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Dreams of 13th Avenue Business Improvement District becoming a reality

The 13th Avenue Merchants Association’s dream of one day becoming a full-fledged Business Improvement District (BID) is moving closer to becoming a reality.

The merchants association, aided by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, is poised to begin the process by which the BID — which will run from 65th Street to 86th Street, and encompass more than 200 businesses – will be formed.

To that end, organizers have set the dates for two required public meetings which all 13th Avenue merchants, property owners and nearby residents are welcome to attend.

Overseen by the city’s Department of Small Business Services, a BID is a public-private partnership in which property-owners agree to be assessed a specific amount of money each year, to pay for a variety of services.

Becoming a BID gives member merchants a way actively to improve their avenue, through things like paying for beautification, supplementary street cleaning and security, while also being able to hold events for the community. At least 50 percent of businesses and property owners on the strip must support the BID for it to move forward.

“[Right now,] we’re capable of doing Christmas lights and a couple of [networking] events, but everyone has jobs, so it’s tough to find volunteers,” explained merchants group President Dominick Sarta in July, 2014. “With a BID, every business owner pays in, so there will be a guaranteed budget to work with.”

Among the first issues a newly formed BID would tackle would be street cleanliness, he said.

The first open forum will take place on Saturday, March 21 at 11 a.m. in the Saint Bernadette School’s cafeteria, located at 1313 83rd Street. The second will take place on Monday, March 23rd at 7 p.m. at Ridgewood Savings Bank, located at 7020 13th Avenue.

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