Tower Avenue into short term art galleries, with installations, events and performances. It serves to beautify otherwise empty windows while giving local artists an avenue in which to display their works.
Storefront Improvement Program
The SBID offers to programs designed to assist member businesses in improving their facades and signage. The SBID Matching Sign Grant that will match up to $1000 for the construction and installation of new signage on storefront within the district. A second program, the CDBG Matching Restoration Grant is a match of up to $8000 toward the overall cost of a project (façade, roof or exterior remodel).
In recent years, such grants have assisted replacing the roof on the Depot building on Oakes, and improving the storefronts of Superior Family Dentistry, Fields & Connolly Insurance, 7 West Taproom, and Sammy’s Pizza.
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Additionally, as advocates for the district, the Ms. Jacobson and her board are highly motivated to match appropriate businesses with vacant buildings or land within the district.
The Superior BID can be reached here:
SBID Works With These Community & Government Organizations:
Explore Superior Economic Development Series
Business Incubator Hatches Superior Opportunities, August 21st
Why Develop In Superior? – August 18th
Earth Rider Brewery Construction – August 16th
What’s Happening at The Cedar Lounge? – August 14th
Important Economic Development Concepts – August 8th
Video Tour of Empire Block, August 7th
Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, July 1st
Superior Business Improvement District, June 30th
The Development Association “Grows Biz!”, June 29th
City Planning & Economic Development, June 27th
Small Business Development Center, June 26th
How Development Happens in Superior, June 23rd
Youth Movement Changing Superior, June 22nd