About BID

The Business Improvement District (BID) was created in 1987 to assist downtown business owners and coordinate their marketing, promotion, property management, revitalization and retention program efforts. The BID assists with new business development initiatives, and gives property and business owners a role in directing the activities within the district that influence their investment and business environment.

View a map of the Downtown Oshkosh Business Improvement District.


In 1980, the Common Council adopted the Downtown Redevelopment Plan and Implementation Strategy. The plan recommended increasing organizational efforts between the public and private sectors, as well as establishing a voluntary special assessment district. A follow-up study expanded various elements of the previous plan and recommended the creation of a management vehicle and funding base to serve the downtown area. The management tool recommended was a Business Improvement District.

The Downtown Oshkosh Business Improvement District is an essential entity to the Central Business District of Oshkosh. Since its inception in 1987, the BID has retained its initial purpose of maintaining free parking in the downtown area, and proactively supporting revitalization efforts. Through the BID, property owners assess themselves to pay for activities that enhance and improve downtown Oshkosh, and that bring customers to the area.

Downtown Oshkosh continues to change as the mix of residential, commercial and professional customers fill the district. The BID welcomes these changes as opportunities to continue economic development in our central city.


On April 6, 1984, the state of Wisconsin passed a law (Act 184), which allows for the creation of Business Improvement Districts. The law authorizes cities, villages and towns to create one or more business improvement districts to allow businesses within those districts to develop, manage, maintain and promote their districts. It also provides for the establishment of a method to assess themselves to fund the activities. A BID must be a geographic area within a municipality consisting of contiguous parcels that are subject to real estate taxes.

The formation of a BID allows downtown business people, property owners, merchants, city officials and others to work together to determine what needs to be done to upgrade and strengthen the downtown, and to pay the cost of those efforts in whole or in part.

A BID is the best available method for business people to organize, coordinate marketing and promotion efforts, provide management and maintenance programs, and encourage business development. It affords property owners and business people a viable role in directing those affairs within the district. It also ensures that all beneficiaries of district programs participate in the funding of the programs.

The Downtown Oshkosh BID has established allocations for the 2024 Operating Plan for each program category after reviewing previously supported activities and soliciting proposals for events. Please click here to view this year’s Operating Plan.

BID board meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at 8 a.m. at City Hall Room 404. To view agendas and minutes please click here.