Tag Archives: business improvement district

Op-ed: Why a Business Improvement District will help our business


| oped@queenscourier.com


MONICA CALDERÓN

As a small business owner on Roosevelt Avenue, I understand what it is to a run mom-and-pop shop in this neighborhood. My parents immigrated to Queens and set up the business I currently run.  For over a decade, our business has served as our family pride and our lifeline, and we have called Roosevelt Avenue our home.

We love Roosevelt Avenue, but we also know that it can be better. If you look just a few blocks away at the area within the current 82nd Street Partnership, you can see the difference. The street is clean and safe, with significantly less trash and graffiti. The Partnership helped get grants to pay for new storefronts, awnings, lights and signs. Businesses benefit from free marketing and promotion through the crowds that come to the street for events like Viva La Comida, as well as online and social media promotion.

Businesses along 82nd Street have a voice and an advocate that represents their interests and needs with city government, and can connect them with free services and workshops to help them strengthen their business and succeed.

We want that extra boost, too.

The good news is that we can have it. In the coming days and weeks, business owners, residents, and property owners located on Roosevelt Avenue from 81st Street to 104th Street, as well as Junction Boulevard from 40th Road to 35th Avenue, will have a chance to vote to extend the 82nd Street Partnership boundaries to form the Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District. To us it’s a no-brainer — we will be voting yes.

As small business owners in Queens face more and more challenges – online retailers, chain stores, high rents, navigating city rules and regulations – it is important that we come together as a community to create a stronger, safer and cleaner Roosevelt Avenue where people want to live, do business, and shop, at all hours, day or night. We urge our neighbors to vote yes to the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District.

For more information on the proposed Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District, please visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

Monica Calderón is an owner of L&C Accounting Service Inc.

 

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Some small business owners, residents continue to say ‘no’ to BID in Jackson Heights, Corona


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The resistance continues.

During the first of two public meetings on Thursday, some Jackson Heights and Corona residents and business owners asked their community to vote no to the expansion that would bring a business improvement district to the neighborhood. They brought up issues which the BID would bring such as gentrification, and the rising of property costs and taxes.

“Right now they say $1,000 annually, once the project gets approved then a little bit more, a little bit more they squeeze one’s throat,” said Sergio Ruiz, a business owner of 15 years, about the estimated yearly cost per lot in the district.

The 82nd Street Partnership, a nonprofit group promoting the current local BID covering four blocks and over 160 businesses, announced last year it would be extending all the way through 114th  Street to form the Jackson Heights-Corona BID. It was later revised to stretch from 82nd Street to 104th Street and down Junction Boulevard. The corridor will include a total of 440 lots and about 850 commercial tenants.

Tania Mattos, a member of the coalition Queens Neighborhoods United, said the group has been trying to educate the community on what a BID is, the voting process and options, and they have been cleaning Roosevelt Avenue every two weeks.

“Roosevelt Avenue does not need the BID,” Mattos said. “It needs the city to wake up, to realize it has neglected Roosevelt Avenue for decades and I’ve seen it personally. Instead the broken sidewalks, perishing and poorly maintained elevated train is blamed on the residents.”

According to Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, the concept of the BID came from every community resident she had spoken to expressing concerns about the safety and cleanliness of Roosevelt Avenue.

“They want to be able to walk, they want to be able to shop, they want to be able to come with their families and contribute to the businesses,” Ferreras said. “We have a very different and very vibrant business corridor, we deserve better, we deserve to be able to have a business corridor that is vibrant, clean and safe.”

Other business owners at the meeting showed their support for the BID and tried to encourage audience members to vote yes.

“We have to give it a chance and give ourselves a chance,” said Rosita Cali, a business owner and Jackson Heights resident for 17 years. “Let’s give ourselves the room, the chance to have the opportunity to try this and also if something comes out wrong we have the right to say that it’s not right. But if we give the opportunity and this is positive, why not enjoy all the changes?”

In the upcoming weeks, business owners, residents and property owners on Roosevelt Avenue will have to vote on whether they want the BID in their community.

“The BID is really an advocate for the business community, the goal here is to improve the shopping environment, make it cleaner, safer, more inviting and better for the small business,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

For more information, visit JHCoronaBID.org.

 

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Sunnyside Shines BID launches programs to help business district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Michael Rapp

One local business improvement district (BID) is looking to help Sunnyside “shine.”

The Sunnyside Shines BID recently launched two major programs that aim to help improve businesses and the overall neighborhood of Sunnyside.

