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Queens Chronicle

Sutphin BID says the future is now

Officials cite gains in last year as key to a thriving business corridor

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Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:42 am, Thu Jul 11, 2013.

Talk in recent years about economic development in and around Jamaica’s business corridors has focused a lot on the year 2014, with discussions of new hotels, restaurants and businesses, all with the aim of making the area a shopping, cultural and nightlife destination.

And Shepherd Baum, interim chairman of the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District, is not at all nervous about seeing the group’s ideas through.

“We’re in 2014 right now, because I’m talking the fiscal year,” he said Friday at the BID’s tenth annual members meeting.

“And I’m not nervous,” he said. “I’m excited.”

Baum said the organization has been able to increase the fee it charges member businesses, and intends to use the funding for numerous programs to improve the appearance and performance of the area.

He and Executive Director Simone Price said they have had some success with such simple programs as more trash cans and collection, which has gone a long way toward improving appearance, cleanliness and public perception.

They also are in regular consultation with the NYPD to improve the actual and perceived safety of the area.

Price said a study conducted last year led to recommendations for business recruitment and developer outreach, aimed at marketing the Jamaica area to the people who now live there and in surrounding neighborhoods, but who patronize shops and restaurants in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Nassau County.

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