Should the BID continue to help fund the Strut?
The BID is cutting down on funding most events, their advertising budget has been cut and so has their budget for funding events. Manny Gonzalez, BID director, explained that the money for events should be "seed money," meaning money to help fund events, not to support them indefinitely.
In the past, before there was a BID, event committees would go to the city to ask for money, they would or would not receive the funding depending on their pitch. When the BIC and then the BID become an entity, all of a sudden, all funding for Grove events was shifted to them.
My thought was that the BID should be a last resort for funding events, in other words, the event committees should raise money for their events and then go to the BID for what I think is a handout, for the remainder of the funding, you know, to ask for what they are lacking. The way it is now, people go to the BID first and ask for funds and then they make up the difference of what the BID gave them.
I was told by some that the whole purpose of the BID is to fund events, that is what the BID is about. I was also told by others that that is not the case and that the funding needs to stop.
At the last BID meeting, it appears as if the days of funding the King Mango Strut may be over, but then again, probably not. H. Bredemeier of H&H Jewels, chair of the BID's marketing committee, called the Strut, "Brand Unique," for the Grove, yet he feels they need to fund themselves since they don't make any money. H. says that the BID is not seeing a return on the money they give to the Strut. He said it's not a "normal event" in that they are not "selling something." But neither are other events like the Mad Hatter Festival or Great Grove Bed Race or Gallery Walks, which the BID helps fund. The purpose of these events is to bring people, lots of people, to Coconut Grove, which the Strut does.
The Strut brings people and the people spend money in bars, restaurants and stores. You cannot deny that. That's what the Great Grove Bed Race and other events do, they bring hordes and the hordes spend money around the village. I would say that maybe then the merchants and restaurants should then fund the events, but they do, through the BID, to which they pay a special assessment tax.
So the bottom line is, should the BID continue to fund events? Not whether each individual event is selling a product to bring return on the BID's investment.
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