I like the festival. I like the food, I like meeting people and talking to my neighbors. I walked the festival and stopped at the food stands, paid $5 for fried Oreo’s, corn dogs and of course the fried corn and empanada’s. Did I mention the zeppoles? We ate a couple thousand calories!
I walked from 67st all the way to 86st – Passing the stands for toys, food, used items and the kids rides. I stopped at the bands to listen to the music and found that some of the people I know are part of a band and sing and play instruments – who knew!
After 2 hours I had my fill. That’s about all anyone needs in these fairs as the blocks tend to repeat themselves with the same items: Same foods, same games etc..
So I am glad the vendors made some money and some restaurants filled their coffers and everyone had a nice safe time.
What I did notice was that many local businesses did NOT participated. The majority of vendors were “outside”, not local businesses. I noticed the majority of stores closed and not participating. A quick count of the 15 or so blocks I covered made it clear that ONLY about 25% of the businesses were open and involved. This may be the normal trend or we have a decline over the years – no one really keeps track of this important detail.
The festival should promote the businesses on 3rd ave
We are in a vigorous debate on whether 3rd ave needs a BID, yet MOST businesses don’t participate in the festival – one of the major events a BID will sponsor.
WHY? All that time, energy and money spent from the Merchants Association and the major benefit goes to outside people NOT the 3rd ave businesses. As for me, I used to participate in the festival however over the years I found it did not attract much if any new business and cost me more in employees, flyers and banners than I made. Food is the best attraction. A band is great. Ddancing is wonderful. Those businesses may have a benefit to spending this money though I am uncertain how many actually track the results. Emotional feelings is not a proper indicator of success.
Perhaps to make a truly successful festival, MOST local businesses should participate with minimal outside vendors. After all, the focus is on the local businesses not others.
Does 3rd ave need a BID or even a merchant association? Questions we need to ask since NOW property owners NOT businesses will be forced to pay a lot of money ($150 – $200 a month that’s $1800 – $2400 per year per building) for services the majority of us don’t participate in.
Show us the money!
MOST businesses don’t pay their Merchant Association dues – the association ONLY collects about 30% of its dues – can you survive if you only collected 30% of your sales? If businesses dont find value in the association as indicated by their non payments, than why would they participate in a BID which is double the price? They Wont -hence why a BID taxes the property owners forcing them to pay. Property owners ALWAYS trickle down the costs to the businesses – hence WE ALL ARE FORCED TO PAY!
Some things should not go on forever as participation and interest declines – yes I understand the “old guard” wants to continue – great! But not at the expense of others. If the Merchant Association can ONLY collect 30% of its dues than we have a real problem with its services and relevancy.
Perhaps a change from the OLD GUARD is needed. They had their time and should step aside for a newer generation to take over with fresh ideas. If its determined that there is limited interest in the services, and we know there is by the collection rate, than decisions to continuing must be made.
Its time for new ideas!
Take a FRESH look at the festival, the lights and the 3rd ave as a whole – see it from a different angle and than ask – why are not all participating? Why only a small select few appear to speak for all? Is the homeless problem more important than lights? Come up with fresh ideas to generate business. Not fore people to pay a lot of money for services we don’t need or want.
Can your business afford $150 – $200 more a month?
Just say no to the 3rd ave BID.