Business Flourishes in Bed-Stuy: The BID’s Annual Membership Meeting


For those of you who weren’t able to come, last week was our Annual Membership Meeting. The members of the BID came together to discuss the progress of the BID and its future plans. The meeting was well-attended, with around 40 people joining us, including board members, property owners, members of the general public, and council member Albert Vann. BID staff and board members presented about ongoing projects, such as the streetscape improvements, as well as new developments, like the BID Watch security camera program that will launch in 2012.

Lisa Thompson, Deputy Director of Bed-Stuy Gateway, started us off with an update on the capital improvements, more specifically, the streetscape improvements you can see up and down Fulton Street. Ten million dollars of publicly funded money has been invested in the project. The improvements started June 2011 and are planned to finish by August 2012. We can expect 144 new trees, new public benches, and bike racks among other improvements. These improvements will offer a convenience and comfort to shoppers on Fulton Street. Many have already noted the construction and improvements being made. I’m sure we’re all eager to see the finished results! Many attendees voiced concerns regarding the effect the improvements may have on Fulton Street businesses, but Ms. Thompson had a well-informed answer for each question. If you have any questions concerning these improvements, please email the bedstuygateway@gmail.com.

Noah Katz, Vice Chair, discusses marketing in the BID.

Board Vice Chair, Noah Katz, was up next to discuss the success the Gateway has had with marketing so far, mostly through the BID’s events and social media accounts. Mr. Katz pointed out the superb attendance of the Nothing But Networking events and the desire by many to continue them in the future. October’s 7th Annual Bed-Stuy Alive street fair saw many attendees and continues to go strong presenting Bed-Stuy’s vibrant business, cultural and artistic communities while promoting pride among its residents. The annual event introduces thousands of visitors to Bed-Stuy’s shops, businesses, distinguished art scene and the historical significance of one of the largest African American communities in the country. Mr. Katz was happy to showcase the newly minted Savor Bed-Stuy this year, which brought attention to 25 of Bed-Stuy’s wonderful and diverse restaurants. Folks had access to deals and discounts of the participating restaurants. Hope everyone can save space for next year.

Anthony Saunders, Director of Public Safety and Environment Control, answers questions regarding the new BID Watch program.

Marcia Melendez, Board Member, and Anthony Saunders, Director of Public Safety and Environment Control, then presented on the success the BID has had with security and cleanliness of the community. Ms. Melendez shared a story of a local owner, who after years of dealing with garbage and refuse dumped in front of her business, used a security camera system to catch her neighbor in the act of illegally dumping in front of her store. Mr. Saunders informed us that they dealt with the issue properly and then stressed the importance of a central security camera system for the BID to continue to prevent crimes and inconveinces like this one. Melendez illustrated the helpfulness of such a system, and the possible affordability if the local businesses purchased cameras in bulk from one supplier. Saunders used his years of experience as a police offer to develop the key elements of the BID Watch Program: deter, identify, report, and refer.  A camera system is among one of many ways the BID Watch program could achieve safety within the district.

Ms. Thompson presented once again, joined by Ms. Melendez, to discuss the Atlantic Maintenance street crew’s recent progress. This year to date, the crew has removed 67,000 bags of trash and logged 12,775 hours. According to the BID Executive Director, Doug Jones, our eventual goal is: “Keeping our streets looking pristine enough to eat off.” Chair Edmon Braithwaite pointed out the progress the clean-up crew has made since the BID made the decision to move them to a month-to-month contract after they were not initially providing the services expected of them.

Craig Sammuel of Peaches Restaurant, stresses the importance of having face-to-face contact with your customers.

The Annual membership meeting also featured a panel moderated by Anthony Long of NYC Business Solutions, made up of four panelists: Monique Greenwood of Akwaaba Enterprises (a collection of historic bed-and-breakfasts), Marcia Melendez of Flower Works, Rebecca Pear of Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, and Craig Sammuel of Peaches Restaurant. Eager to share their business acumen, they each expressed the importance marketing, reputation, and providing long-term support for employees.

Though the focuses of the presentations varied, the BID’s overarching message was common to all: The BID wants to work with you. We want to clean up your streets. We want to help you get additional security through the BID Watch program. We even want you to call us if you are thinking of opening or expanding a business in the district. Offering many of the same services as a broker, we’ll help you plant your business roots in Bed-Stuy. Unlike a broker, we don’t charge any fees and we have a vested interest in seeing your business flourish long after you sign a rental agreement.

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Categories: Fulton Street, Public Safety, Small Business, Uncategorized

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One Comment on “Business Flourishes in Bed-Stuy: The BID’s Annual Membership Meeting”

  1. November 23, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Reblogged this on TheBedStuyDandy.

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