NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today announced that 16 community-based development organizations (CBDOs) will be awarded a total of $800,000 in Business Improvement District (BID) Exploration and Formation grants.
The funding will be used to help CBDOs take critical steps to organize and plan BID formations in 17 commercial corridors around the city.
This first-of-its-kind BID development program fulfills Mayor Eric Adams’s commitment to invest in underserved commercial corridors and foster robust networks of small businesses around the five boroughs as outlined in Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery, released earlier this year.
“Business Improvement Districts have proven to be effective tools for New York City as we reinvigorate commercial corridors throughout the five boroughs,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This $800,000 in new funding will enhance our economic recovery, neighborhood by neighborhood, as well as continue to ensure that our city’s small businesses have the critical resources they need for an equitable comeback.”
“The Adams administration is laser-focused on making sure that small businesses in every corner of our city have the resources they need to thrive. By supporting the formation and development of new BIDs, we’re harnessing the potential of commercial corridors across the five boroughs to drive our city’s economic recovery,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development.
“SBS is proud to support the incredible work every single BID in New York City is doing to improve and maintain the city’s commercial corridors,” said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Vigorous and dynamic BIDs are a catalyst to creating flourishing small businesses and good jobs — and we are taking every step to ensure any community that wants to form a BID has the opportunity and resources to get started.”
“Investing in the creation of future business improvement districts is of paramount importance and will grow New York City’s economy. Our underserved commercial corridors are in need of the city’s support so I thank Commissioner Kevin D. Kim, the Department of Small Business Services, and Mayor Adams for these critical investments to support our small businesses across the five boroughs,” said Council Member Julie Menin, Chair of the City Council Small Business Committee.
BID Exploration Grants
SBS awarded a total of $200,000 in BID Exploration grants to nine organizations to work in 10 corridors. Each grant is up to $20,000 to support early-stage planning and organizing of a BID. Grantees will also work in a cohort-based model with technical assistance provided by SBS to undertake and complete a variety of BID formation pre- and early-stage planning tasks in preparation for a formal formation or expansion effort.
BID Exploration grantees include:
- Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Services (BACDYS) (East New York, Brooklyn, & Ozone Park, Queens)
- Bronx Chamber of Commerce (Mott Haven and Melrose, Bronx)
- Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) (Washington Heights, Manhattan)
- Northfield Community Local Development Corporation (Port Richmond, Staten Island)
- Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District (expansion) (Brownsville, Brooklyn)
- Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (Mariners Harbor, Staten Island)
- Third Avenue Business Improvement District (expansion) (Mott Haven and Melrose, Bronx)
- Two Bridges Neighborhood Council (Little Italy, Manhattan)
- West Brighton Community LDC – Staten Island Business Outreach Center (Port Richmond, Staten Island)
BID Formation Grants
SBS awarded a total of $600,000 in BID Formation grants to seven organizations. Each grant is up to $100,000 for the staffing, planning, and implementation of a current BID formation or expansion effort. These groups are already in the planning or outreach phases of the BID formation or expansion process.
BID Formation grantees include:
- Alliance for Coney Island (Coney Island, Brooklyn)
- Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (East New York, Brooklyn)
- Gowanus Canal Conservancy (Gowanus, Brooklyn)
- Long Island City Partnership (expansion) (Queensbridge, Queens)
- Rockaway East Merchants Association (Rockaway, Queens)
- Staten Island Chamber of Commerce (St. George, Tompkinsville & Stapleton, Staten Island)
- Uptown Grand Central (East Harlem, Manhattan)
“Retaining culture, preserving history, and sustaining families across generations, small businesses are far more than just an economic force. They are the backbone of every community, which means that the $800,000 awards across 16 CBDOs will fortify our hard-hit small businesses as well as the neighborhoods in which they service. We appreciate the Mayor and SBS for bringing critical resources to the mom-and-pop shops our residents frequent and rely on, and I’m hopeful that this is only the beginning as we seek opportunities to support and expand these corridors,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
“Business Improvement Districts provide vital services to our communities from supplementary sanitation, public safety services, streetscape improvements and so much more for our commercial corridors” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “Our BIDs collectively offer our mom-and-pop and family-owned establishments with the resources to thrive in today’s changing economy and are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. Today’s announcement will further ensure that businesses in neighborhoods like Mott Haven and Melrose, also benefit, and get the necessary support to stay operational. I want to thank the Mayor, the New York City Department of Small Business Services and everyone else involved in this important initiative and investment in our small business community.”
“Staten Island is a borough of small businesses. These grants will not only elevate the economic landscape of these neighborhoods but positively impact surrounding communities and their families. It is also important to recognize the efforts of several of the borough’s business organizations that provide the necessary resources for constituents they serve,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. “We want to commend Mayor Adams and SBS Commissioner Kim for allocating $800,000 across the five boroughs, but also recognizing the potential Staten Island has to be a hub of vitality for generations to come,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella.
“The funds being provided to expand or create BIDs throughout the South Bronx and East Harlem are essential in supporting minority-owned small businesses throughout New York City. The City’s commitment to the expansion of small businesses throughout New York City and correcting historical injustices will not only accelerate New York City’s economic recovery, it’ll also lay-out a path of economic prosperity for all New Yorkers,” said Deputy City Council Speaker Diana Ayala.
“Local businesses are the backbone of NYC’s economy and I am thrilled to see this Administration’s support for our local BIDs,” said Council Member Sandy Nurse. “With this funding, the emerging BIDs in my district will serve as resource hubs for our small businesses and support our diverse commercial corridors.”
