Many Sheepshead Bay businesses began cleaning up as soon as the water receded. A new group is hoping to get them up and running faster in the future.

While there are plenty of groups operating in the hopes of making Sheepshead Bay’s homes and communities more resilient from future disasters, there have been none dedicated entirely to helping fortify the business industry and develop plans for faster recovery. Until now.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, working with a grant, is teaming up with NYU’s Wagner Capstone program to study and make recommendations to strengthen businesses in the flood zone, including all of those along Emmons Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road. Here’s an excerpt explaining the Capstone program and their focus in this project from an e-mail blast sent by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce:

NYU Wagner Capstone is a world renowned program that brings together NYU graduate students in public administration and urban planning to address complex challenges that a client organization has brought to the table and aids them in identifying new opportunities.  Capstone teams pursue each project for 1 full academic year, and produce a final presentation and report on their findings and recommendations by May.

As we all know, Sheepshead Bay did not receive the attention and aid it needed to reach a fast recovery in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and many of Sheepshead Bay’s businesses suffered from a slow summer-season.  The Brooklyn Chamber has brought this issue to our Capstone team and will be working together on the development of a guide for the assessment of Sheepshead Bay’s many assets and how this coastal community can better take advantage and promote its beautiful waterfront access.

The Chamber’s team was in Sheepshead Bay today to distribute fliers to the storefronts about the program. There will also be an open forum next Wednesday, December 11, at 9 a.m. at Maria’s Ristorante (3073 Emmons Avenue) where business owners can learn more, ask questions, and sign up to be interviewed about their challenges. Interviews will be no longer than 30 minutes, and can be done in-person or over the phone. If you’re a business owner but can’t make it to the forum and want to ensure your input makes it into the project, e-mail sheepsheadbaycapstoneteam@googlegroups.com.

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