They were absolutely shocked when they learned they would be receiving close to double that amount.
Avella announced he was able to secure the extra funding during a check presentation at BBA's Bell Boulevard office last Friday.
“People frequently come to Bayside to enjoy the great restaurants and shopping that is offered and I am thrilled to be able to help the Bayside Business Association in their endeavors to grow their membership and bring even more exciting opportunities to Bayside,” said Avella. “They do a great job of maintaining the vibrancy of Bell Boulevard.”
The group intends to use the money to improve its website, offer more seminars and workshops for its 65 members, and cover general operating costs.
“We are really trying to improve our member benefits,” said BBA president Ed Probst, who noted in its heyday the group had close to 200 members. “We are really working on things in that area.”
Probst said the BBA is also trying to bring two “Welcome to Bayside” signs to the neighborhood.
“They could be on Northern Boulevard at Francis Lewis Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway, but right now we are just working with sign companies on a design and the cost,” he said.
The BBA was formed in 1997. The group was instrumental in creating the Bayside Village Business Improvement District, which after a ten-year process came into existence in 2008.
“We were supposed to be about all of Bayside, but we found we were spending so much of our time on Bell Boulevard,” explained Judith Limpert, who until recently was the organization's president. “Now the BID takes care of a lot of those services that we were offering.”