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Mayor Adams Announces Investments To Strengthen Commercial Corridors, Cut Red Tape For Business Improvement Districts

May 6, 2024

$5.3 Million in Grant Funding for BIDs and Community-Based Organizations Will Drive Tourism and Economic Development

$500,000 for New “Trusted Partners” Grant Program Will Support Eligible BIDs With Rising Insurance Premiums

Over $1 Million for Public Realm Design Support Will Be Provided to Underserved Commercial Corridors Through Public-Private Partnership

Since 2022, Adams Administration Has Invested More Than $27 Million in Commercial Revitalization

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today announced a series of new investments and programs to support and cut red tape for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and community-based organizations as the Adams administration continues to strengthen commercial corridors across the five boroughs. Mayor Adams specifically announced nearly $7 million in investments that will drive tourism and economic impact, support eligible BIDs with rising insurance premiums, and help develop public realm vision plans. New York City is currently celebrating “NYC Small Business Month,” and today celebrates its second-annual “NYC BID Day” — a day for BIDs to conduct business outreach, neighborhood clean-up events, and open street and public space activations, among other activities to drive economic opportunity across their communities.

“Small businesses and commercial corridors are the lifeblood of New York City’s thriving economy,” said Mayor Adams. “Since the start of our administration, we have invested more than $27 million in BIDs and other community development organizations through SBS, and today, we are investing almost $7 million more. As we celebrate New York City Small Business Month, we’re proud to strengthen our decades-long partnerships with New York City BIDs, make our commercial corridors more vibrant and safer, and drive economic opportunity across our communities.”

“Our small businesses and commercial corridors are a big part of what make this city so great, and the Adams administration continues to act on its commitment to support them in every corner of the city,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “Today and every day, I am grateful to the BID community for their partnership in driving traffic to our storefront businesses, enhancing commercial district vibrancy, and fueling our ongoing economic recovery.”

“Our city would not be half as dynamic and half as welcoming without the hard work that our BID partners do day-in and day-out,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “You provide the magic of the public festivals and the dynamic retail and dining that puts our city a cut above the rest. You’ve done this sometimes in spite of the challenging layers of bureaucracy that city government has historically provided. You are great partners to us and now we must be great partners to you. That means giving you the space to do what you do best, enlivening our streets for everyone who lives, works, and travels in wonderful New York.”

“SBS is proud to oversee New York City’s 75 BIDs, which serve over 300 miles of commercial corridors and provide crucial support for the small businesses that form the foundation of our city's neighborhood economies,” said SBS Commissioner Kim. “This ‘NYC BID Day’ we aren't just celebrating 40 years of partnership with our BIDs, but ensuring that their impact and reach continues to grow through important and innovative programs. I want to thank Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor Joshi, ‘New’ New York Executive Director B. J. Jones, and Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu for continuing to invest in the BIDs that have done so much to make New York the ‘City of Yes’ for small business.”

“BIDs are true champions of public space in New York City and are on the ground ensuring these spaces are safe, clean, and vibrant for all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy,” said Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu. “We could not do this work without their partnership, and I look forward to continuing to improve the public realm together in years to come.”

“For the past 40 years, BIDs have helped revitalize our city’s neighborhoods from storefronts to streetscapes in all five boroughs,” said “New” New York Executive Director B.J. Jones. “This new wave of investments and partnerships charts a course to enhance livability, cut red tape, and ignite growth in commercial corridors for the next 40 years.”

Record-Funding for BIDs and Other Local Institutions
Cementing the Adams administration’s first-of-its-kind support to expand services in smaller BIDs and cultivate the formation of new BIDs and merchants associations, the Fiscal Year (FY) 25 Executive Budget includes $5.3 million in grant funding to help drive visitors and New Yorkers alike to commercial corridors, storefront businesses, and neighborhood institutions. Specifically, Mayor Adams’ executive budget invest in three programs: Merchant Organizing, BID Formation, and Small BID grant programs. These grants — launched for the first-time in FY23 — support economic vitality in small and underserved commercial corridors. This builds on long-standing grant programs for BIDs, including through the Avenue NYC Commercial Revitalization and Neighborhood 360° programs.

