Toward Common Business Goals

From Kevin Quilty of KUBA:

As newly elected President of the Kingston Uptown Business Assn., I have committed myself to securing the necessary funding and establishing the Main Street Manager position to represent the 3 business districts under the recently reconstituted Business Alliance of Kingston (BAC).

Three reps from each of the 3 districts (9 total) currently serve on this board and have been meeting regularly to garner the necessary political strength to make our voices heard to the members of the Common Council and the Mayor. There are Community Development Block Grant Funds available which we hope to use as seed money over a two year period to fill the position, establish hard and fast goals for some measure of success and then make the position self sustaining through assessments of the businesses.

It is an about face for us to finally raise our heads up from our own turf and come together to solve some common issues as a full fledged business group. We would love your support in terms of letters to Common Council members or the Mayor and would be happy to supply you with additional information should you request it. There will be a public hearing at City Hall on March 10 at 6 pm. We will be asking for $50K each for two years to establish this position from CDBG funds which we fully qualify for and then will be on our own.

I welcome any comments/questions from you about this bold initiative. The time has come for us to work as a community to solve our own problems and show the greater business area that we are alive and aware and focusing on building a better business environment for all of us.


After this past weekend’s visioning session for Ward 9’s business corridor, I thought about what is going on uptown with the creation of a BID (business improvement district). The effort there is to create stakeholders in the business community who can leverage their collect efforts to create change and improve business.

For us, the end-goals seem to be similar. As residents, though, we hope that our quality of life also improves.

Perhaps what we need is a partnership between businesses, government and residents. We could create a CID (community improvement district) in the Ward, which would focus on key issues impacting our quality of life, business and infrastructure.

Here’s a link to a CID in Georgia, which has a governing board and is tasked with specific and ongoing goals. It’s important to note that this CID works like a BID in the sense that the group taxes itself to pay for improvements. The board is made up of businesses who understand that the added tax is an investment in the success of their businesses.

For us, we can probably do much without added taxes. Collaboration alone can do a lot. Perhaps it would mean volunteers from the high school and community working together with local businesses.

In addition, the CID cited above won grants for some of its work. Perhaps we can pursue funding too.

Either way, it’s worth a look and worth considering for our little corner of Kingston.

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Working Together

Here’s in interesting story in The New York Times about a landlord in New York City offering to help out a retail tenant who owes close to $14,000 in back taxes. Why is the landlord helping? Because the retail leasee is a good tenant that draws traffic.

The lesson here is that the recession is causing businesses and property owners to reconsider prior “power dynamics” — which often favored building owners. Flexible arrangements are now a necessity as tough economic times create a more symbiotic relationship between between tenant and landlord.

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz