Empowering Local Leaders to Transform New York City s Business Districts

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1 + NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES: Empowering Local Leaders to Transform New York City s Business Districts 2011 IDA Downtown Achievement Awards Submission: Downtown Leadership and Management

2 NYC s Current Commercial Revitalization Climate Each year SBS partners with more than 100 community-based organizations to enhance commercial districts and revitalize low- and moderate-income corridors through the Agency s Business Improvement District (BID) and Avenue NYC programs. SBS network of 64 Business Improvement Districts invests over $100 million in services to more than 19,000 businesses in New York City neighborhoods. The Avenue NYC program supports 50 organizations working to fill vacancies with new businesses, attract more shoppers to local stores, and organize business owners in low- and moderate-income communities throughout the five boroughs. 2

3 Why Build the Capacity of Non-Profit Partners? SBS and Mayor Bloomberg recognize the impact BIDs and local economic development corporations have on New York City s economy as a whole The City s commercial revitalization efforts depend on the strength and effectiveness of local partner organizations that work in commercial corridors throughout the five boroughs. While a range of factors determine the success of any individual organization s efforts, the presence of strong local leadership is critical to achieving results Through a four-pronged approach, SBS provides local organizations with the financial, technical and human resources support to build strong local organizations that can fulfill their mission of supporting vibrant commercial corridors. In these tough times, we must strengthen business improvement districts and local economic development corporations throughout the City. - Mayor Michael Bloomberg 2002 State of the City Address 3

4 SBS Approach to Strengthening Local Organizations 1. Support commercial revitalization efforts of 50 BIDs and LDCs serving low- and moderate-income business districts each year through Avenue NYC 2. Offer free Non-Profit Management Training to the City s network of BIDs and LDCs 3. Provide direct commercial revitalization technical assistance through the Neighborhood Retail Leasing Program 4. Build strong leaders through the Neighborhood Leadership Program 4

5 Avenue NYC Since FY 2009, Avenue NYC has awarded $6.2 million to local economic development corporations and BIDs in the following project areas: 1. Business Attraction 2. Neighborhood Economic Development Planning 3. BID Formation/Expansion 4. Façade Improvement Management 5. Merchant Organizing 6. Placemaking 7. Website Development In FY 2011 we launched micro-grants to support new, often volunteer efforts, expanding our support to more communities throughout the city. With over $4.5 Million in Avenue NYC support in 2009 and 2010, 69 local organizations were able to achieve tremendous impact in the commercial districts they serve, including: 90 new businesses attracted 35 storefront facades improved 2 new BIDs formed 10 new merchant associations created 44 promotional events held 35 marketing campaigns launched In addition, Avenue NYC is currently investing $1,725,000 in 48 organizations to carry out 75 projects. By the end of the 2011 contract term, local partner organizations will have: Attracted 64 new businesses to 14 commercial corridors Improved 37 facades in 5 commercial corridors Developed 14 neighborhood promotional campaigns Created 9 new merchant associations Revitalized 17 existing merchant associations 5

6 Non-Profit Management Training In addition to critical funding through Avenue NYC, SBS helps build the capacity of organizations by developing workshops, roundtables and providing one-on-one technical assistance to support BID and LDC programs and operations in partnership with organizations like the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, Lawyers Alliance for New York and NPower NY: Workshop topics include: Fundraising and Fund Development Non-Profit Financial Management Board Development Program Evaluation Strategic Planning Communications and Marketing Program Design and Development Website Development Business Attraction and Retail Leasing Placemaking and District Marketing Merchant Organizing BID and Non-Profit Best Practices and Law Over the past 2 years, SBS has provided over 2,100 hours of training to 130 staff and Board members of BIDs & LDCs 6