BIDs as Trusted Partners
The city is creating a new ‘Trusted Partner’ program to cut red tape for BIDs and ensure they can focus on delivering vital quality-of-life services to New Yorkers every day. This program will make it easier for BIDs to operate by streamlining and removing many cumbersome requirements. The program makes the city’s responsibilities clear, helping to reduce frivolous litigation where BIDs are clearly not responsible. The city will also consolidate and clarify multiple agreements, making it easier for BIDs to operate.

The city will establish a first-of-its-kind $500,000 grant program administered by SBS to help offset insurance costs for smaller BIDs or those facing financial hardships. SBS will also offer technical assistance to BIDs that are struggling to obtain insurance.

Connected Corridors
Implementing one of the key recommendations of the “‘New’ New York Action Plan: Making New York Work for Everyone,” the city is piloting a new program model to build the capacity of under-resourced BIDs, specifically as it relates to reimagining their public spaces. The “Connected Corridors” program — a unique partnership between the city, the Urban Design Forum, and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development — will provide funding and technical assistance to BID partners in under-invested corridors to develop districtwide public realm vision plans, lighting projects, and other activations, and plan both near-term activations and longer-term improvements. The initial BIDs selected for the 2024 program are:

  • 161st Street BID, Capitol District, Bronx
  • Pitkin Avenue BID, Brownsville, Brooklyn
  • Sunnyside Shines BID, Sunnyside, Queens

This innovative program model is made possible with a commitment of over $1 million ($600,000 of which is leveraged through private dollars) from National Grid's Project C and SBS, with additional major support from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Deutsche Bank, and the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund. It further leverages the relationships with the architecture and design community, local community partners, and connects into the work of the deputy mayor for housing, economic development, and workforce and the chief public realm officer to amplify cultural and economic vibrancy in public spaces across the five boroughs. National Grid's Project C grant also supports the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, the district-wide parks conservancy, in their efforts to maintain and cultivate public space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Key findings of the FY23 NYC Business Improvement District Trends Report
A new report released today by SBS on the economic output of BIDs found that, in FY23, New York City BIDs:

  • Invested $194 million into their neighborhoods, supporting nearly 300 miles of commercial corridors and nearly 24,000 storefront businesses.
  • Collected nearly 4 million trash bags of litter, cleaned 400,000 instances of graffiti, maintained more than 6,600 garbage receptacles, and launched multiple containerization pilot programs.
  • Held 4,561 public events that drew in a combined 25.8 million participants, and contributed to the public realm by installing 235 miles of holiday lighting.
  • Provided supplemental public safety staffing across 190 linear miles, including through neighborhood patrols, security cameras, additional lighting, pedestrian traffic management, and other supportive services.
  • Invested $16.9 million in neighborhood beautification by maintaining 26,303 streetscape elements, including 6,760 tree pits and 4,298 planters, and sponsoring 160 public art installations.

The Adams administration is committed to rebuilding New York City’s economy. Through its “City of Yes for Economic Opportunity“ proposal — a commonsense set of reforms to revitalize commercial corridors, fill vacant storefronts, and boost our economic recovery — the Adams administration is supporting small businesses, clearing red tape, and creating opportunities for working-class New Yorkers. As the partnership between the city and BIDs enters its fifth decade, the Adams administration is ushering in a new era of partnership with BIDs centered on three pillars and with five-borough equity at its core. First, driving visitors and New Yorkers alike to commercial corridors, storefront businesses, and neighborhood institutions in all five boroughs through merchant organizing and branding. Second, maintaining a clean and safe public realm and streetscape, through major city initiatives like waste containerization, rodent mitigation, micro-mobility, and retail theft. And third, envisioning and building world-class public spaces in both central business districts and in neighborhood centers across the five boroughs.

Since 2022, the Adams administration has allocated over $27 million in grants to BIDs, merchants organizations, and other community-based development organizations, including through four programs that were newly conceived under the administration as part of “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for Economic Recovery“ and the “New” New York Action Plan.

