New York, November 19, 2009 - The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced the launch of the Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District (BID) in Brooklyn. The Bed-Stuy BID is the 64th BID formed in New York City and the 20th BID formed under the Bloomberg Administration – the highest number of BIDs created under a single administration. A BID launch event is being held today at the Skylight Gallery, 1368 Fulton Street, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Helping neighborhoods become more inviting to business and residents is an integral part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan.
“We have seen remarkable growth over the past few years in Bedford Stuyvesant and the formation of the BID will add to this momentum,” said SBS Commissioner Walsh. “The 20 BIDs formed under this administration demonstrates Mayor Bloomberg’s continued commitment to keep our neighborhoods strong and vibrant.”
On March 30, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed legislation establishing the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID. Located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of north-central Brooklyn, the new BID is providing maintenance, sanitation, marketing, holiday lighting, and economic development as well as beautification and landscaping services. The Bed-Stuy BID, which spans along Fulton Street, from Classon to Troy avenues, and on Nostrand Avenue, from Halsey Street to Atlantic Avenue, will serve approximately 322 businesses on 28 block faces. Many of the businesses in this commercial corridor include mom-and-pop retailers, such as clothing and shoe stores, restaurants, coffee shops, hair salons, banks and grocery stores. The budget for the first year of operation is $675,000.
The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID is being managed by The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, which was established in 1964 by Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is the nation's first community development corporation. Senator Kennedy, with the cooperation of Senator Jacob K. Javits and Mayor John W. Lindsay, called for the formation of what was then known as the Bedford Stuyvesant Renewal and Rehabilitation Corporation and the Development Services Corporation to serve as a national model of community development. Since the organization’s official establishment in 1967, The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has attracted over $375 million in investments to Central Brooklyn, constructed or renovated 2,200 units of rental or ownership housing, and provided thousands of artistic and cultural events to the community.
“During these hard economic times, I am confident that this new BID will help to energize our commercial corridor,” said Mike Rafferty, Executive Director of the Bed-Stuy BID and Economic Development Officer for the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. “This BID builds on the great tradition of economic development in Bedford Stuyvesant.”
Marcia Melendez, owner of Flowerworks Florist and Landscape Construction Company, located in the BID on Nostrand Avenue, and BID board member said, “I am very excited about the formation of this BID. I know the BID will improve the shopping climate for our customers and improve business.”
The BIDs established under Mayor Bloomberg have collectively invested over $17.5 million dollars towards the improvement of their districts since their inception. They provide supplementary services to over 700 block faces in New York City and serve over 5,000 businesses. In addition, in FY 2008 these BIDs have employed close to 70 sanitation workers and removed over 170,000 tons of garbage and 10,500 graffiti incidents; distributed close to 290,000 district guides; held over 70 events with an estimated 130,000 attendees; and beautified their districts by adding over 150 plantings and 700 pieces of street furniture. Under Mayor Bloomberg, the number of BIDs in Queens and Brooklyn grew over 50 percent and the number of BIDs in the Bronx doubled. In addition, the first BID in Staten Island, the Forest Avenue BID, was signed into law in 2004.
Citywide, the 64 BIDs provide supplementary services to over 3,200 block faces and serve over 18,500 businesses. In addition, in 2009 these BIDs employed over 600 sanitation workers and removed over 2.5 million bags of garbage and 54,000 graffiti incidents; distributed over 6 million district guides; held over 1,000 public events with an estimated 13 million attendees; and beautified their districts by adding over 31,000 new plantings and 1,000 new pieces of street furniture.
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.