May 12, 2022
Video available at: https://youtu.be/_r4ROkrn_Co
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed legislation to establish two new Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the Bronx’s Castle Hill and Manhattan’s West Village. The bill signing will help accelerate the incorporation of these two BIDs, so that they will be fully functional by the beginning of Fiscal Year 2023. The creation of these new BIDs — along with today’s release of comprehensive guides for forming and expanding BIDs and Merchant Associations — deliver on Mayor Adams’ commitment to strengthen business supports in small and underserved commercial corridors, particularly in low-to-moderate-income (LMI) communities, as outlined in his “Renew, Rebuild, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery.”
Mayor Adams also signed legislation amending Local Law 32 of 2022, which requires certain employers in New York City to post a salary range with all job postings. The legislation amends provisions of the salary transparency law and moves the effective date to November 1st of this year.
“Small businesses are the backbone of New York City’s economy, and ensuring they have the resources they need is critical to an equitable recovery,” said Mayor Adams. “The bills we are signing today underscore our commitment to delivering for underserved communities, while promoting greater transparency for employees throughout the city.”
The health of the city’s small businesses is essential to the vitality of local neighborhoods and represents the foundation of the city’s economy. BIDs represent specific geographical areas where local stakeholders oversee and fund the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of their commercial districts, and are overseen by the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS).
The creation of new BIDs in the Bronx and lower Manhattan will help local businesses bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic and are the result of years of grassroots organizing. Steering committees — representing property owners, business owners, and residents — came together to identify the needs of their neighborhoods and envision how a BID could improve the conditions and economic activity of Castle Hill and the West Village.
Intro. 47 establishes the Castle Hill Business Improvement District in the Bronx. The new BID will serve Castle Hill Avenue from Manning Street to the Cross Bronx Expressway, and Westchester Avenue from Olmstead Avenue to just east of Glebe Avenue. The Castle Hill BID will have a first-year budget of $300,000, funded by a special assessment billed to property owners in the district, to provide supplemental sanitation, marketing, promotion, holiday lighting, economic development, and administration.
Intro. 73 establishes the West Village Business Improvement District in Manhattan. The new BID will serve 7th Avenue South from Leroy Street to Perry Street, Bleecker Street from 6th Avenue to Charles Street, Christopher Street from Hudson Street to Greenwich Street, and various blocks nearby. The West Village BID will fund sanitation, beautification, security/public safety, community engagement, economic development, advocacy, and administration. The first-year budget will be $594,906, also drawn from special assessments.
Intro. 134 amends Local Law 32 of 2022, New York City’s salary disclosure law, to provide that the law applies to employees who are paid hourly or through an annual salary. As amended by Intro 134, the salary disclosure law would not allow a person to sue their employer unless such person is a current employee who is suing the employer for advertising a job, promotion, or transfer without posting a minimum and maximum hourly wage or annual salary. It also provides that the penalty for the first violation of this law would be $0, and employers will have 30 days to correct the violation. This bill also moves the effective date of Local Law 32 to November 1, 2022.
“Our Business Improvement Districts are essential partners in supporting our small businesses, helping our economy rebound, and keeping our commercial corridors and public spaces active and vibrant,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “Launching two new BIDs will help accelerate our economic recovery and underline our commitment to businesses and residents in every neighborhood of every borough.”
“Creating new BIDs are a critical component of jump-starting our economy, and SBS is committed to fulfilling the mayor’s mission by continuing to support their creation across the city,” said SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “These new BIDs in the Bronx and Manhattan will help local businesses to recover, and boost quality of life for residents.”
“Intro 134 marks an important step toward leveling the playing field for New Yorkers who have been harmed by wage disparities — often women and people of color,” said New York City Commission on Human Rights Commissioner and Chair Annabel Palma. “The commission is committed to eliminating barriers to equity, to strengthen human rights in the workplace for all New Yorkers.”
