NYC boosts small businesses through new investments in BIDs and community organizations


| Photo by Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash

NEW YORK – As the Adams administration continues to strengthen commercial corridors across the five boroughs, New York City Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim has announced a series of new investments and programs to support and cut red tape for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and community-based organizations.

Mayor Eric Adams said nearly $7 million in investments will drive tourism and economic impact, support eligible BIDs with rising insurance premiums, and help develop public realm vision plans.

The city is celebrating “NYC Small Business Month” and the 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.

“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.”

The Fiscal Year (FYI) 2025 Executive Budget includes $5.3 million in grant funding to help drive visitors and New Yorkers to commercial corridors, storefront businesses, and neighborhood institutions. Adams is investing 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, underserved commercial corridors. It builds on long-standing grant programs for BIDs, including through the Avenue NYC Commercial Revitalization and Neighborhood 360° programs.

Also, 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 clarifies the city’s responsibilities, helping to reduce frivolous litigation where BIDs are not responsible. The city will also consolidate and clarify multiple agreements, making it easier for BIDs to operate.

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 regarding 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

According to the Adams administration, the 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 and local community partners. It connects to 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 districtwide parks conservancy, in their efforts to maintain and cultivate public space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

As the partnership between the city and BIDs enters its fifth decade, the Adams administration said it 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 central business districts and neighborhood centers across the five boroughs.

Since 2022, the Adams administration said it 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.

–With Jay Domingo/PDM

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