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The Coney Island BID Initiative 

For the last several decades, the formation of a Business Improvement District (BID) has been a tool used by many neighborhoods across New York City and all over the country to improve the quality of life within commercial districts for the benefit of all local stakeholders. BIDs are a proven public-private model for hyper-local neighborhood planning, advocacy, and economic development. There are 76 BIDs across NYC, including 23 in Brooklyn, and two right in our backyard: the Brighton Beach BID (along Brighton Beach Ave) and the Kings Highway BID (along Kings Hwy from Ocean Ave to Ocean Pkwy). These organizations provide consistent funding and advocacy for neighborhood maintenance and improvements, give voice to neighborhood issues, provide supplemental services (in addition to, not replacing, City services), host festivals and events to drive tourism and highlight local businesses, provide amenities to residents and visitors, and celebrate the history and vitality of the area where they operate. Because all funding is locally managed, BIDs have the ability to be nimble when it comes to responding to local conditions. 

Since 2012, the Alliance for Coney Island has served a BID-like role in the neighborhood, cleaning the sidewalks, installing supplemental lighting and holiday decorations, providing technical assistance and marketing support to local businesses, hosting events and programming that draw visitors, and much more, all for the greater benefit of the neighborhood. The Alliance has been extremely fortunate over the years to receive significant government funding to support these activities. However, much of this funding stream was tied to Sandy recovery, and a capital project which was recently completed. The formation of a Business Improvement District in Coney Island is a proposal to create a sustainable structure and mechanism for continuing and expanding upon the work of the Alliance for years to come. 

While we’ve come a long way in recent years, Coney Island’s commercial corridors still face many challenges, including unlicensed vending, vagrancy, illegal dumping, illegal parking, crime, dirty sidewalks and streets, and more. In addition, Coney Island has a large number of people leaving the neighborhood to shop instead of staying local. A major goal of a Coney Island BID will be to make shopping in Coney Island more appealing and to increase local spending. In recovering from COVID, we’ve seen that our commercial corridors have struggled in comparison with communities with BIDs, who had a cadre of support and resources, and recovered more quickly.  


Through a grant from NYC Department of Small Business Services awarded in late 2022, the Alliance was fortunate to have some funds dedicated to supporting the process of BID formation. In the past 14 months, a Steering Committee composed of local business owners, property owners, and community stakeholders has worked together to identify the key components of a Coney Island BID, including the geographic area, organization mission, organization vision, services provided, and assessment mechanisms. The Steering Committee has formulated a proposal for a Coney Island Business Improvement District that has the resources and capacity to significantly improve quality of life in Coney Island, to the benefit of the entire community. By pooling funds through assessments on commercial properties, the BID will be empowered to implement targeted initiatives aimed at enhancing safety, cleanliness, marketing, and overall infrastructure within the district. These endeavors will not only elevate the visitor experience but also attract new investments, businesses, and job opportunities to Coney Island. Moreover, the establishment of a BID signifies a commitment to local governance and grassroots revitalization efforts. Through democratic processes, stakeholders will have a direct voice in determining how assessment dollars get spent. 


Creating a Coney Island Business Improvement District is an essential next step to bring much-needed resources to the neighborhood and support sustainable economic development. The proposed Coney Island BID seeks to integrate and unify the many parts of Coney Island and at the same time, recognize and enhance what makes each of them distinct. We hope you will consider supporting our BID formation proposal. 

-Coney Island BID Formation Steering Committee

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