By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The holiday shopping season got off to a festive start for the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District as members got together for a party on Dec. 3.
The business owners were joined by elected officials and civic leaders at the party at the Bay Ridge Manor catering hall on 76th Street.
BID President Jim Clark, vice president of The Flood Company, a real estate firm, presented awards to two of the organization’s members, Zoe Koutsoupakis, executive vice president of Marathon Bank of New York, and Olympia Colandrea, owner of Salon Da Noi, a spa on the avenue. The two women were cited for their efforts to attract new shoppers to the avenue.
One corner of the manor’s main ballroom was covered in a mountain of toys. Clark had asked each guest to being a toy to the party to be donated to children from underprivileged families. The BID conducts a holiday toy drive every year.
The BID, a public-private partnership, represents hundreds of property owners and merchants on Fifth Avenue between 65th and 85th Streets in Bay Ridge. The BID, which was established in 2006, operates with an annual budget of $338,000 a year, funding private sanitation cleanups, private security details, decorative holiday season street lights, and other amenities designed to bring more shoppers to the commercial thoroughfare.
Under city law, a BID is funded by the property owners, who agree to pay an added assessment to their city real estate taxes. The money is pooled together and used for purposes decided on by the BID’s board of directors. The Department of Small Business Services oversses the city’s various business improvement districts.