“Salary transparency is critical to addressing pervasive pay inequities, and will help New Yorkers seeking jobs and promotions access parity,” said New York City Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Intro. 134 strengthens New York City’s salary transparency law and advances it towards successful implementation with broad support, including the business community and pay equity advocates. I thank Councilmembers Williams and Brannan for their leadership on this legislation and Mayor Adams for signing it into law."
“I have been a supporter of the West Village BID since it was first initiated by local residents in 2018,” said New York City Councilmember Erik Bottcher. “Having worked with small business owners and witnessed the efforts of the nine BIDs within my district, especially during COVID-19. I look forward to the type of organized communication, coordination, and advocacy that this BID will provide.”
“The livelihoods of New Yorkers are not a TV game show where the true salary of a job listing is hidden behind a magical door if only you guess the right one. We need to respect that a person has the right to determine whether they will be able to pay rent and support their family when they apply for a job,” said New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan. “And there is no question that identifying systemic race and gender pay inequities will become a lot easier once all the cards are on the table. As people get back to work, I cannot think of a better time to level the playing field and restore some dignity to those seeking employment. All New Yorkers will benefit from the broad support for this law, but especially those who have long faced wage inequities, making this a huge step forward for New York City and, like they say: As goes New York City, so goes the nation. I thank Mayor Adams for signing this bill into law today.”
“I am thrilled to join Mayor Eric Adams today as he signs these critical pieces of legislation into law. These bills will have a huge impact on New Yorkers across all five boroughs with open and transparent salary range disclosures, and also in my own district with the creation of the Castle Hill BID,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “I look forward to supporting our employers in the successful implementation of Intro. 134-A, ensuring all businesses have the time and resources to find the right talent we have in New York City. Additionally, I am excited to see the Castle Hill BID come to fruition after years of organizing; one of our community’s most important commercial corridors will finally get the investment it deserves! I look forward to working with Mayor Eric Adams, my colleagues in the Council, and my local businesses to pass more legislation that focuses on equitable recovery, supporting small businesses, and, most importantly, protecting our hard working New Yorkers.”
“This legislation serves as an opportunity to expand on landmark measures, which were critical to the fight in economic equity, that we have fought so hard for and remain inclusive of every New Yorker,” said New York City Councilmember Nantasha Williams. “I would like to thank the advocates and my colleagues for a spirited discussion on this legislation. I am also grateful to Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams for their leadership and ensuring that this bill becomes law.”
“We are excited to work together with the new Castle Hill BID and SBS to ensure local merchants and residents get the investments and additional services we need for this community to thrive,” said William Rivera, district manager, Bronx Community Board 9.
“I want to thank everyone for their time and consideration in supporting the Castle Hill BID development,” said Tony DeRosa, steering committee member, Castle Hill BID. “The steering committee and I firmly support and believe with the formation of this BID, Castle Hill Avenue will develop into a cleaner, safer, and prosperous area for all involved.”
“We look forward to supporting the West Village community and delivering the supplemental services that our neighborhood needs in order to thrive,” said Brooke Schooley, chair, West Village BID Steering Committee. “We are so grateful to all who volunteered their time to make this happen.”
New Instructional Guides to Help Form Merchants Associations and BIDs
Today, SBS is releasing two instructional guides to help communities form nonprofit organizations and serve their commercial districts. The two guides provide an overview of establishing a merchants association or a Business Improvement District (BID).
The Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Merchants Association outlines the step-by-step process of organizing merchants in a commercial corridor and creating a merchants association to provide services and advocate on behalf of local business owners. Merchants associations can provide commercial corridors with a stronger voice, greater resources, a stronger community, and improved quality of life.
The Comprehensive Guide to BID Formation and Expansion explains the multi-year process to form a new BID or expand an existing BID. The guide provides detailed instructions and advice for local stakeholders to progress through the planning, outreach, legislation, and start-up phases of BID formation. Forming a BID can take a long time and involves the hard work of property owners, businesses, and other local stakeholders.