“Our 76 Business Improvement Districts play a vital role in promoting the vibrancy of our neighborhoods,” said New York State Assemblymember Jennifer Rajkumar. “Each year they invest over $170 million uplifting local businesses, beautifying our streets, providing security, and hosting beloved community events. Today’s latest investments for our BIDs will provide even more support to advance their incredible work, while slashing any red tape impeding them. Our support includes the new ‘Trusted Partners’ Grant Program to lower insurance costs, and the ‘Connected Corridors’ Program that will revitalize public spaces in our underserved communities. These targeted investments will drive commercial activity, bring new energy to our blocks, and accelerate our unprecedented economic growth.”

“BIDs are integral to thriving commercial corridors and vibrant neighborhoods, so I'm thrilled that the City is investing in these civic partners,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Between the visionary plans BIDs are spearheading to transform the streetscape and the everyday work they do to support communities, BIDs will continue to strengthen New York thanks to these grants.”

“BIDs provide vital services to support commercial corridors, sustaining jobs for New Yorkers and maintaining high quality neighborhood experiences for residents and visitors alike,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “BIDs have pioneered innovations in the public realm, facilitated community development initiatives, and brought together public and private sector actors to work together to improve our city. I commend the mayor for investing in BIDs and this administration’s continued efforts to create jobs and support small businesses.”

“The Association of Housing and Neighborhood Development recognizes our commercial corridors as an essential part of thriving, equitable neighborhoods that not only provide housing but also vibrant, local economic opportunities for residents and all New Yorkers,” said Barika Williams, Executive Director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. “We are excited to provide capacity-building support to under-resourced partners in low-income communities of color to invest in community-designed and locally-led connected corridors that can be widely enjoyed neighborhood assets.”

“National Grid is proud to sponsor the partnership between the city, the Urban Design Forum, the Association of Housing and Neighborhood Development, and North Brooklyn Parks Alliance to improve public spaces in the Brooklyn neighborhoods where our customers live, work and play,” said Eileen Cifone, director of external affairs, National Grid. “Investing in our communities will provide resources for BIDs to help historically underserved corridors develop vision plans for public spaces, lighting projects, and other improvements.”

“BIDs play a vital role in New York City, bringing together neighborhood stakeholders to enhance our local communities,” said Julie Stein, executive director, Union Square Partnership. “Union Square Partnership is proud to celebrate today our 40th anniversary as New York City's first business improvement district. As we reflect on our over 40 years of stewardship and service to the Union Square-14th Street district, we are also working to best position our live-work-play-learn district for the next 40 years and beyond.”

“The NYC BID Association is very proud to celebrate BID Day and the 40th anniversary of BIDs serving our great city,” said Robert J. Benfatto and Erin Piscopink, co-chairs, NYC BID Association. “We are extremely grateful to Mayor Adams, Commissioner Kim, and all our partners in government who support our critical work. BIDs have become integral to maintaining clean, safe, and economically vibrant neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. We're excited to see what the next 40 years will hold for the greatest city in the world and our BIDs stand ready to ensure the best is yet to come.”

“We commend the Adams administration for working with the BIDs in good faith to negotiate a fair and equitable management agreement and for clearly recognizing the dedication and commitment BIDs bring to the city and our neighborhoods,” said Tom Harris, president, Times Square Alliance.” Others have tried, but the Adams Administration will get this done.”

“We are thrilled to pair neighborhood leaders with outstanding design teams to help them bring their visions to life,” said Daniel McPhee, executive director, Urban Design Forum. “Every New Yorker deserves to live in a healthy neighborhood with lively, joyful, and welcoming public spaces. We hope ‘Connected Corridors’ will inspire community organizations in every corner of the city to come up with new ideas to improve public space in their neighborhoods and encourage more designers, engineers, and lawyers to help us build a more just city.”

“These new investments and programs underscore the vital role that BIDs play in sustaining vibrant commercial corridors and driving economic growth across the five boroughs,” said Laura Rothrock, executive director, Long Island City Business Improvement District. “Mayor Adams and Commissioner Kim's commitment to supporting and empowering BIDs, and related community-based organizations, is a significant testament to the city's recognition of BIDs as indispensable to urban resilience. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the city and leveraging these resources to further enhance Long Island City’s business landscape.”

“We have been delighted to organize property owners and tenants in midtown Manhattan to greatly upgrade their neighborhoods for the last 35 years, using the vehicle of Business Improvement Districts,” said Dan Biederman, co-founder, 34th Street Partnership. “Almost every citywide official over that period, and certainly Mayor Adams, has supported the growth and operation of BIDs, and we at Bryant Park and the 34th Street Partnership welcome visitors to our public spaces to see the great effects of this work.”

