1960s and 1970s: New York’s BID movement began in response to limited public resources and deteriorating commercial districts.

1976:
The City offered to make capital improvements within certain commercial districts on the condition that the property owners benefiting would maintain them. Local property owners agreed to provide the needed maintenance, and state legislation was passed to form the first Special Assessment District (SAD). Fulton Mall in Brooklyn, the first SAD, was formed in 1976.

1981/82: Legislation permitting property owners to define and self-fund similar districts, called Business Improvement Districts, was passed in New York State and City.

1984: ConEdison and other property owners around Union Square Park decided to take advantage of the new State and City legislation and formed the first New York City BID in the 14th Street-Union Square area.

1984-Present: 72 districts have been established and currently provide services throughout all five boroughs.