December 21, 2004
“The first two bills before me today are Introductory number 452, which establishes the Fordham Road business improvement district in the borough of the Bronx, and Introductory number 435, which establishes the Queens Plaza/Court Square business improvement district in the borough of Queens. Intro. 452 is sponsored at the request of the Administration by Council Members Weprin, Rivera, Baez, Koppell, Seabrook, Sanders and Boyland. Intro. 435 is sponsored at the request of the Administration by Council Members Weprin, Gioia and Boyland.

“Business Improvement Districts – also known as BIDs – are community organizations that are voluntarily formed to promote business development and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods across the City.  Established by local law, BIDs are self-funded by local property owners and are overseen by the City’s Department of Small Business Services.  The Fordham Road and Queens Plaza/Court Square BIDs will provide maintenance and sanitation services, holiday lighting and decoration, marketing and promotion of their shopping strips, beautification of their communities, administration, and other such activities as are required for the promotion and enhancement of the districts.  The services provided to the communities by BIDs are essential to ensuring small businesses, and the neighborhoods in which they operate, are given every opportunity to succeed.

“BIDs are a proven example of how public/private partnerships can promote economic development.  These bills will further the fundamental role that BIDs have played in the economic development of our neighborhoods and in the renaissance of New York City.

“I would like to thank Rob Walsh, the Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services and his staff for their role in shepherding the City’s 49th and 50th BIDs through the approval process.  I also want to acknowledge the members of the Fordham Road and Queens Plaza/ Court Square Steering Committees, and Council Members Weprin, Rivera, Baez and Gioia for their important contributions throughout this process.”

“Mayor Bloomberg has energized the BIDs, and he understands the value of bringing people together,” said SBS Commissioner Rob Walsh. “He has made it easier for them to form and grow, and we’re seeing the results with the formation of the City’s 49th and 50th Business Improvement Districts. Both of these efforts have been years in the making, in Long Island City since the early nineties and on Fordham Road for over two decades. Congratulations to both groups for making this a reality.”

“Today marks a long awaited dream come true for Fordham Road property and business owners who are eagerly looking forward to the positive improvements that the BID will make for Fordham Road,” said Wilma Alonso, Executive Director of the Bronx Council for Economic Development. “We’re privileged to have sponsored the BID formation effort. The Fordham Road BID is truly a public/private partnership of the best kind, and we wish to thank our partners, Mayor Bloomberg, Rob Walsh and the wonderful staff of the Department of Small Business Services. I’d also like to thank City Council members Joel Rivera and Maria Baez, State Assemblyman Jose Rivera and Borough President Adolfo Carrion for all of their support.”

“The University is both grateful for and excited about the approval of the Fordham Road BID,” saidJoseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. “We are especially grateful for the assistance of Commissioner Rob Walsh and his staff at the Department of Small Business Services for their continued support of Fordham Road property owners. Fordham looks forward to working with its neighbors and colleagues to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.”

“Long Island City is the gateway to Queens, and as a first rate business and cultural district it deserves first rate amenities,” said Gary Kesner, Executive Vice President of Silvercup Studios, Chairman of the Long Island City Business Development Corporation and a member of the BID Steering Committee.

“The establishment of the BID is a major step in achieving that goal. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Walsh and his staff, and Councilman Gioia for all their support during this effort.”