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Bronx Week: Leaders Urge Mayoral Candidates To Support Continued Progress In Bronx

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Some Bronx officials and business owners are paying close attention to the mayor's race, hoping the winning candidate will help continue the progress the borough has made in recent years. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

Businessman and Westchester Square Business Improvement District Chair John Bonizio feels his borough is being overlooked by mayoral candidates, who are crisscrossing the city for votes.

"I think that a big part of the problem with that is that the Bronx, economically, is not some place you can go for campaign donations," Bonizio said.

But that could change as the the borough continues to develop.

Commercial and residential development in the Bronx is at an all time high, helping transform the landscape by inviting people to live, work and play.

"Not only with the small business, but big businesses as well, we're getting folks to really re-examine and re-explore the Bronx," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The Bronx is catching up with the economic boom other boroughs experienced during most of the Bloomberg administration, and residents, as well as business owners, want the next mayor to understand that and help expand on the current progress.

"I think a lot of residents want to see more targeted affordable housing, but also more market rate housing to bring upgrade in the ability for businesses to operate," said Bronx Democratic County Committee Consultant Patrick Jenkins.

"Duplicate the building of the Westchester Square BID and move that into Morris Park and Throgs Neck and Castle Hill, so we can surround this area with a much bigger economic develoment engine, which will take this area and hopefully spread out like ivy," Bonizio said. "I'd like to see the next mayor understand that and put the tools into those areas."

Bronx City Councilman Jimmy Vacca says a City Hall friendlier to business owners will also help the borough.

"We have to look at the fines that we impose on small businesses, breaking their backs to make ends meet," said Vacca. "Many of those fines are not fair, and many of those fines do not encourage job development, but encourage businesses to look elsewhere."

These are opinions that candidates for the city's top seat would be remiss to ignore, as they continue to stump for votes and head into the final stretch of the mayor's race.

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