Tag Archives: Woodside BID

Woodside businesses considering new BID program

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Woodside businesses are eyeing a new, lighter Business Improvement District (BID) program.

The simplified version, called BID express, focuses on maintenance and sanitation, reducing costs for its members by centralizing management. While a traditional BID largely emphasizes administration costs and assists with marketing efforts, the downsized version appeals to smaller districts with a more localized mentality.

“We think this is a great tool for areas that want BID services but can’t afford the traditional model,” said Department of Small Business Services (SBS) spokesperson Kris Goddard.

The program, first introduced on June 21, is available citywide. According to Goddard, roughly 15 different neighborhoods across the five boroughs have expressed interest, including Woodside.

Joe Conley, chair of Community Board 2 and founder of both the Long Island City and Sunnyside BIDs, first initiated the Woodside BID a year ago. Currently in the process of educating local businesses about the positives to joining, Conley said the most important step in establishing a BID is identifying the needs of local businesses. In Woodside, businesses’ main concerns were advertising, security and maintenance.

The average BID fee for a storefront under the innovative program is between $200 and $400 annually. Dues go towards hiring private contractors to take care of basic chores, such as cleaning sidewalks and painting over graffiti. According to Conley, both the LIC and Sunnyside BIDs as well as the SBS will be assisting with the development of the Woodside program.

“We’re trying to enhance the neighborhood and give them a voice,” said Conley. “They have someone advocating for them on a full time basis.”

According to Conley, 15 Woodside businesses have reached out in interest in joining the BID.

“I think its well worth it,” said Frank Ottomanelli, owner of Ottomanelli and Sons, a family-run meat shop in Woodside. “I hope that it does work. I don’t think it can hurt.”

Some business owners, excited for the BID program to hit their block, believe it will increase foot traffic, particularly among commuters.

“Anything that improves an area is going to help it,” said Sean Sullivan, a manager at Sean Og’s Tavern. “Woodside is an important area because it has the No. 7 train and the Long Island Rail Road. We decided to get involved because we thought it would be good for the area. Right now, business is steady, but the BID may attract more people.”

According to Conley, after public hearings and meetings with city council, the Woodside BID will be instated some time in 2013.

— Additional reporting by Adrienne Kurtz

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

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 Queens man charged with groping a sleeping  18-year-old on JetBlue flight 

A Queens man charged with sexually assaulting a male passenger sleeping next to him on a JetBlue flight was released Monday on $100,000 bail and ordered to undergo a mental examination. Othniel Polanco was caught red-handed fondling the 18-year-old victim’s genitals by a passenger who was sitting two seats over and witnessed the lewd act, authorities said. Read more: [New York Daily News]

It’s lockdown mode for drivers who don’t pay their fines 

The smartboot program, which keeps ticket scofflaws’ cars in place until the driver pays up, was rolled out in southern Queens on Monday. Under the program, parking enforcement company Paylock is authorized by a city deputy sheriff to attach a bright yellow wheel clamp to the cars of drivers who owe more than $350 in unpaid parking, red light camera and bus lane violations. The program was instituted in parts of Brooklyn last month. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Congressman Meeks meets with families of children lost to gun violence 

Following a rise in violent crimes in southeast Queens, Congressman Gregory Meeks sat down on Monday with the families members of children who have been murdered within the district. Read more: [NY1] 

Woodside leaders, pols propose cheaper BID option for small businesses 

Woodside leaders want to give business owners a taste of BID-lite. The community board and pols in Woodside recently proposed a cheaper model for a business improvement district that they hope will speed the BID’s instatement. However, detractors said the plan will drag businesses into unneeded expenses. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

National Pastimes: Queens women take top spots in local netball league 

At first glance, it may seem like a group of women in St. Albans, Queens are playing basketball, but there’s no backboard and there’s no dribbling. They are playing netball, a game many of these women learned growing up in the Caribbean. Read more: [NY1]