BAY RIDGE — City Councilman Justin Brannan announced on Friday funding for a new 3rd Avenue Business Improvement District (BID).
Brannan will award a $37,000 Neighborhood Development Grant Initiative to the Bay Ridge Merchants of Third Avenue, who for the past decade have voluntarily helped provide a cleaner and safer business corridor. The grant will help businesses along 3rd Avenue compete with other retail districts in Southern Brooklyn.
Initial funding will go directly to developing a Steering Committee who will decide the priorities of the BID. The grant will also fund the first phase of the BID formation including, determining the boundaries of the BID, a retail database, a needs assessment survey and an overall plan for the district.
“It will always be my priority to support local business and the positive effects that a strong local commerce community can have on our neighborhoods,” Brannan said. “The Merchants already do great work, but a BID will have even more power to benefit local business owners, consumers, and residents.”
To establish a fully operational BID, organizers need about 50% of business and landowners to approve. The board and members will then need to develop bylaws and set fees that go into maintaining the BID.
Sheila Brody has owned and operated a business along 3rd Avenue for the past two decades and welcomes the idea of a more structured business improvement group.
“I think that we’ve lucked out for the past decades where we’ve had a group of volunteers helping retailers with special events and day-to-day operations that make the Avenue what it is,” Brody said.
Grateful for all the work the volunteer-based group has put into the stretch of retail spaces along 3rd Ave., Brody, 43, insists a BID would give more structure and affordability.
“I think it’s necessary,” she added.
A kickoff ceremony will be held on Tuesday at the Greenhouse Cafe on 3rd Ave. at 6:00 p.m. where Bannan will present a ceremonial check to the merchants of Third Avenue and announce the members of the Steering Committee.