City of Racine Business Improvement Districts and Associations

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Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

Business Improvement Districts are established to perform duties such as marketing, event management, improving and monitoring safety, and maintaining public spaces within particular areas, where the commercial and industrial property owners pay special assessments to fund these services. Racine has three BIDs and one Business Association that work to promote and strengthen specific areas of the City. These organizations also offer incentives for business development such as design services, signage grants, business rental assistance programs, and landscaping/lighting grant opportunities. Each organization offers different incentives, so contact the appropriate organization to find out what services they may be able to offer to your business.

Learn More About BIDs In Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin Extension Local Government Center has a website dedicated to information about the history, operation and location of BIDs throughout Wisconsin.

Downtown Improvement District 

The Downtown Business Improvement District #1 was formed in 2002. The BID is managed by the Downtown Racine Corporation. BID funds have been used to provide the following Downtown amenities:

  • Public Service Ambassadors (PSA) who are walking concierges offering guidance, resources, security and goodwill to Downtown residents, workers and visitors
  • Added security on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Sidewalk and curb cleaning
  • Downtown holiday lights and wreaths
  • District marketing
  • Downtown sidewalk plantings, hanging baskets and street banners

Uptown Improvement District

The Uptown Business Improvement District was created in 2007 for the purpose of redeveloping Uptown. The BID, managed by Neighborhood Management Solutions, runs along the Washington Avenue corridor bounded loosely by Tenth Street on the north, Sixteenth Street on the south, Racine Street on the east and Valley Drive on the west.

The Uptown BID has a Design Services Grant enabling property owners engage professionals to design façade improvements, with up to $3,000 in assistance provided. They also offer a $1,000 Signage grant for the rehabilitation, repair or replacement of signs. For new businesses they offer Rent Assistance Grants and Business Development Grants to help offset up-start costs.

Douglas Improvement District

The Douglas Avenue Business Improvement District was formed in 2008 and is managed by Neighborhood Management Solutions. The BID District includes all of Douglas Avenue between State Street on the south and 3 Mile Road on the north; the railroad tracks to the west and it extends for one block east of Douglas Avenue. The Douglas Avenue BID offers four grant programs: “Adopt A Pot,” Design Services, Landscaping and Lighting.

West Racine Business Association

Conveniently located along Washington Avenue and West Boulevard in Racine, Wisconsin, West Racine has a long history of being a major player in Racine’s history. It began as a rural area, predominately a woodland landscape, dotted with small homesteads until about 100 years ago. Washington Avenue was a plank road (wooden toll road) linking Racine to Rochester and then proceeded onto Janesville.

In the beginning, West Racine had a large Danish community and grew into a prosperous neighborhood. Many local businesses were established in West Racine including barber shops, meat markets, grocery stores, drug stores and the Danish bakeries that created our famous “Kringle,” now established as our state’s official pastry.