The first of the initiatives is the gate replacement program which will help businesses replace their solid metal gates with open grille gates. During the pilot program, up to five businesses within the BID will be able to recover half of the cost — up to $1,000 — of a new gate. The BID will be accepting applications for this program through April 15 and will review them at a first-come, first-served basis.

“We really hope to help improve the look and feel of the district,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines. “Sunnyside is a very safe district and we want the shopping district to reflect that. This is a great neighborhood and we want to help business.”

Thieme added that if this program goes well during the first year, the BID will look to help more businesses the following year.

The second initiative is one that hopes to attract new retail into the neighborhood.

Thanks to the City’s Department of Small Business Services’ Neighborhood Development Division, the BID has been matched with real estate consultant JGSC Group to look at how retail is doing in the neighborhood.

During one of the reports, it was found that residents spend close to $227 million each year outside of Sunnyside and also that the neighborhood has more businesses that offer services, rather than goods.

“Sunnyside residents spend on most of the goods and services outside the neighborhood and we want to capture some of that spending at our local businesses,” Thieme said. “We want to give people more reasons to shop locally.”

After conducting its own shopper survey last summer, the BID found that some of the type of retailers residents would like to see are clothing stores, housewares, more full service restaurants, independent coffee shops and a bike shop.

Thieme said the next step would be to send marketing tools to 200 retailers in the city that might want to come and open up shop in Sunnyside. The BID will also be posting available spaces throughout the neighborhood on the website.

For more information on either program or to fill out an application for the gate replacement, visit here.

 

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82nd Street Partnership unveils restoration of historic Jackson Heights building


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of the 82nd Street Partnership

Together with the Jackson Heights Historic District, the 82nd Street Partnership has unveiled a restoration which marks the beginning of bringing a new look to the diverse area.

The 82nd Street Partnership gathered with representatives from the City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), community leaders, groups and merchants to unveil the restoration of a historic building at 82-01 Roosevelt Avenue.

The Tuesday unveiling was the beginning of the “Storefront Restoration Program” which will restore building façades and enhance the district’s sense of place by the end of the year.

The 82nd Street Partnership was one of the seven Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) which won SBS’ 2013 “Neighborhood Challenge” initiative with the goal to encourage innovation and creativity in local economic development programming.

Investing in the $50,000 award it received from the “challenge,” the BID set out to support property owners and merchants in Jackson Heights by assisting them with free design assistance and offering a matching construction grant as part of the new restoration program.

By the end of the year the program will have renovated seven ground floor and three upper floor storefronts at three properties on 82nd Street between 37th and Roosevelt Avenue enhancing the “look and feel” of the area by making the businesses more attractive and inviting to a larger group of customers.

Before

After

The overall restorations will help bring improvements to the area’s quality of life, help preserve retail diversity and improve business conditions, according to the 82nd Street Partnership.

Along with the restorations, the program will also remove 20 LPC violations from three properties.

 

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Jackson Heights, Corona get ‘taste’ of better living thru business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

Businesses, property owners and residents along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard are getting a taste of how being a business improvement district (BID) can improve their quality of life.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced sanitation and graffiti removal services for the areas. They come as part of her New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue, which promised a “taste” of services to be offered by the Jackson Heights-Corona BID.

The “Taste of the BID” is a partnership between Ferreras, the Department of Small Business Services, the 82nd Street Partnership and local property owners. The Jackson Heights-Corona BID itself, which is still being formed, will cover the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street.

“By bringing new sanitation crews to our heavily-trafficked business corridors like Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard, we are not only increasing safety and cleanliness,” Ferreras said. “We are also helping to drive new customers to our local businesses.”

Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, touted further pluses.

“Merchants and property owners along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard will begin to see how cleaner sidewalks can make the neighborhood a better place to shop and stroll,” he said Seth Taylor. “We are delighted that the community is getting a small taste of what the proposed Jackson Heights-Corona BID will do to improve quality of life, and we are encouraged by the growing support for the BID.”

The “Taste of the BID” is expected to run until the end of the year, with cleaning ambassadors in the area every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The services will cover Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd Street to 114th Street and Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street off Roosevelt Avenue.

“New sanitation crews have already begun to make a difference along Roosevelt Avenue through cleaner and brighter streets,” said Rob Walsh, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “By providing this neighborhood with a taste of what a BID can offer, this commercial corridor will only continue to get stronger.”

 

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