About

The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) has worked to restore, promote and maintain the character and vitality of downtown Albany since 1996

Core Services
Advocacy

Often behind the scenes, the BID constantly works on behalf of property owners and merchants (and potential new ones) to create an environment favorable in terms of cleanliness, planning issues, police safety, and much more. We hold relationships with City, County and State departments advocating through red tape to ensure the progress of a holistic Downtown.

Beautification

From hanging flower baskets to decorative sidewalk planters to the annual holiday light display, the BID purchases, installs and maintains downtown Albany streets and public spaces ensuring a safe and creative atmosphere.  

Place Making

Formerly titled, Sculpture in the Streets, the program is designed to bring a fresh place making concept for the public to engage with each year.

Safety

In addition to the BID’s collaborative partnership with the Albany Police Department’s Community Outreach Program to enhance downtown, beat cops are assigned to the Downtown business centre Monday through Saturday throughout the day and evening.

Marketing and Communications

Working hand-in-hand over 300 businesses, large and small, the BID develops and manage a multitude marketing and communications channels promoting the good and services of our Stakeholders, including the Downtown Digest Newsletter, E-newsletters, Ribbon Cutting Celebrations, Public Relations efforts, Social Media, Special Events, Welcome Kits and of course the BID’s website. We also provide one-on-one consulting for your specific businesses.

Clean Team

On the street day in and day out, the Clean Team Ambassadors average over 5,000 hours a year addressing clean and safe issues throughout the district. Their daily tasks include keeping sidewalks clean and free from litter with broom and pan as well as clearing the sidewalks and crosswalks from snow and ice. Working above and beyond, the Clean Team also works closely with the Department of General Services (DGS) on trash and recycling removal, lighting issues, sidewalk and street infrastructure, greenery, traffic, large event clean-up and safety concerns. Additionally, the Clean Team is more than happy to provide visitors with directions or recommend venues, attractions or events.

Special Events

Strategic in nature, the Downtown Albany BID offers special events as a platform for the public to engage with Downtown and its business in creative ways. Special events include Restaurant Week, Fork in the Road, Residential Open House and others. The BID also partners on events to support the growth of participation by the public and merchants: SUNY Farmer’s Market, PearlPalooza, The St. Patrick’s Day Parade to name a few.

Business Attraction

The Downtown Albany BID provides comprehensive information for those looking to invest in Downtown. Learn more about the benefits of commercial, retail and residential investment in downtown Albany and connect the dots to information on Downtown’s unique attributes, accessibility, quality of life, financing options, market data and more. Even better, contact usto discuss your next project. We’ll even set up a tour of Downtown and introduce you to other successful businesses in the area.

BID Staff
Georgette Steffens
Executive Director
518.465.2143 x15

Georgette Steffens was appointed Executive Director in September 2009. Prior to joining the BID, Georgette was the Director of Operations of Triad Consulting Group, Inc. of Cambridge Massachusetts, a consulting group which specializes in communications and negotiation to assist organizations in building capacity to manage difficult conversations and critical relationships within their work environment.   Ms. Steffens worked for the City of Albany, serving as Director of the Albany HomeStore.  Additionally, she held positions as Economic Developer for the City of Albany in the Department of Planning and Development, where her main focus was downtown development and the City's riverfront, and Program Coordinator for the Center for Economic Growth. 

Ms. Steffens serves as the Chairperson of the Albany Port District Commission and is a Board Member of the New York State Urban Council.  She holds a BA from Johnson State College in Vermont.

Rebecca Haizmann
Marketing & Communications Manager
518.465.2143 x10

Rebecca Haizmann joined the BID in June 2014. As Marketing & Communications Manager, she is responsible for the Organization's traditional and new media communications including the weekly e-newsletter, website and social media channels.

Most recently, she worked at The Record newspaper in Troy, NY in varying capacities ranging from copy editor to audience engagement editor. In the latter position, she worked to build relationships with Capital District residents, organizations and businesses to engage the community using both in-person and online events. She is passionate about utilizing her expert writing and digital skills to further the BID's mission. Rebecca has a BA in Public Communications from The College of Saint Rose. Within the community, Rebecca serves on the Shaker Heritage Society's Board of Directors.

Don Wilson
Operations Manager
518.465.2143 x12

Don joined the BID in January 2010. In his previous position, Don was the General Manager at The Mailworks, a direct mail solutions company based in Albany, NY. During his tenure at The Mailworks, Don honed his skills in managing profitable operations, highlighted by an effective combination of customer service and sales training with new market development and operations and business analysis. Prior to The Mailworks, Don served as General Manager for Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse, NY before relocating to the Capital Region. His demonstrable skills in working and negotiating with businesses and consumers allow him to have immediate impact at the BID. Don holds a BS in Criminal Justice from the State University College at Brockport.

Jason Bonafide
Special Events Manager
518.465.2143 x11

Jason joined the BID in March 2017. Through his previous positions with the City of Albany Office of Special Events & Cultural Affairs, he brings nearly a decade of event planning and promotion experience to the office. In his most recent role as Public Relations Coordinator for the Cultural Affairs office, Jason was responsible for marketing, programming and media relations for signature City of Albany events like the Tulip Festival, the Alive at Five concert series and the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival. His years of collaborating with local government, businesses and cultural organizations to produce events highlighting Downtown Albany make him uniquely well-suited for his role as the BID’s Special Events Manager. Jason holds a BA in Public Communications from the College of Saint Rose.

Veronica Medina-Matzner
Executive Assistant
518.465.2143 x17

Veronica joined the BID team in March 2017. Originally from Brazil, Veronica has been living in the US for over a decade. She holds degrees in Film, Cultural Journalism, Documentary Studies and an MA in Media Studies from The New School, in NYC. After living abroad and working on several arts projects in locations such as Brazil, Paris, and the US, she now lives in Albany with her husband and cat. She brings her experience working across the film industry to the Capital Region, where she is involved with local film organizations, and is excited to work with the BID and be proactively involved with new and exciting projects in Albany.