“The 161st Street BID is grateful to be working with the Metropolitan Urban Design Workshop, Habitat Workshop, and Sighte Studio in the revitalization of our public space, Lou Gehrig Plaza,” said Trey Jenkins, executive director, 161st Street BID. “Over the past two years, our BID has helped small businesses in the district, increased our marketing and events for visitors and everyday New Yorkers, and started the task of beatification to spruce up our business district. Lou Gehrig Plaza has been a useful asset for our BID and community organizations as a public space for events. From event activations, art and lighting installations, and pop-up markets, this grant opportunity will allow our BID, and our friends on the design teams, to really show the world how this public space can transform a community in a variety of ways this year and beyond.”

“Brownsville has a long history of using public space to promote economic development and community building,” said Tiera Mack, executive director, Pitkin Avenue BID. “The Pitkin Avenue BID’s participation in the ‘Connected Corridors’ program will help us grow and sustain investments in our streets, parks, and plazas, while preserving our existing cultural traditions. In Brownsville, we also believe that when we all do a little, no one has to do a lot, so we are incredibly thankful for the collaboration between the private, public, and non-profit sectors that made this program a reality.”

“We want to thank Mayor Adams who understands the critical role BIDs play in our neighborhoods, from promoting and supporting small businesses, helping to improve the quality of life, and to creating economic opportunities for our local communities,” said Peter Madonia, chairman, Belmont BID.

“It’s fantastic that New York City is recognizing the essential role that BIDs play in building thriving neighborhoods all across the city,” said Samara Karasyk, chief executive officer, Hudson Square BID. “BIDs do work, often out of public view, that ensures New Yorkers have access to the kind of vibrant public spaces, experiences, and businesses that make New York City the best place to live on the planet.”

“BIDs are critical to keeping New York City neighborhoods safe, clean, and enjoyable for New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world,” said Madelyn Wils, interim president, Fifth Avenue Association. “Since the pandemic, marketing our local businesses and creating a safe and beautiful public realm, have become a growing need for many BIDS. The work we do every day wouldn’t be possible without the support of SBS and we are looking forward to continuing to build on our partnership.”

“The Steinway BID is honored to celebrate BID Day,” said Marie Torniali, executive director, Steinway Astoria Partnership. “As small business advocates dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of our district and neighborhood, we are proud to be part of a group that makes New York City communities stronger.”

“The Washington Heights BID is thrilled to be part of the citywide initiative celebrating the vibrant tapestry of small businesses,” said Isidro Medina, executive director, Washington Heights BID. “Today, we embark on a mission of community engagement, conducting door-to-door outreach to extend vital city resources and promotional materials to the heart and soul of our neighborhood, the small businesses of Washington Heights.”

“Small businesses are what make New York City what it is, not only by providing a rich tapestry of goods and services, but as our friends, neighbors, and shared places,” said Francesca Fernandez Bruce, executive director, Grand Street BID. “BIDs are here to support the communities these small businesses help create. Through savvy partnerships, programming, and a dedication to safe, beautiful, and inclusive public spaces, BIDs help us preserve and grow the city we share.”

“The Jerome Gun Hill BID is proud to continue our participation in the second annual ‘NYC BID Day,’” said Daniela Beasley, executive director, Jerome Gun Hill BID. “BIDs are essential in uplifting our small business communities from merely surviving to thriving commercial corridors. With the added support for BIDs in the past couple of years, I hope to see more formed, particularly in historically underserved and overlooked neighborhoods throughout the city. Most BIDs’ programming is informed by residents, shoppers, BID members, and local workers sharing their needs and wants. Use this BID Day to inform your closest BID of what changes you would like to see.”

“For almost 30 years, the Lincoln Square BID has provided key supplemental sanitation and public safety services, which have helped boost Lincoln Square as a premier cultural and business destination and created a clean and safe environment for residents to live, tourists to visit, and businesses to thrive,” said Monica Blum, president, Lincoln Square BID. “Lincoln Square has evolved into the city’s newest culinary destination with nearly 20 new restaurants and eateries – many small businesses – that have opened since the pandemic. We thank Mayor Adams and his administration for understanding how BIDs can be community game changers and deliver economic opportunity for our commercial corridors, and we are proud to support ‘NYC BID Day.’”

