The issue of whether or not Garden City would establish a Business Improvement District (BID) has been ongoing for years and has once again become a hot topic in the village since the Chamber of Commerce requested that the board of trustees approve $30,000 to hire a consultant. While $30,000 may seem like a significant amount in the face of the money that the village has already put into revitalizing Franklin Avenue, the potential that comes with this investment must not be forgotten.
The chamber and those in favor of establishing a BID have cited communities such as Great Neck and Glen Cove which have benefited tremendously from becoming a BID. Although it is not guaranteed that Garden City will reap the same rewards, shouldn't the village at least make the attempt considering the investment that has already been made on Franklin Avenue.
The revitalization of Franklin Avenue and the work done on Seventh Street years ago has been fantastic, as everyone from Garden City already knows. The problem is that those who do not live in the village are not aware of these improvements. A BID would provide the owners of businesses on these two streets the opportunity to band together and publicize the great changes that have taken place so that everyone on Long Island can know what those of us in Garden City already know- that this is not the same Franklin Avenue and Seventh Street that they think they know.
If people do not know about the improvements they will not travel to Garden City to do their shopping and the stores will not be able to stay in business. Once again these streets will be faced with many empty stores as was the case just a few years ago. In losing the stores, the district will not be as attractive to offices or restaurants either and the village will lose that commercial base as well.
The village has made so much of an investment on this revitalization, why not take it the rest of the way? Those in favor of the BID have vowed that the village will be paid back as soon as the BID is established and able to collect the money from all the businesses that are part of the district so the village does not have anything to lose but has everything to gain. If each of these buildings are filled, the village will be collecting taxes from each of these thriving businesses, thus helping the village as a whole, not just the business district.
If for some reason the BID does not work out, it is renewable every year, and can be disbanded. The village needs to take this chance in order to make the revitalization of its business district a true success story.