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About the Alliance for Coney Island – Origins of BID Formation 

The Alliance for Coney Island, a nonprofit, was formed in 2012 to provide a vehicle for improved collaboration among Coney Island stakeholders for the rejuvenation of this iconic neighborhood. Through shared commitment and hard work, the Alliance implements initiatives that focus on the betterment of the community at large while preserving the rich and colorful past of the People’s Playground. The Alliance programs more than 30 free annual events, markets the Amusement District to increase visitorship, and advocates for resources for Coney Island commercial corridor businesses, both on Mermaid and Surf Avenues. To learn more about the Alliance, please visit www.allianceforconeyisland.org. 

To this day, The Alliance provides crucial resources to the business and neighborhood communities. However, the bulk of this work is supported by grant funding, specifically grant funding earmarked for communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy. More than 10 years out from Sandy, much of this funding has dried up, and the Alliance is now seeking a new, sustainable structure for continuing to carry out its important activities far into the future.

 

Conversations about a Coney Island BID started as far back as 2016. While interfacing with residents and merchants during the gathering of information for a Commercial District Needs Assessment (CDNA), there was an expressed interest in improving basic quality of life issues. Following up on the concerns raised during the CDNA process, the Alliance facilitated many one-on-one as well as town hall style public conversations with community stakeholders, residents, business and property owners, to explore the prospect of forming a Coney Island Business Improvement District. Conversations progressed significantly, but were put on pause during COVID. Emerging from COVID, the need for a BID became increasingly apparent, with businesses struggling and a decline in City resources to support basic services in the neighborhood. 

 

In late 2022, through a grant from NYC Department of Small Business Services, the Alliance was fortunate to have some funds dedicated to restarting 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, and 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.

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse attractions, Coney Island has long been a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. However, as the landscape of commerce evolves, the Alliance recognizes the urgent need to ensure the area's sustained vitality and economic prosperity. Forming a BID presents a strategic opportunity for the Alliance to harness collective resources and foster collaborative efforts among businesses, property owners, and community stakeholders. 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.

The Alliance for Coney Island's pursuit of a Business Improvement District underscores its dedication to preserving the neighborhood's character while ushering in a new era of growth and prosperity. A Coney Island BID will create a more vibrant, resilient, and inclusive Coney Island for generations to come.

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