“The Grand Central Partnership is proud to join Commissioner Kim to celebrate the second annual ‘NYC BID Day’ and the 40th Anniversary of the first BID in New York City,” said Ryan Pukos, director, data and public affairs, Grand Central Partnership. “Across all five boroughs, BIDs play an indispensable role in enhancing quality of life and ensuring our neighborhoods are clean, safe, and places where businesses can thrive. We thank Mayor Adams and his administration for their tireless support and meaningful partnership in working with BIDs to cut red tape so we can more efficiently and effectively continue to do tremendous work in our communities.”

“The Myrtle Avenue BID in Ridgewood, Queens is delighted to again participate in the second annual ‘NYC BID Day,’ which is part of a greater celebration of Small Business Month,” said Theodore M. Renz, executive director, Myrtle Avenue BID. “We thank SBS for their commitment and support services to small businesses citywide which are the economic backbone of our neighborhood's local economy.”

“During these challenging economic times, BIDs serve as an additional lifeline for our brick-and-mortar businesses to understand new rules and regulations being issued to help them be in compliance while also being the eyes and ears of our neighborhoods,” said Wilma Alonso, president and chief executive officer, Fordham Road BID. “The Fordham Road BID is pleased to see the Adams administration doubling down on the important role BIDs play to keep our neighborhoods clean, safe, and vibrant.”

“Commercial corridors in BIDs are measurably cleaner, safer, and stronger,” said Rob Byrnes, president, East Midtown Partnership. “The initiatives and financial support from Mayor Adams and Commissioner Kim are an important investment in the future of New York City’s small businesses.”

“This is a wonderful way to start the month of May and celebrate Asian American Heritage Month here in New York,” said Wellington Z. Chen, executive director, Chinatown Partnership. “As the weather gets warmer, and with so many new community event activations coming up, this funding can only help to boost the economy activities and energy level with excitement.”

“On Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, every month is small business month,” said Kelly Carroll, executive director, Atlantic Avenue BID. “This funding is essential for our citizenry to keep being able to shop small from real people and preserve New York City's spirit. Our commercial corridors are special because they have small businesses you can't find anywhere else in the world.”

“‘NYC BID Day’ is a day to celebrate the originality and diversity of our bustling district, full of beloved mom-and-pop businesses that make this Brooklyn neighborhood so vibrant,” said Melissa Coburn, executive director, Park Slope 5th Ave BID. “Named New York City’s ‘coolest street’ for 2024 by Time Out New York, we are happy to support our small businesses on 5th Avenue, maintain public space, and green our corridor with the goal of improved economic development 365 days a year.”

“The second annual ‘NYC BID Day’ is a special way to celebrate the impact that BIDs and small businesses make throughout New York City,” said Daniel J. Bernstein, executive director, Columbus-Amsterdam BID. “Here in our BID, we will use the day as a way to conduct outreach to the public about the importance of small businesses in our neighborhood.”

“The Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID proudly joins in celebrating ‘NYC BID Day,’” said Elizabeth Lovejoy, executive director, Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID. “We thank SBS for their continued partnership and the unwavering support for small businesses and commercial corridors throughout New York City.”

“The Morris Park BID is grateful to Mayor Adams and SBS for recognizing the role of BIDs as strategic partners in the economic development and sustainability of New York City,” said Dr. Camelia Tepelus, executive director, Morris Park BID. “BIDs are advocates, planners, managers, trouble-shooters, cultural ambassadors, and most importantly, problem-solvers in so many New York City neighborhoods. We thank all agencies assisting us in keeping NYC clean, green, diverse, vibrant, and prosperous for all.”

“The Third Avenue BID has worked closely with the city for over 35 years to ensure our commercial district is safe, clean, and well-programmed,” said Pedro Suarez, executive director, Third Avenue BID. “We deeply appreciate the investments that the Adams administration is making in BIDs, particularly in the Bronx. We look forward to our continued partnership with Commissioner Kim and his dedicated staff in supporting a thriving small business community.”

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