The clock is ticking but you still have time to vote for our 20-year-old 125thStreetBID, as the best Business Improvement District in Manhattan.
Here’s an informative interview with founder and executive director of the 125thStreetBID Barbara Askins:
What inspired you to create this website or entity?
Approaching the 20th anniversary of the 125th Street Business Improvement District, we took a closer look at what was achieved and what we should do next. As well as providing clean and safe services, the BID had been very successful in delivering marketing programs that promoted 125th Street to the neighborhood and the city. In addition, the BID had been instrumental in creating a strategic plan for the area and attracting new retailers to the district. These accomplishments were achieved by working closely with property owners and the various stakeholders within the community as well as the city administration. The 20th anniversary provided a wonderful opportunity to ensure that the businesses on 125th Street, as well as local attractions and cultural institutions, are able to benefit more by working together on marketing and promoting the area. The first step in the process of making this coordination a reality was a meeting that brought together the directors of marketing for some of the largest and smaller retailers and cultural institutions. A second meeting was held with a consultant who provided examples of coordinated marketing that could serve as a model for programs in Harlem. This was the birth of the BID’s Connect the Dots Strategy. We categorized our offerings and identified our audience – those who live, work, visit, and invest on 125th Street. We were struggling with creating a web site that could serve as the platform for our new strategy. Then along came the .nyc competition. The guidelines for creating a .nyc site were perfect for our Connect the Dots approach and we jumped on it. We created a site that showcased our business offerings, services and culture and we were selected to become one of the first .nyc sites in New York City. Over the years, we continued to grow the .nyc domain. We have added components that allow us to communicate on an ongoing basis with our audience. We developed an app that feeds content on events, podcasts with Harlem World Magazine, Harlem News and Harlem Real Estate News to our .nyc site. We partnered with an SEO firm that upgraded our site and improved our positioning on the web. We post alerts, register members, archive files, and provide information for investing and more. We currently average over 17,000 views monthly. We Love .NYC.
How does your website or entity represent or contribute to the local community or borough which you represent?
Our mission is to expand economic activity in the area; maximize the ability of local residents, businesses and institution to benefit from any and all opportunities; and to improve the quality of life in the community. Our website is designed to fulfill the mission by making it easier to connect and collaborate. www.125thstreet.nyc is the Connect the Dots network for the businesses, the community, government, and visitors on all things 125th Street in the Harlem community. Our targeted audience is those who LIVE, WORK, VISIT, and AND INVEST. Our content has a specific emphasis on providing information that creates or expands business development and job opportunities as well as enhances the visitor and residential experiences. We promote globally. Our site is linked to our own Harlem Happenings app and Social Media Platforms. Our website connects you to Social Media. Through Social Media (twitter, Facebook and Instagram) –we posted often and we repost our BID members posts and have an average viewership of 30,000 monthly, with 17,000 visits to our website monthly.The site is divided into 4 sections: About Us, Explore and Connect, BIZZNIFI, MembershipAbout US: The primary purpose is to educate our audience about who we are and what we do, build trust by being transparent about our operations and present opportunities. Explore and Connect: Guides the viewer on how to Travel in and around 125th Street and to help them learn and familiarize themselves with the area, business offerings and services, and community resources. Viewers can connect on the web site and Harlem Happenings app to events, news, shopping, dining, entertainment, education, culture, health, and what’s new. BIZZNIFI ™: Designed for our audience, those who invest, this area and serves the purpose of CONNECTING, CREATING, AND FEATURING” business services and solutions for growing 125th Street. It features Harlem Real Estate News, Business Incentives, Rezoning Rules and Regulations, Available Storefronts, Development Projects, Footfall Counts and Reports. Viewers can connect to this section on the website and the Harlem Happenings app. MembershipDesigned specifically for BID members. Here members can register their business, receive a code upon approval of the registration that allows them access to their page so they can update their content and offer promotions. It also allows access to a discussion board forum. Our .nyc site truly contributes to the local community and the borough which we represent.
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