The Geneva BID Mission is to promote an attractive and viable downtown, and to manage an 18.5-acre designated area that is high quality in appearance and design, maintaining a safe and attractive environment for property owners, business people, tenants, shoppers and visitors. It also plans, and coordinate events, promotes and markets businesses, administrators grants and provides support to merchants.
For those old enough to remember the 1980s, it was a difficult economic time. The Northeast and the Rust-Belt were losing industries, businesses, and people. Many inner cities were collapsing. The saying was, last one leaving New York State can turn out the lights. The Geneva Business Improvement District was formed in 1986 and was the second BID established in New York State. BIDS were rare then. Today, there are approximately 1,500 BIDS in the Nation, with 74 in New York City alone. BIDS have become popular ways for cities to revitalize and improve themselves.
The Geneva BID, as all BIDs, are funded through an assessment of property in the district, and all funds stay within the district. Additional money is raised through special events, such as Cruisin’ Night, now going on its 19th year, and the Light Up Geneva Auction, in its 23rd year. With the revenue, BID provides important services, projects and programs the City does not. It purchases items such as Christmas lights and flowers for the Downtown area. Though partially funded by the City of Geneva, BID is not a part of the City, and BID employees are not City employees.
The BID does not provide grants or loans, though it does work with the City of Geneva with loans and grant programs it administers. BID does work on promoting business via its social media platforms and the large, ecteronic KIOSK that resides across from the Smith Opera House.
Though the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce and the Geneva BID both provide services and support to local businesses, there are significant differences between the two organizations. Whereas the BID receives most of its financing through the assessment and is committed totally to the Downtown Geneva, the Chamber is a member-based organization with members in and outside Geneva. However, when a new business opens in Downtown Geneva, both organizations will support and nurture it.
In the winter, the BID is responsible for snow and ice removal, salting crosswalks and sidewalks. It’s also responsible for litter and trash removal, and event set up. Holiday decorations, which include over 200 light posts, are set up and maintained by BID; in warm weather, over 75 planters and numerous other floral areas are placed and maintained.