Business Alliance of Kingston - helping businesses grow

From the Time Warner News Network
Published: 12-12-13


KINGSTON, N.Y. -- An empty storefront on Broadway got a new look as it is turned into a temporary showcase for all things made in Kingston.

The transformation of the store, located at 572 Broadway, is part of the Made In Kingston event.

Organizers said it's a celebration of the city's artists, innovators, and manufacturers.City businesses displayed everything from movie props, to raw rye whiskey, to hot sauce.

"We've got quite a cluster now in Kingston of these businesses,” said event organizer Pat Courtney-Strong. “They find that the rent is very affordable, they find that they're close enough to New York City that they can get down there very quickly and then of course there is a tremendous local community that is happy to have them."

The project is complementary to the Mayor's BEAT initiative which stands for Business Education Arts and Technology.

Editorial from The Daily Freeman
Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011  

To say the idea of creating a business improvement district in the city of Kingston is a hard sell is to risk being charged with felonious understatement.

The Business Alliance of Kingston, which focuses on the commerce of the Midtown and Downtown sections of the city, has proposed just such a special taxing district.

 Oops. Now, we’ve done it. We said the T-word.

 In today’s world, if you could attach the word “tax” in some way to the flag, motherhood and apple pie, each would, in relatively short order, be rabidly denounced as positively un-American.

Too bad, at least with regard to the business improvement district, which, at the very least, deserves some more discussion.

A business improvement district, quite assuredly, is not just another way of imposing a municipal tax. The idea of such a district is to concentrate particular attention on a commercial zone to improve the environs to everyone’s benefit.

It is done both with the money of commercial property and business owners and their assent and control.

 A business improvement district can be turned to many different purposes according to the particular needs of an area. Among the most common services provided by districts are sanitation and security, supplementing those provided by a municipality, as well as promotion and beautification.

Business improvement districts have been used to good effect in locales across the nation. Among the most famous is the one in the neighborhood of Times Square – yes, that Times Square – which in the 1970s was perhaps the nation’s most notorious redlight district.

We don’t know whether a business improvement district necessarily is the answer to the commercial problems of Midtown and Downtown. But it is a concept that has worked elsewhere.

To reject it out of hand, as too many already have done, is unwise. It simply reinforces the community’s unofficial motto: “Kingston — a place where everyone wants things to get better, but no one wants anything to ever change.”

In the face of such resistance, the Business Alliance of Kingston has withdrawn the proposal for reworking. When a new plan is resubmitted, we urge everyone to take a deep breath and offer it some open-hearted consideration.


Letter to the Editor to The Daily Freeman
Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear Editor:

  I was appalled at the amount of business and property owners who acknowledged that business improvement districts are successful and that they do work.

These same individuals also mentioned how the BID would not succeed in Kingston and ultimately would become a bureaucratic arm of the city with no accountability for actual improvement to the Broadway corridor.

This commonly stated presumption was presented countless times to the Common Council. The fact remains that Kingston is not unique to exclusion of a BID. Broadway remains a visual disturbance with vacant businesses, graffiti, crime and crumbling facades.

 These are all factors which are addressed by the formation of a Business Improvement District. If the BID fails to lead to a more positive perception of our city and a better business climate, then the BID can be disbanded by a 51 percent property owner vote. The funds raised for the BID will not enter the city fund. They will be used exclusively for the BID and will not include a single city employee.

 If you are a property owner and vote against the BID before it becomes a reality, then you certainly need to understand the detriment you are continuing to yourself and the city.



 Letter to the Editor to The Daily Freeman
Published: Wednesday, October 09, 2011

Dear Editor:

I spoke in favor of the proposed Business Improvement District at the Sept. 29 public hearing. As a Kingston business owner of many years, I feel that BID offers a chance to shape a vision for the Midtown corridor that will enhance its commercial prospects and make it attractive for drawing in new businesses.

Our business is in Midtown, but not in the BID map. Perhaps secondary or tiered areas can be set up to help share the cost of BID projects. While the benefits of the BID will directly affect the businesses in the BID map, it will also have a beneficial affect on businesses surrounding the area. This in turn would improve the business climate of Kingston as a whole.