"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Five years ago, we reorganized our Department of Small Business Services to help make City government more responsive to the neighborhood businesses that form the backbone of our communities. That meant connecting our job training programs directly to local businesses – and we now place more than 16,000 New Yorkers a year in jobs. It meant creating Business Express– an online, one-stop shop for businesses needing technical or financial assistance.
"This has made it much easier for small businesses to work with the City and to qualify for tax credits and other benefits. And it meant strengthening neighborhood main streets by expanding Business Improvement Districts – which can now be found in all five boroughs.
"Business Improvement Districts – or BIDs as we call them – are organizations made up of property owners and commercial tenants. They band together to fund additional services – like street cleaning and security – that make neighborhoods more attractive places for customers to shop and businesses to invest.
"Right now, there are 56 Businesses Improvement Districts throughout the city – more than any other city in the country – and they provide about $83 million in services each year. Over the past five years, we have sponsored 12 of those BIDs – including the first BID on Staten Island – and we are currently working to help establish new BIDs in areas like Sunnyside, Queens, and Belmont, in the Bronx.
"Our Administration has long believed in the power of Business Improvement Districts to spur investment, foster economic growth, and re-energize neighborhoods. And the economic benefits of many BIDs were confirmed in a report by NYU published just last week.
"But the benefits of BIDs aren't just economic. They also improve the quality for all residents and visitors, and they give local retailers the opportunity to shape their business communities and strengthen neighborhood character. For example, the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District in Brooklyn actively recruited minority-and-women-owned businesses to fill vacant storefronts along its commercial corridor. The result is a diverse mix of restaurants and stores that reflects the neighborhood's African and Caribbean roots, and which helps foster a spirit of community.
"The wide combination of economic and community benefits that BIDs create are why we're doing everything we can to strengthen existing BIDs, and to help establish new ones. The Department of Small Business Services can help steer communities through the planning and development process, and in some cases, even provide financial support through a special grant program. The City has also created a step-by-step guide to make the BID formation process easier. Any New Yorker who wants to find out more about Business Improvement Districts can log on to nyc.gov or call 311.
"Encouraging and supporting small business growth is central to our five-borough economic development strategy. BIDs have been an important part of our success – and we look forward to working with communities to create even more BIDs, and all the neighborhood benefits they bring."
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
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