NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced the City’s 76 Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) invested nearly $167 million in New York City neighborhoods during fiscal year (FY) 2019, boosting over 93,000 businesses including the 125STBID in Harlem. The announcement is part of an annual report highlighting the significant impact of BIDs, including projects addressing challenges currently facing small businesses in NYC. More than $44 million of the BIDs’ investments were raised from external sources, including nearly $1 million in grants administered by SBS. BIDs are community-based organizations that organize local stakeholders to deliver supplemental district-wide services that revitalize neighborhoods and foster vibrant commercial corridors.
“BIDs create vibrant, clean, and safe districts that improve neighborhoods and commercial corridors by investing back into their communities,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “This report highlights the long-standing partnership between the City and BIDs, working together to build a stronger New York.”
This report highlights the collective impact of BIDs in each borough and showcases how BIDs support public spaces and industrial districts across New York City:
- Collected over 4 million trash bags, removed 180,000 instances of graffiti and employed over 700 sanitation workers
- Held over 5,000 public events with 13 million people attending
- Sponsored 137 public art installations, investing over $12 million in streetscaping
This report also highlights how BIDs partnered with the City to develop and launch projects to address local and citywide challenges this past year:
- Accessibility Education: Several BIDs and the City collaborated on a series of resources, including flyers and a website to further educate businesses about accessibility requirements and steps to take if served with a lawsuit.
- WorldPride NYC: Many BIDs made the international Pride celebration local by bringing it to their neighborhoods. The Bronx’s Third Avenue BID hosted the borough’s WorldPride Celebration, attracting over 75,000 visitors to the district. The BID led and sponsored 15 Pride events culminating in the Pride rally, march, and festival. The festival included 140 vendors, food, family games, and a stage featuring Deborah Cox, La Insuperable, NYC artists, and drag performers.
- Business Prep and Emergency Recovery: In July 2018, a steam pipe explosion disrupted life for 125 businesses in 49 buildings on 5th Avenue. Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership coordinated with City agencies, shared accurate information door-to-door and via social media, helped organize a community briefing, and launched a digital marketing campaign with NYC & Company called #FlatironOpenForBusiness.
The SBS FY19 Business Improvement District Trends Report also features comparative expenditure data and details sources of BID revenue.
To view the full report and learn more about the local impact of BIDs, visit nyc.gov/bids.
“BIDs are changemakers on their own, each combating neighborhood specific challenges, piloting new approaches, and creating healthy commercial districts, vibrant public spaces, and positive pedestrian experiences within neighborhoods across all five boroughs,” said Robert J Benfatto and Jennifer Tausig, Co-Chairs, New York City BID Association.
“BIDs play a vital role in developing and supporting New York’s small businesses and commercial corridors,” said Council Member Mark Gjonaj. “Through investments such as business development, marketing and providing well-maintained shopping environments, BIDs provide the on the ground leadership necessary to help ensure a thriving business sector and local economy.”
“I am happy to hear that the Department of Small Business Services has invested $167 Million dollars into communities across the City. We need to ensure that a large percentage of these investments are seen in areas that need it the most,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Historically, many immigrant and working class communities are the last to receive community investments and we must continue working to get them the resources they need. I will continue working alongside my colleagues and the Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop to ensure all communities receive the investments they deserve.”
“The Upper West Side is fortunate to have the Columbus Avenue and Lincoln Square BIDs. They are invaluable resources, not only for our local small businesses, but they also help to improve quality of life for our residents,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “My council district can attest to the importance of BIDS – to help with the everyday questions faced by all businesses, to assist in navigating unexpected circumstances, and to advocate for necessary support for our small business community.”
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) create vibrant, clean, and safe districts. BIDs deliver services and improvements above and beyond those typically provided by the City. These services can include street cleaning, public safety, marketing and events, capital improvements, beautification, and business development. BIDs help to brand their districts and market small businesses on their corridor. They facilitate networking among merchants, host community events, and advocate for improvements to the district. BIDs also serve as a liaison between local businesses and stakeholders and the City government. In doing so, BIDs provide a collective voice for the neighborhood and help inform City policy based on their unique local knowledge. BIDs are authorized by local law and primarily funded by a special assessment billed to property owners within a district.
Related: Listen to NYC SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop Talks Harlem Small Business on The Danny Tisdale Show.
SBS provides oversight and support to the City’s existing BIDs and to communities interested in creating new BIDs. For more information, visit nyc.gov/bids.
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, visit nyc.gov/sbs, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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