Business Improvement Districts: a collaboration between cooperating entrepreneurs and the municipality of Amsterdam.
Business investment districts (bid’s) have been regulated in Dutch law since 2015.
A bid is a demarcated area such as a shopping street or a business park in which entrepreneurs and / or real estate owners invest together in the quality of their business environment. All entrepreneurs / real estate owners in the bid contribute to this.
The Municipality of Amsterdam has opted for a service-providing pro-active approach to help establish bid’s. Civil servants from the Tax and Economic Affairs departments are closely involved in this.
Research shows that the investments of these bid’s (65 bid’s by 2020, more than 3.5 million euros in revenue) have made the areas more attractive (offline and online), neater and safer for the public and entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the bid leads to a better organization of entrepreneurs. A bid is also a stronger discussion partner for the municipality and other parties involved. The bid represents the importance of the area and makes it possible to make more favorable agreements with external parties for a longer period of time.
The advantage for a bid compared to an “ordinary” business association is that it has certainty in income. Bid’s receive the full contribution from the municipality, the municipality invoices to the entrepreneurs and the municipality runs the debt collection risk.
In 2020 the municipality is making an extra effort to exchange bid's experiences via a central digital platform.

Resources needed

The municipality provides capacity in FTE for the BID team at Economic Affairs and Taxation (approximately 5 FTE).
The municipality makes a subsidy available for starting and restarting bid’s.

Evidence of success

In 2020, Amsterdam has 65 bid’s. Almost half of these started in 2015 and made a successful restart in 2020 (the term is a maximum of 5 years). The amount that these bid’s invest in their business environment is more than 3.5 million euros. The number of bids is still growing. More than 10 new areas have announced that they want to start a bid by 2021.

Difficulties encountered

The bid plan mainly focuses on short-term goals (extra cleaning, Christmas decorations, etc.) and pays little attention to long-term goals.
Too little cooperation between the bid and the municipality with regard to the development of a certain area.

Potential for learning or transfer

An active, facilitating role for the municipality. An experienced staff from different departments of the municipality to provide service to BID’s.

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Main institution
Municipality of Amsterdam
Start Date
January 2015
End Date


Hennie Loos Please login to contact the author.