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2 Newport Beach business improvement districts lose $40,000 infusions from city

An inflated snowman stands behind Jack’s Rockin’ Toffee apart of the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk.
An inflatable snowman was part of a recent Corona del Mar Christmas Walk in the area’s commercial core. The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District participates in the annual event, which is put on by the CdM Chamber of Commerce.
(File Photo)

The business improvement districts that benefit the Corona del Mar area and restaurants around Newport Beach are going into the next fiscal year without their usual funding boosts from the city.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved intent to renew the two BIDs, but without the city’s annual $40,000 infusions, after broaching the topics of their structure and funding support at the council’s last meeting in May.

Both districts operate under a 1989 state law in which city councils establish BIDs but district members can dissolve them if a majority desires. A 1994 law on BID structures, which does not supersede the earlier law, establishes BIDs by member initiative. Newport council members were interested in the two districts shifting to the 1994 law and cutting the city’s subsidies.

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District submitted a revised budget this month with money cut out of its landscaping and streetscaping expenses. The Newport Beach Restaurant Assn. BID trimmed from advertising, meetings and event operations.

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Before the revisions, the Corona del Mar district had a budget of about $220,000 — $100,000 from assessments on area businesses, $40,000 from the city and the rest carried over from the previous year.

The restaurant district previously had a budget of about $270,000, similarly composed of city assistance, assessments and carryover, plus grant funding. The group’s revised budget cut out its $40,000 city infusion and a requested $9,000 city grant that hadn’t yet been allocated.

Business improvement districts aim to enhance the commercial climate for visitors and proprietors. In Corona del Mar, that can mean landscaping and decor, “shop local” campaigns and parking studies. For the restaurant group, it can include extensive marketing and promotions.

The council also agreed to appoint members Joy Brenner, Jeff Herdman and Mayor Diane Dixon to work with city staff to review the two BIDs’ structure and determine whether the organizations are “aligned with the City Council’s priorities.”

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UPDATES:

This article was originally published at 1:30 p.m. and was later updated with additional information.


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