“For years, the Bangladeshi community in New York has been shut out from vital support programs. Language barriers and cumbersome bureaucracy made forming viable business organizations nearly impossible, but no more,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif. “I’m so proud that the Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Services (BACDYS) is one of the recipients of a BID Exploration Grant. This funding will help support immigrant business owners and the Bangladeshi community as a whole in our City.”
“The Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) being a BID Exploration grantee is welcomed news for Uptown. We are so happy to see their work not only being recognized but supported through the funding that will be provided. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our city and the exploration of a BID in this section of Washington Heights will bring much-needed support and engagement to our valued commercial corridors. It takes a village, and CLOTH is an essential part of ours,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa.
“Commercial districts are vitally important to our communities and the economic recovery of New York City,” said Lisa Sorin, President of The Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “The Adams administration’s economic blueprint has charted a path forward which supports the economic growth of our City and promotes the community development of our neighborhoods. The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is grateful to pursue BID formation work in the Mott Haven area of the South Bronx with specific attention to the 138th Street corridor. This investment will go a long way in organizing businesses and property owners and more fully realize the potential of this important commercial corridor.”
“The Board and team at Third Avenue Business Improvement District are grateful to the Adams administration for its historic investment in commercial corridors,” said Michael Brady, CEO, Third Avenue Business Improvement District and Bruckner Boulevard Commercial Corridor. “The BID exploration grant will allow our organization to complete the expansion process of our district and serve nearly 185 additional South Bronx businesses in the areas of Melrose and Mott Haven, while expanding essential services vital to the neighborhood and economic development, and building on longstanding community partnerships.”
“The Alliance for Coney Island is pleased to be selected as a grantee for NYC’s Department for Small Business Services Business Improvement District (BID) Formation initiative. The formation of a Coney Island Business Improvement District will enhance the Alliance’s efforts to revitalize and build capacity as the community and commercial entities continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. A BID tasked specifically with the role of organizing the merchants, sustaining relationships with property owners and securing and maintaining the basic supplemental services and ancillary support that a commercial corridor needs to be a thriving economic engine, is crucial to the Coney Island business community, ” said Steve Cohen, Chair at Alliance for Coney Island.
“Northfield Community LDC of Staten Island is excited at the opportunity to explore, along with local stakeholders, the feasibility of a Business Improvement District for the Port Richmond Avenue commercial corridor. Supporting local businesses and helping them to thrive has long been a focus of our organization. Thank you, Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim for giving the business owners and residents of the Port Richmond community these resources. Northfield Community LDC wants to encourage the community to shop and dine on the Avenue,” said Kathleen Bielsa, Executive Director of Northfield Community LDC.
“The merchants on Fulton St. in Cypress Hills have a passionate commitment to improve their community. Throughout the pandemic, they met regularly to collect input from their peers and the whole community to craft a positive vision for the future. We commend the administration’s efforts to support this group of grassroots leaders as they drive the economic recovery of our neighborhood,” said Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation.
“The Long Island City Partnership is thrilled to be awarded this grant, as we have engaged with stakeholders outside of our BID boundaries who have expressed the need for BID services,” said Laura Rothrock, president of the Long Island City Partnership and executive director of the Long Island City BID. “We understand that the BID formation and expansion process is complex and requires many resources, so we thank the Mayor’s Office and SBS for their investment and continued partnership in supporting Long Island City’s economic recovery.”
“Gowanus Canal Conservancy is thrilled to receive a BID Formation Grant to support the organization and implementation of the future Gowanus Improvement District. Through years of neighborhood planning and community input, it is clear that a coordinated approach to managing existing and future waterfront esplanades, parks, streets, and other public spaces is necessary to ensure sustainable care, accessibility, and resiliency of a diverse public realm in Gowanus. The Gowanus Improvement District will allow all of the Gowanus’ stakeholders to support the neighborhood’s identity and reinforce a vibrant live-work neighborhood in the face of unprecedented change. We deeply appreciate the Mayor’s and City agencies’ commitment to proactively and equitably planning for the maintenance and programming of Gowanus’s public spaces for the good of the entire community. We thank our steering committee, the hundreds of people who took the time to answer our outreach survey and share their thoughts with us, and our advisors at Town Square for helping us to get this far,” said Andrea Parker, Gowanus Canal Conservancy.
“The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) is thrilled to receive funding that allows us to explore the potential for BID formation in the Mariners Harbor and Graniteville area,” said Gina Gutman, SIEDC’s Interim President. “We’ve found organized BIDs to be extremely important to the growth and success of commercial districts and look forward to reaching out to the business owners and merchants in this area to better understand their needs and interests in the opportunity.”
“The Mulberry Street Partnership, a BID for “Little Italy”, will be an investment not only for the economic revitalization of this historic corridor but also because it will support many family-owned small businesses. Most assuredly, a BID will add important support to property owners that invest so much without the need to eradicate neighborhood characteristics that define the historic community as “Little Italy”, preserving the iconic tenement structures, “said Victor J. Papa of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council Inc. “New York City is truly the center of the world with its rich colorful history, foods, and music, all stemming from unique immigrant experiences and customs. Supplementing such neighborhoods with BIDs is a great factor in sustaining a lively local economy while contributing to their maintenance and promotion of their commercial districts.”
“We have come to learn that Business Improvement Districts are an essential component of creating and maintaining a successful local economy. As the Manager of the Forest Avenue BID, the first on Staten Island, the West Brighton Community Local Development Corporation (WBCLDC) commits to continue providing support and innovative solutions to the businesses and residents in the Port Richmond area,” said Nina Flores, Executive Director, WBCLDC.
Learn more about the BID Formation and Expansion process at nyc.gov/bids.
The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
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, go to nyc.gov/sbs, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.