7 Neighborhood Retail Leasing Program SBS partnered with a retail leasing consultant, the JGSC Group, to launch the Neighborhood Retail Leasing Program in The Program provides organization staff with technical training and assistance attracting new retail businesses to commercial districts. The Program is a combination of workshops and one-on-one technical assistance sessions that teach participants how retail businesses make site selection decisions and how to fill vacancies in their districts. In addition to training sessions, all participating organizations receive tailored demographic and market data profiles of their communities to assist them in their retail attraction efforts. Four of the 19 participating organizations are receiving in-depth consulting assistance from SBS and the JGSC Group to develop and implement a comprehensive retail leasing plan and professionally designed marketing materials for their respective communities: Crotona East / Morrisania (Bronx) Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn) Bradhurst / Harlem (Manhattan) Long Island City (Queens) 7

8 Coro Neighborhood Leadership Program This year SBS is sponsoring the creation of a 5-month program to train visionary commercial revitalization leaders with the Coro New York Leadership Center and the Association for a Better New York The program consists of 20 BID and local development corporation executive director and mid-level staff Leadership Development Training Modules Managing and Communicating a Vision o Developing long-term visions for commercial revitalization work Creating and Maintaining Productive Stakeholder Relationships o Engaging diverse stakeholders while promoting the interests of a community-based organization Driving and Managing Toward Results o Developing specific and realistic commercial revitalization goals/outcomes o Creating and managing an organizational framework for achieving those goals/outcomes Change Management within Organizations o Identifying opportunities for change o Driving change through thoughtful engagement and leadership Commercial Revitalization Training Modules Understanding the Logic of Community o Analyzing local stakeholder relationships o Strategies for local data collection and securing the information needed to lead Strategies for Driving Retail Sales o Retail promotions, marketing and communication o Addressing crime through local partnerships and environmental design o Improving the shopping environment and leveraging unique assets Improving Tenant Mix through Targeted Retail Leasing o Basics of retail leasing o Strategic positioning and market analysis o Retail prospecting Understanding Retail Business Fundamentals o Merchandising/marketing strategies for retailers o Business planning/financing options for retailers Visit the Website: 8

9 Coro Neighborhood Leadership Who They Are 2011 Inaugural Class 9

10 Driving Towards Success: WHEDco Founded in 1991, the Women s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) aims to restore the country s poorest neighborhood in the South Bronx to the beautiful, bustling place it once was for upwardly mobile immigrant families. With $150,000 of support through Avenue NYC in the past two years, WHEDco has been able to: Organize the business owners around creating the Southern Boulevard Merchant Association with a newly elected a Board of Directors Attract new businesses to the district Build a website for the new merchant associations that will be used to market the businesses in the district, promote events organized by the Association and to attract shoppers, residents and visitors to the community 10

11 Driving Towards Success: WHEDco This year, WHEDco participated in the Retail Leasing Program. Working with business attraction consultant, JGSC Group and with SBS, WHEDco: Surveyed 448 residents and produced a Community Needs Assessment report; Performed a demographic and economic analysis of the Southern Boulevard area, to identify needs, and to develop a retail leasing plan to attract new businesses; Identified retail-ready commercial spaces to target as part of the program; Created a formal Retail Leasing Strategy, which will be used to guide current and future merchandising endeavors Produced professional and persuasive marketing materials for distribution to interested business and property owners; Leveraged relationships with area property owners and brokers to arrange tours of available commercial spaces; Develop key partnerships with the broker and property owner community to bring businesses to Southern Boulevard that address the needs of the community; Attracted 2 new businesses to the corridor to date. 11

12 Driving Towards Success: WHEDco Using New York City as our classroom, Coro s approach enabled me to make crucial connections with organizations, people, places, resources and knowledge that, even now, are helping to unearth the potential of the struggling South Bronx commercial districts where I work. - Kerry McLean, WHEDco Kerry McLean is the Director of Community Development at WHEDco and is responsible for working with the new Merchant Association on Southern Boulevard. As a member of its inaugural group of 20 professionals who work on commercial revitalization across New York City, she found the Coro Neighborhood Leadership Program to be invaluable to her efforts, and to her growth as a leader. Upon completion of the program, Kerry received a promotion and is now overseeing a growing staff working on the commercial revitalization of the South Bronx. 12

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