Helena Business Improvement District holds first meeting since DHI dissolved

Helena Fire Tower
Posted at 11:02 AM, Jan 10, 2024

HELENA — Helena’s Business Improvement District held its first meeting since Downtown Helena Inc. dissolved and members joined the BID.

“We're just bringing everybody together into one organization so that we can help downtown Helena as efficiently as possible,” says Executive Director Helena BID, John Dendy.

Tuesday’s meeting saw Helena BID members join various committees that will promote downtown economic vitality, design, and promotion, as well as help build the BID organization. Members of Downtown Helena Incorporated will be included in these committees, as well. Members of the public are encouraged to join these committees.

Additionally, Downtown Nuggets are no longer being sold, but can still currently be used at participating businesses.

“Yes, if you have Downtown Nuggets, please just come downtown and spend them. Merchants are still taking those, and we have money to reimburse the merchants for that. We did quit selling Nuggets because we're going to phase the program out. But nuggets are still spendable and still good tender in downtown Helena,” says Dendy.

In December, Downtown Helena Incorporated voted to dissolve as an organization. Members additionally voted to merge with the Helena Business Improvement District.

This all comes after DHI’s decision in October to suspend 2024 event operations, citing a lack of funding and community support. DHI organized events like Alive at Five, the Art Walk, and Little Tykes Trick or Treat.

Various organizations, groups, and individuals are encouraged to take over events. The BID is also planning to offer event grants for those who take over the events. For example, Omerta Arts has chosen to take over Helena’s annual art walks. Leah Cupino, Founder and Artist at Omerta Arts says that they hope to offer a winter, spring, and summer arts festival, as well as a fall art walk.

“It’s an event that a lot of the people, the artists we serve, kind of count on and really enjoy connecting with the community,” says Cupino.

For those who have input for the BID, they currently have a survey available for the public to share their thoughts.