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Since 1995, Albany has seen the creation of three Business Improvement Districts (BID). They are the Downtown Albany BID, which was formed in 1996; the Lark Street BID, which was also formed in 1996; and the Central BID, which was created in 1997.  A BID is a public/private partnership through which a special assessment is used to finance improvements or services within a designated commercial area. In simple terms, it is a self-help program activated by self-imposed assessment. Property and business owners form BIDs to provide enhanced services in order to reverse the deterioration of their urban business environment and to compete more effectively with suburban malls. Property owners, merchants and residents in a district agree to be assessed for improvements or services, beyond those already provided by municipal government, that will benefit only those propertied included in the district. The municipality collects the funds for the BID and turns them over in their entirety to the BID. The BID Board, which is composed of property owners, merchants and residents, outlines how the funds will be spent. 

While each Business Improvement District manages different areas of the City, and has varying missions, their overall goal is similar. Albany’s BIDs assist in economic development, promote the businesses and services within their district, and create a clean, safe environment for workers, residents, and visitors.

To find out more information on the specific missions, objectives, and initiatives of the Business Improvement Districts, you may visit them on the Internet by following the links below.

Downtown BID:
The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) is an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1996. The organization partners with businesses, property owners, arts and cultural institutions, social service providers, government agencies and elected officials in a united effort to revitalize downtown Albany.

Lark Street BID:
The Lark Street Neighborhood District Management Association, also know as the Lark Street Business Improvement District, a not-for-profit corporation, was incorporated in 1996 as a coalition of over 180 property owners united in their commitment to enhance the quality of life in the Lark Street Neighborhood. Since its inception the organization has worked to improve and promote the Lark Street Neighborhood through a variety of programs and services.

Central BID:
The Central Avenue BID is a not-for-profit created in 1998 to bring business and commerce back to Central Avenue—and it has! In the 17 years since the BID was founded, the vacancy rate on Central Avenue has gone from 19 percent to just 4 percent. The Central BID has accomplished this by working diligently with stakeholders and partners, and dedicating its efforts to both business attraction and retention. The Central BID’s programs include a 7-day-a-week sidewalk litter program, a year-round aesthetics and seasonal decorations program, and a business recruitment program. The CBID also promotes Central Avenue by hosting five annual special events and producing a wide array of educational programming for business owners and district members. These events are designed to build interest in specific businesses and drive more traffic to Central Avenue, making it a better place to live, work, and have fun.