SBS And Business Improvement District Celebrate Small Business Month

May 9, 2023

 As Small Business Month celebrations continue, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today declared “NYC Business Improvement District (BID) Day.”

It’s the first-ever day of community action to recognize the extraordinary impact of BIDs to our neighborhood’s character, cleanliness, and public safety. 

In neighborhoods across the five boroughs, BIDs will come together to showcase the contributions made by community organizations in the recovery of New York City. Through the full month of May, approximately 50 BIDs will host more than 75 events to support local small businesses and encourage New Yorkers to shop local. 

“NYC BID Day” comes as SBS releases a new report announcing that the City’s 76 BIDs invested more than $187 million in New York City neighborhoods during fiscal year (FY) 2022, supporting nearly 300 miles of commercial corridors and approximately 24,000 storefront businesses. 

The SBS FY22 Business Improvement District Trends Report highlights the collective impact of BIDs in each borough and showcases how BIDs support commercial and industrial districts across the five boroughs.

New York City has the nation’s largest network of BIDs. In FY22, BIDs: 

  • Collected 3.4 million trash bags, removed 440,000 instances of graffiti, and employed 739 sanitation workers. 
  • Devoted more than 580,000 hours to public safety programs, including 360,000 interactions with visitors 
  • Held more than 3,200 public events with total attendance of more than 30 million people 
  • Maintained 176 public spaces and installed 154 art installations to create vibrant, welcoming space for safe, outdoor activities. 

“Our Business Improvement Districts are invaluable partners, helping to keep our public spaces active, our streets clean, and commercial corridors bustling with businesses and customers,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development. “I’m proud to celebrate Small Business Month with our first ever ‘NYC BID Day,’ honoring their tireless work and impressive achievements.” 

“NYC Small Business Month is all about celebrating the small businesses that form the backbone of our City,” said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Unlocking the potential of New York City’s small businesses has been central to this Administration since Day One. This report highlights the central role BIDs have had in leading the recovery of our commercial corridors and neighborhoods. When we invest in BIDs we invest in our communities, which creates a stronger, more resilient City where small businesses can thrive.” 

“This administration has made historic steps to support and highlight our Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) which provide invaluable support, marketing, and public events for our shopping districts. Last year, I approached the Administration to request that they provide grants to smaller Business Improvement Districts. Mayor Adams listened and supported my recommendation to subsidize funding for the first time ever to our BIDs which has benefitted neighborhoods and bolstered local businesses. I thank Commissioner Kim for continuing to prioritize BIDs by creating NYC BID Day to highlight the contributions they provide to our commercial corridors,” said Council Member Julie Menin, Chair of the New York City Council’s Small Business Committee. 

“The NYC BID Association is proud to celebrate BID Day in partnership with the Department of Small Business Services. Our 76 BIDs are as diverse as the city itself and their staff work tirelessly every day to improve their communities. On a citywide basis our BIDs provide direct services to over 300 miles of commercial corridors including around 24,000 storefront businesses while investing more than $187M back into our communities annually. We are extremely grateful for the partnership of Mayor Adams and SBS as well as the property and business owners we serve. Thank you for this day of recognition,” said Robert J. Benfatto and David Estrada, Co-Chairs, NYC BID Association.  

New York City is back, and our resurgence has been fueled by the efforts and partnership of the City’s BIDs. BIDs are community-based organizations funded by a special assessment on properties in their districts. 

Since taking office in 2022, Mayor Adams and Small Business Services have made historic investments in New York City’s BIDs. SBS awarded more than $5 million in grants to BIDs and community-based organizations, infusing some of the City’s most underserved commercial corridors with the resources needed to encourage new growth and development. Additionally, Mayor Adams expanded the BID program with the creation of the West Village and Castle Hill BIDs, as well as the consolidated Jamaica Center BID. 

This report describes how BIDs continue to play a central role in New York City, from the darkest days of the pandemic to the bright days ahead: 

  • City Partnerships: BIDs worked closely with the City in FY22 to make NYC cleaner and safer. BIDs piloted Clean Curbs waste containerization, participated in the Commercial Corridor Recovery Task Force, and served on the “New” New York Panel. 
  • Public Space Innovations: BIDs manage public spaces including pedestrian plazas, Open Streets, and parks. Last year, BIDs planted trees, hosted cultural programming, installed public art, managed pop-up markets, and more. 
  • Small Business Support: BIDs help small businesses through financial and operational challenges. They connect merchants to each other, plan promotions to encourage local shopping, and throw events to bring new visitors to their corridors.  
  • Clean & Safe: Sanitation and public safety are the “bread and butter” of BID services. In FY22, BIDs implemented technology solutions to streamline their operations and achieved cost savings through collaboration. 

