History and Formation of The Central Business Association (CBA)
In 1960, the Central Business Association was formed by several downtown merchants with a primary goal to redevelop the downtown. The CBA became the liaison to the City of Mountain View and its merchants in creating a market niche and identity for the downtown. As the all volunteer organization became more successful, the CBA and City Council decided to create a Business Improvement District (BID). A Business Improvement District is a partnership between government and a private organization in which businesses in a defined area pay an additional tax in order to fund improvements within the district’s boundaries. This district was requested in order to generate funds to hire staff to work with the merchants to market and promote the downtown. In 1983, City Council approved the formation of the first Business Improvement District (BID No.1), which covers the 100-900 blocks of Castro Street, and one block over along Hope and Bryant Streets. In 1991 the CBA recognized its own successes which then lead to the need for additional funding. Once again, working with City Council, the second Business Improvement District (BID No.2) was created. This district covers the 100-300 blocks of Castro Street which is considered the “historical” section of downtown. State law requires that the BID funds from both districts be used for advertising, promotions, and special events or activities that promote the downtown. The revenues generated from both BID funds average $40,000 per year.
CBA Programs and Services
Today, the CBA is run by a 10-seat Board of Directors and an Executive Director. The Board meets on a monthly basis to discuss and make decisions on downtown issues. The Board seats are run on a one year commitment, and all downtown business owners are encouraged to participate. The CBA advocates for downtown improvements while building relationships with business owners, community groups, neighborhood associations and local government.