The Value of a BID

The programs and improvements you’ve seen in Chinatown, including Clean Streets, Explore ChinatownSM, Taste of ChinatownSM, and more, are temporarily funded by grants from government and foundations.

A BID is the only way to consistently fund clean streets. Improving Chinatown attracts more visitors and more customers to local businesses, helps keep Chinatown competitive with adjacent neighborhoods and BIDs, and makes the neighborhood a better place to live, work and visit.

To date, 65 BIDs have been created in New York City alone.  (1,800 BIDs worldwide.)  Many of them have, in fact, expanded their service areas.

How Are BIDs Funded & Managed?

BIDs are funded through an assessment on property owners, who have agreed to pay for a range of improvement services determined by the BID board. Some landlords can pass along the cost to their commercial tenants, but not to residential tenants.

The board is comprised of property owners, business owners and other community representatives, all of whom have a stake in the proposed BID. The majority of board members must be property owners and commercial tenants.

How is a BID Formed?

BID formation begins with planning and outreach. In the planning phase a steering committee is formed that, like the board to follow, is comprised of property owners, business owners and other community representatives. The steering committee’s work includes:

  • Defining service area. Only properties within the Service Area pay for and are entitled to receive BID benefits.  See map on home page.
  • Drafting the BID plan. This includes determining the services and improvements to be provided by the BID, the first year’s budget and the assessment formula (hybrid of assessed value and linear front frootage)

The Cost of Being in a BID Service Area

The BID’s board is responsible for developing the budget and determining the rate of assessment needed to fund the services provided by the BID.

We have estimated that 74% of commercial property owners pay an assessment of $1,000 or less annually to receive supplemental cleaning services, holiday lights and advocacy for a fair share of government services.  There is an annual assessment “floor” of $200, and a maximum assessment cap of $5,000 to ensure costs are fairly shared.  Residential condo and co-op owners pay $1 per year in assessments.

The Cost of Not Having a BID

For Chinatown, the improvements created by a BID would help ensure the neighborhood’s economic viability, keeping it competitive with adjacent neighborhoods. Without a BID, enhanced sanitation services and other programs will end by 2010, and likely many of the problems that plagued Chinatown in the past will return.

Approximately $1,900,000 in government funding for Chinatown may be redirected to another community without a BID to receive and manage services.

What You Should Know About a BID in Chinatown

1 74% of commercial property owners pay a $1,000 or less annually in assessments to reinvest in Chinatown
2 A BID Board is run by  local property owners and commercial tenants who determine cost and scope of services
3 A BID is more than cleaning streets; it can provide marketing and special events, and advocate for a fair share of government services

Pursuant to BID legislation, representatives from the  Mayor’s Office, Comptroller, District Council member, and Manhattan Borough President attend BID meetings to address concerns.

4 A BID can provide 7 days a week enhanced sanitation service: power washing and tracking of issues throughout the service area
5 There are 65 BIDs in New York City.   BIDs surround Chinatown
6 Making Chinatown more welcoming will attract more customers

There is a direct correlation between how much time people spend along a commercial corridor, and how much money they spend there.

7 Without a BID, enhanced sanitation services will end by 2010