Archive for the tag 'brighton beach bid'

Brighton Beach didn’t just flood with water, like Sheepshead Bay. The beach turned to mud, and came chest high on Brighton Beach Avenue.

In our mission to get out as much useful, actionable information out there about Hurricane Sandy and the recovery efforts, we haven’t had much time to check out how our neighbors in Brighton Beach are doing. So we checked in with Brighton Beach Business Improvement District Executive Directory Yelena Makhnin for an update on Tuesday.

DOT and Department of Sanitation had to plow the roads several times after Sandy, as the beach poured onto the main avenues.

Like the rest of us, Brighton Beach is plodding forward with recovery efforts, and, though Brighton Beach Avenue’s businesses were under as much as five feet of mud and water, some are getting back up to speed.

“Each and every store got some portion of damage. A lot of water. I don’t even know of one business without losses,” Makhnin said.

Still, about 40 percent of the businesses have opened up, and others are offering limited service.

Power remains an issue. Huge swaths of Brighton Beach – including chunks of Brighton Beach Avenue – remain without electricity. And though some sections were hardly touched – such as the stretch between Brighton 5th Street and Brighton 6th Street, where storefronts have no basements to worry about – the lack of power has crippled businesses that could otherwise be up and running.

“Half of the block does not have power,” Makhnin said. “The side of the block close to Brighton Beach is functioning very well. The restaurant is open, the cell phone store is open. The other side is dark.”

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Vendors in Brighton Beach have brought complaints from area merchants.

A press release issued this morning by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz claims Brighton Beach business owners are demanding an investigation of the executive director of the neighborhood’s business improvement district (BID), but the director said the attacks are because she remains friends with the assemblyman’s opponent in tomorrow’s primary.

According to the release, three area business owners and a real estate broker met with the commissioner of New York City’s Small Business Services, which oversees BIDs across the city, and told him that Brighton BID Executive Director Yelena Makhnin has allowed the organization to become stagnant, and demanded an investigation of her activities. The meeting was organized by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz.

Cymbrowitz’s office said that the businesses say Makhnin repeatedly rejected proposals to improve the district, including rejoining the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, increasing garbage pickups and the number of receptacles, removing illegal vendors from storefronts and producing brochures and other materials about Brighton Beach.

“Store owners on Brighton Beach Avenue look at similar shopping areas in other neighborhoods, see joint efforts being undertaken to attract shoppers and diners, and ask, ‘Why not us? Why can’t we do these things?’” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said in the release. “The merchants complain the avenue has stagnated with no new district-wide marketing initiatives in more than five years.”

Business leaders at the meeting included Natalia Orlova, owner of St. Petersburg Book Store, Tatiana Varzar, owner of Tatiana Restaurant, real estate broker Felix Filler, and Alex Fraiman, owner of Glavs Travel Agency.

The release also noted, “Merchants believe Makhnin may be working on political campaigns on city time and want [Small Business Services Commissioner  Robert] Walsh and the inspector general to investigate.”

However, Makhnin said she’s been doing her job well, and that attacks are politically motivated due to her longtime friendship with Cymbrowitz’s opponent in tomorrow’s Democratic primary, Ben Akselrod.

“It’s only political,” Makhnin told Sheepshead Bites. “He’s using the commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services as the ax against Yelena Makhnin.”

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Source: GerritsenBeach.net / Flickr

The Be Proud Foundation, working in conjunction with the Brighton Beach Business Improvement District (BID) will hold a “Community Awareness Meeting,” May 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Tzar Restaurant, 2007 Emmons Avenue.

New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers from 1 Police Plaza; the 60th, 61st, 62nd and 70th Police Precincts, as well as the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau Immigrant Outreach Unit and NYPD Crime Prevention and Community Affairs program will answer sensitive questions from members of the community and representatives from businesses.

According to Raisa Chernina, president and founder of the Be Proud Foundation, “It is very important that every resident of our area have a close contact and mutual trust with police representatives. I also believe that our first ever Community Meeting will lead to building an effective communication bridge between community and NYPD.”

Light refreshments will be served and space is extremely limited — you must RSVP by to Sam Khalitov by calling (718) 788-7773.

A Brighton Beach business leader has had it with legal and illegal vendors competing with brick-and-mortar stores with higher overhead, but attempts to keep them under control is made more difficult by the medley of city agencies tasked with overseeing them.

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Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo asks Mayor Michael Bloomberg a question about road repair.

The Brighton Beach Business Improvement District hosted an unprecedented visit by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and top brass from nearly two dozen city agencies on Thursday, marking a stride forward in the relationship between the government and New York City’s Russian-American business owners.

Approximately 200 business owners, activists and local politicians packed into National Restaurant (273 Brighton Beach Avenue) during the evening powwow, as Mayor Bloomberg addressed the gathering and – along with commissioners from city agencies including the NYPD, Small Business Services, Department of Education and Department of Traffic – answered a broad range of questions and concerns.

“Small business owners have to jump from one hoop to another to get everything they need from city agencies,” said Brighton Beach BID’s executive director, Yelena Makhnin, who organized the event. “I believe this visit is part of the initiative to reach out to Russian-speaking business owners.”

Keep reading to find out what people thought of the event, and why Bloomberg may have chosen now to reach out to Brighton Beach’s business community.