This past year, the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID) celebrated its 15th birthday.
This past year, the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID) celebrated its 15th birthday! Since 2007, the BID has worked hard to improve a two-mile stretch of Germantown Avenue, from Washington Lane to Cresheim Valley Drive, so area businesses and institutions can be more successful, commercial properties are more valuable, and residents and visitors can enjoy the benefits of a vibrant community.
The pandemic has challenged businesses and commercial property owners like never before. Yet by remaining united, the BID, working closely with Mt. Airy CDC, has mitigated many of the negative impacts of the pandemic.
The regular cleaning of the commercial corridor, with nearly 100,000 gallons of litter collected annually, along with our beautification efforts, has resulted in the new development of nearly 200,000 square feet of space, most of it formerly vacant and deteriorated properties. And, the BID has given new businesses the confidence to open throughout the pandemic, while encouraging existing businesses to strengthen their operations by re-tooling for today’s hybrid of on-line and in-person customers.
This year was a particularly strong one for new business openings by people of color. Nationally, approximately 4% of all businesses are minority-owned. In Mt. Airy, more than 30 percent of local entrepreneurs are people of color, and a growing number of them are women, in keeping with a national trend that has seen a significant uptick in the number of businesses launched by Black women.
Our priorities for 2023 are continuing to clean and beautify our commercial corridor via daily cleaning and removal of graffiti, maintaining our tree canopy by planting new trees in partnership with the Mt. Airy Tree Tenders, and working with local property owners to improve façade improvements through matching grants.
We look forward to continuing our work with the city’s Streets and Commerce Departments to complete the design and installation of seven new pedestrian crosswalks along Germantown Avenue that will increase public safety and result in traffic calming. We will continue to pursue additional funding to bring streetscape improvements to the 6400 block of Germantown Avenue, which was overlooked when the city improved the 6300 block and south and PennDOT improved the 6500 block and north.
With the BID’s recent reauthorization by City Council, allowing us to collect assessments and continue our operations, the hardworking Mt. Airy BID Board looks forward to making Mt. Airy an even better place to live, work, do business and enjoy in the year ahead!