New York, July 13, 2009 – Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today joined the Business Improvement Districts (BID) Association in celebrating the accomplishments of our City’s 64 BIDs during the past 30 years at the second annual BID conference held at the William and Anita Conference Center at Baruch College. Helping neighborhoods become more inviting to business and residents is an integral part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods.
“Business Improvement Districts have energized our City’s retail corridors for over 30 years. The 20 BIDs formed under the Bloomberg administration – the highest number of BIDs created under a single administration – demonstrates Mayor Bloomberg’s continued commitment to keep our neighborhoods strong and vibrant,” said Commissioner Walsh. “I commend all the partners in our BID network for their dedication and hard work.”
BIDs provide maintenance, supplemental sanitation and security services, plus marketing and promotion of local businesses, holiday lighting, economic development, beautification and landscaping.
At today’s conference, Commissioner Walsh and Daniel Biederman, President, 34th Street Partnership and Bryant Park Corporation, and Chair of New York City BID Association, welcomed the more than 100 attendees representing New York City’s BIDs. One of the themes of the conference was a Perspective from Two Cities: Washington D.C. and Toronto, featuring keynote speakers Richard Bradley, Executive Director of the Downtown Business Improvement District Corporation in Washington D.C., and John Kiru, Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas. Bradley has been serving as the Executive Director of the Downtown BID Corporation and its predecessor, the Downtown BID Committee, since January 1997. He is guiding a $10 million program of special services as well as a catalytic plan to help with the continuing renewal of the economy of downtown Washington, DC. Kiru has been serving as the Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) since 2000. He promotes successful and effective Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in the City of Toronto by facilitating coordination among BIAs, advocating on BIAs’ behalf to all levels of government and protecting the interest of BIAs in government tourism policies.
There are 64 BIDs in New York City with 11 more in development. The Fulton Street Mall BID in Brooklyn was the first to form in 1976. In March 2009, Mayor Bloomberg signed legislation creating the 64th BID - the Bed-Stuy Gateway in Brooklyn. There have been a total of 20 BIDs formed under the Bloomberg administration.
In the 2008 alone, BIDs have collectively invested over $98 million dollars towards the improvement of their districts and generated over $100 million dollars in revenue. They provide supplementary services to over 3,200 block faces in New York City and serve over 16,000 businesses. In addition, these BIDs has employed close to 530 sanitation workers and removed over 170,000 tons of garbage and 30,000 graffiti incidents; distributed close to 6.8 million district guides; and beautified districts by adding over 37,000 plantings and 1,600 pieces of street furniture. In addition, the number of BIDs in Queens and Brooklyn grew over 50% and the number of BIDs in the Bronx doubled as the first BID in Staten Island, the Forest Avenue BID, was signed into law in 2004.
About the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.
About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. NYC Workforce1 Career Centers offer services to meet the needs of all jobseekers, including one-on-one job and career counseling, technical and educational services, workshops, and referrals to training providers. For more information on all of SBS’ services go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.