“Every day, BIDs across New York City celebrate and support the businesses that serve and employ New Yorkers. During this first-ever NYC BID Day, we are excited to partner with Small Businesses Services and Commissioner Kevin Kim to highlight the work of BIDs,” said Marie Boster, President, Fifth Avenue Association. “Our neighborhoods and communities are stronger because of BIDs and that is worth celebrating.” 

“The Long Island City Partnership and LIC BID join the NYC Department of Small Business Services in celebrating NYC BID Day today,” said Laura Rothrock, President of the LIC Partnership and Executive Director of the LIC BID. “We thank SBS for their partnership and support of the BIDs, who act as stewards of their neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. The LIC BID continues to provide robust services that support the neighborhood’s rapid growth, and we look forward to our ongoing BID expansion process in partnership with SBS and local stakeholders.” 

“Business Improvement Districts provide critical support to neighborhoods and connect New York’s diverse community of business owners to all of the robust programs provided by our City Agencies. While each BID’s assistance is tailored to the specific needs of its district, we all share one common goal—we’re here to help,” said Tim Laughlin, President, Lower East Side Partnership. 

“The authentic Italian culture found in the vibrant community of Bronx Little Italy has sustained a thriving business district for over a century. The Belmont BID is proud to preserve and advance the community by providing business support and advocacy, marketing and promotional initiatives, and supplemental public safety and sanitation services. We are proud to be a vital part of New York City and are thankful for our visitors and customers who continue to support our small businesses,” said Alyssa Tucker, Executive Director, Belmont BID. 

“The Times Square Alliance is thrilled to be one of 76 BIDS that passionately work to make New York City neighborhoods clean, safe, and vibrant,” said Tom Harris, President of the Times Square Alliance. “We take pride in our role as stewards of the crossroads of the world, and in our partnership with NYC agencies including NYC Department of Small Business Services as well as the Mayor’s Office and NYC Council to make New York City the best city in the world.” 

“Morris Park BID is honored to do our part celebrating NYC BID Day in the Bronx and thank SBS for its tremendous work to support commercial corridors. BIDs are small business advocates, cultural and arts promoters, neighborhoods thought leaders and planners – we thank Mayor Adams for acknowledging and celebrating our work for this resilient, vibrant and always thriving city,” said Camelia Tepelus, Executive Director, Morris Park BID. 

“The Grand Central Partnership is honored to join Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres- Springer and SBS Commissioner Kevin Kim in celebrating the visionary and effective work of BIDs throughout our city; and we are especially thrilled to host this special event in Pershing Square Plaza across from iconic Grand Central Terminal,” said Fred Cerullo, President and CEO of Grand Central Partnership. “For five decades, business improvement districts have enhanced the quality of life in commercial and business hubs throughout the city by providing full-time sanitation and public safety services, horticultural and infrastructure improvements. These investments in the communities we serve have spurred economic development and helped increase the value of commercial and residential properties and have also provided thousands of New Yorkers with full time employment and a better quality of life.”  

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of NYC. Without them, and the BIDs that nurture them, NYC would become Anywhere USA,” said Kelly Carroll, Executive Director, Atlantic Avenue BID. 

“The Flatiron NoMad Partnership is proud be a part of New York City’s dedicated network of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). Each day BIDs reliably show-up, serve, and champion the dynamic places and spaces that New Yorkers share and cherish. We join Mayor Adams and SBS Commissioner Kim in applauding our fellow BIDs for the community partnerships they facilitate, the local businesses and economies they support, and the action-oriented solutions they bring to the challenges and opportunities facing our city’s downtowns and main streets,” said James Mettham, President, Flatiron NoMad Partnership. 

“Our small businesses are the backbone of our neighborhood. Your support is critical to their success,” said Marie Torniali, Executive Director, Steinway Street BID. “Shop small!” – “New York City is referred to as the “Financial Capital of The World.” This is evidenced by being the home of the New York Stock Exchange, 2,700 publicly traded companies with a $27.1 trillion dollar capitalization. However, the economic engine, lifeblood and fabric of the country and city reside in our small businesses. A Wall Street Journal study found that post-COVID, all of the net job growth has been driven by companies with fewer than 250 employees. In New York, it is the mission of neighborhood Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to support these businesses and thereby help our communities thrive,” said William Wilkins, Executive Director, East Brooklyn BID. 

To view the full report and learn more about the local impact of BIDs, visit nyc.gov/bids

Business Improvement Districts 

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are community-based organizations that 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. 

SBS provides oversight and support to the City’s existing BIDs and to communities interested in creating new BIDs. SBS staff represent the Mayor on every BID’s Board of Directors and work to ensure good governance, contract compliance, and transparent operations for each organization. For more information, visit 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.


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