Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District Secures Five-Year Renewal, Paving the Way for Further Downtown Revitalization 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2023
Media Contact:
Lisa Malo, Marketing & Communications Manager       
Downtown Worcester BID                            

WORCESTER, MA The Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) announces the successful renewal of its mandate for another five years, commencing on July 1, 2024. This milestone marks a significant moment in the ongoing efforts to transform Downtown Worcester into a vibrant destination district. 

The Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District is a non-profit organization that represents the owners of more than 100 properties over approximately 78 acres of Downtown Worcester. The BID seeks to create a unique sense of place through enhanced investment and development, establishing and sustaining a vibrant, welcoming, and economically viable district for all. The BID is funded primarily by mandatory assessments paid by all participating property owners. 

All Business Improvement Districts in Massachusetts must be renewed every five years, giving eligible property owners within each District the opportunity to vote on whether to continue a BID’s operations for a period of another five years and fund operations that go right back into the District or to dissolve the BID.  

Julie Holstrom, Chair of the Downtown Worcester BID’s Board of Directors, presided over the special meeting held on Wednesday, September 27 at the historic Printers Building in Downtown Worcester, where participating Downtown Worcester BID property owners cast their votes to secure the BID's official renewal; 91% of voting property owners voted in favor of the motion to continue the BID’s operations for another five years.  

Holstrom emphasized the importance of this renewal, stating, "We have come a long way since a group of property owners started meeting about how to make Downtown Worcester a vibrant, thriving destination for all. We’re proud of the significant progress we’ve achieved together. We also know there is more work to be done. This vote in favor of the Downtown Worcester BID’s renewal is a vote of confidence in the work that has been done within our Downtown and a recognition of the important role our organization plays in our community.” 

Mayor Joseph Petty, District 2 City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, City Manager Eric Batista, as well as dozens of property owners, business owners, and representatives of community organizations and major institutions Downtown attended the meeting, many of whom spoke emphatically about the impact the Downtown Worcester BID has had and the importance of keeping the BID in place. 

City Manager Batista, who has been a vital partner in the BID's initiatives, expressed his strong support for the BID. "Since its inception, the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District has been a positive force in Downtown Worcester, where its impact is felt every single day. Downtown is cleaner, safer, and more vibrant today thanks to the BID’s efforts and the investment of the property owner members within the District,” Batista says. “The renewal of the Downtown Worcester BID is vital for our downtown, and I applaud the property owners and the entire BID team for their commitment. The City of Worcester is also committed to the ongoing Downtown revitalization, and we are proud to continue working hand-in-hand with the BID.”

Evelyn Darling, Executive Director of the Downtown Worcester BID, shared the organization's accomplishments and future plans during the meeting. She highlighted the BID's four major service areas, including cleaning, hospitality, and safety; beautification and cultural placemaking; advocacy and policy; and marketing and public relations. 

Darling also showcased the significant impact of the BID's efforts, from cleaner streets to enhanced lighting, storefront art installations, flowers, and successful public events. She emphasized the BID's ability to secure over $550,000 in grants, sponsorships, and assistance over the past three years, leveraging the organization’s non-profit status to maximize contributions. 

Looking ahead, Darling outlined the BID's future plans, which include expanding the Downtown Worcester Ambassador program, producing a quality of life amenities plan in partnership with the City of Worcester, and implementing various beautification projects. The BID also aims to enhance Downtown events to draw more people to Downtown Worcester. 

Darling said, “During our first five years, the BID has established programs and led initiatives that have helped fuel the momentum Downtown. Now, with these key programs solidly in place, we have an opportunity to ensure the success and growth of Downtown over the next five years and beyond. With significant planned development, more residential units, and new businesses opening over the next five years, this is an exciting time for our neighborhood.” 

In her closing remarks, Darling thanked supporters of the BID and expressed her gratitude to property owner members, the board, and staff, stating, "Your vote today in favor of the BID's renewal will allow us to continue our work together to make Downtown Worcester a better place to live, work, and visit. Your continued investment in our neighborhood is instrumental to realizing our shared vision for a true 18-hour destination district, right here in the heart of our city. It is a privilege for the Downtown Worcester BID to be a part of all the positive changes happening here, and we take our responsibility as stewards of the neighborhood to heart.” 

The renewal of the Downtown Worcester BID signifies a renewed commitment to the revitalization of Downtown Worcester, with the organization's efforts set to have a lasting impact on the city's future. 

For more information about the Downtown Worcester BID and its initiatives, please visit
Photos: Mike Hendrickson | (1) Downtown Worcester BID Executive Director Evelyn Darling; (2) Mayor Joseph Petty and Downtown Worcester BID Board Chair Julie Holstrom; (3) City Manager Eric Batista at the Downtown Worcester BID Renewal Meeting on Wednesday, September 27
About Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District
Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District is a nonprofit organization established in 2018 to sustain momentum in the heart of Downtown Worcester. The result of a comprehensive community-based effort, the organization represents the owners of more than 100 properties and seeks to create a unique sense of place through enhanced investment and development, establishing and sustaining a vibrant, welcoming, and economically viable district for all.