The White Plains Business Improvement District (WPBID) has announced the establishment of its COVID19 Assistance Program (BIDCAP) to support businesses in the downtown district. The BIDCAP program is a multifaceted initiative that supplements existing federal, state and city efforts to support its member businesses. BIDCAP has four major components.
First, the WPBID will partner with Caring for COVID, an effort started by Melissa Tomlin of White Plains and Aubrey Graf-Daniels of Edgemont, to support local White Plains restaurants, while simultaneously helping the people that are on the front line fighting this virus.
“Caring for COVID brought Melissa and me together to do what we know and love best – caring for the community, being able to support local businesses in need and our frontline workers who have brought some light during this time of uncertainty,” Graf-Daniels explained.
Tomlin, for her part, noted how “as friends we were happy to partner to create Caring for COVID.”
“Giving back to the community and kindness has always been engraved in my family upbringing,” she continued. “Supporting the community, its businesses and bringing some cheer at this difficult time is what is meaningful to me.”
Caring for COVID has already raised more than $25,000 in cash and contributions, which has been used to make food purchases at downtown restaurants and coordinate delivery to emergency responders.
“There’s only so much that a person or business can do on their own in an unprecedented time like this, but Caring for COVID is a testament to the positive impact that can be left when we come together to feed those in need, while simultaneously helping the small businesses that drive the community,” noted Paul Russo of the restaurant TVB by PAX Romana, a BID business.
The WPBID has committed to matching up to $100,000 in contributions invested back into small businesses within the White Plains downtown BID.
Any individuals, corporations, or others interested in making a contribution can make checks payable to the White Plains Downtown District Management Association and mail it to 235 Mamaroneck Ave. Ste. 200, White Plains, NY 10605 or donate via www.wpbid.com/BIDCAP.
Secondly, through the BIDCAP program, the WPBID will subsidize gift card purchases at participating downtown businesses, which will allow consumers to buy gift cards at half price. A customer can purchase a gift certificate up to $200 at half cost at participating BID businesses and the WPBID will underwrite the balance for the business. By offering such a program, customers have an incentive to shop downtown and support local businesses, and business owners receive much-needed revenue. The WPBID said it will allocate $25,000 to support this effort.
Thirdly, through the BIDCAP program, the WPBID will pay for 100 hours of free parking for participating small businesses that are located downtown.
“This initiative is being done to make it easier for people to patronize downtown businesses as emergency order regulations are lifted,” the BID explained in a press release. “Parkers must use the ParkWhitePlains app to pay for their parking. Each participating business will be given special codes that they then can distribute to their customers as a credit towards their paid parking fee.”
Finally, through the BIDCAP program, the WPBID will undertake a marketing campaign to promote downtown businesses and encourage city residents and workers to support the local business community. The campaign will also look to inspire contributions to the BIDCAP partnership with Caring for COVID and advertise the BIDCAP gift card program.
“As a longtime property owner and chairwoman of the BID, I understand how difficult it is for many of our small businesses and hope the BIDCAP program can make a difference,” Chairwoman of the WPBID Bonnie Silverman stated.
Brittany Brandwein, Executive Director of the WPBID, said how the “BIDCAP program is just part of the BID’s efforts to support our business members during these difficult times.”
“We have also assisted our members by maintaining and sharing an Open for Business list on our website and providing extensive information on the federal, state, and local financial and tax assistance programs that are available to them, as well as webinars on how to apply,” she said. “It’s important for our downtown business community to know we are here to help with what we can.”
For more information on BIDCAP and a list of open businesses in downtown White Plains, call 914-328-5166 or visit www.wpbid.com