A Business Owner’s Perspective

The following is a synopsis of what happens when BIDs are implemented in our communities and what has happened in 82nd street with the 82nd Street Partnership's BID, written by small business owner and QNU member Frank:

In no more than just a few years from today, you, the business owner that has put 10-14 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the past years or decades, building your business, WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS AND BE FORCED TO MOVE OUT OF THIS AREA.

And you, the property owner, yes you that have finally build some equity after many years of hard work for yourself and your kids future and have finally got here, guess what, YOU WILL ALSO BE FORCED TO SELL YOUR PROPERTY AT A FRACTION OF PRICE.

Now you must be upset and ask why?

In a nutshell, this is the BID’s long terms plan for you as individual property owners and/or business owner

The BID promises you the following, with no guarantee:

• They will do a bunch of good things for the community.
• Wealthier clients will come to our neighborhood to shop.
• For the property owner, their property value goes up. Now you can charge more rent (a landlord’s dream come true)
• For the business owners, your sales will go up (a small business owner dream come true)

Sounds good, right? So what’s wrong with having a BID controlling our neighborhood?

First, you need to understand the following:

What is BID: A business improvement district (BID) is a defined area within which businesses pay an additional tax (or levy) in order to fund projects within the district’s boundaries. The BID is often funded primarily through the levy but can also draw on other public and private funding streams. BIDs provide services, such as cleaning streets, providing security, making capital improvements, construction of pedestrian and streetscape enhancements, and marketing the area. The services provided by BIDs are supplemental to those already provided by the city, by the high taxes that you already pay.
Who is the BID made of: The BID is made of board members who are in reality, giant foreign/local real estate investors. They own blocks of properties in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey and other developed areas.
What is their long term plan: It’s very simple. They have a long agenda, which they are completely NOT transparent about it.
• They start the plan with trying to win over the Business Owners by promising to:
o Sweep the streets – Which most likely you or your employees are already keeping clean in front of your store up to 18” into the street from the curb, because you know if you don’t, you will get a ticket from the Sanitation Department. Also know this that, if the BID fails to sweep for you, YOU ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR A TICKET.
o Change non-functioning light poles to have more lights in the streets – Which the city of NY is supposed to do this regardless and YOU HAVE PAID for this already, through your Real Estate Taxes.
o Remove graffiti’s – Again, you already have paid for this service for the city to do it for you.
o Keeping the streets safer – There has been no indication on how they want to do this and from
o They will put holiday lighting and decoration – If you really think that’ll help increase your sales, experience, I know they don’t have any security forces. So, again, this is NYPD’s job and YOU ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR IT.
o They will put holiday lighting and decoration – If you really think that’ll help increase your sales, for just a few bucks per business owner and/or landlord, you can get the best holiday decoration and lighting done for a fraction of the price to pay via the BID.

The Truth about the BID’s Plan and How you Will Go Out of Business and You Will Lose Your Property

1. The real estate taxes will sky rocket
2. The Landlord is forced to either eat the extra expenses (which I highly doubt they would), or make his/ her tenant pay for it, by increasing their rents.
3. The small business owners will not be able to pay the extra expenses, especially with the way the economy is going. So therefore, they’ll be forced to close their doors and go somewhere else and start from scratch.
4. The property owner will not be able to rent to small businesses for the high rent.
5. The big box companies will not take one property, because it’s not big enough for them.
6. So, the property owner will be stuck with an empty store (as already we have a lot of them on Roosevlet Ave.), and a big Real Estate Tax bill, insurance and other expenses.
7. When he can’t afford to take on all these expenses any longer and no one to rent his store to, the BID board members, the Real Estate Giants, will come knocking on his door, offering to get him out of his misery for a fraction of the value of his property. At that moment, what options does he/she have? Yes, you guessed it right...SELL!
8. These real estate investors will buy all properties, combine them and rent them out to Big Box Companies.

How can you help