Archive for the tag 'brooklyn chamber of commerce'

summerstroll-19

Whereas the first Sheepshead Summer Stroll ushered in the summer in June, this second one, held this past Sunday, capped off the season.

Hosted by Empower Sheepshead and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Sheepshead Bites, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and the Kings Bay Y, the Sheepshead Summer Stroll closes down Sheepshead Bay Road to traffic and allows businesses to turn their storefronts inside-out for shopping, dining and entertaining – and a bunch of family friendly activities.

Take our photo tour of the Summer Stroll.

sheepsheadstroll-4

The first ever Sheepshead Stroll took place this Sunday drawing thousands of attendees, and highlighting local merchants through a block party atmosphere on Sheepshead Bay Road.

The Stroll is a local version of the Department of Transportation’s Weekend Walk initiative, in which the agency works with community partners to close down the road to traffic, and allows businesses to turn their storefronts inside-out for shopping, dining and entertaining. The event was hosted by Empower Sheepshead and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Sheepshead Bites, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, State Senator Marty Golden and the Kings Bay Y.

Blessed with beautiful weather, thousands came out for food samples, giveaways, kids entertainment, shopping and eating. Keep reading for the photo tour of the event.

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Photo from a Staten Island Weekend Walk (Source: NYCDOT/Flickr)

Sheepshead Bay Road will be transformed into a plaza full of outdoor cafes, kids activities and interactive, family-fun programming on Sunday, June 1, as the corridor becomes the latest participant of the Department of Transportation’s Weekend Walks series.

Initiated by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the burgeoning Sheepshead merchant’s association, the program sees the DOT partner with neighborhood organizations – in our case, Empower Sheepshead, Kings Bay Y, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Sheepshead Bites – to produce a multi-block festival highlighting the area’s businesses and scenic waterfront.

The street will be closed to vehicular traffic and buses rerouted from East 15th Street to Emmons Avenue, as local eateries and shops extend their storefronts to the curb. There will be loads of kids activities on the asphalt – we’ve already lined up several through the Kings Bay Y as well as Sheepshead Bay Road’s Brainy Academy, who may have some hands-on Lego robotic displays – and more are on the way. There will be a curbside beer garden operated by Wheeler’s (and possibly other watering holes on the strip), and interactive exhibits from area cultural institutions are also in the works, as is a bevy of artwork and live music.

The event has yet to be named, although organizers are mulling the “Sheepshead Summer Stroll.” Suggestions made here in the comments and via our social media accounts will be considered.

Business owners, interested residents and organizations can get involved by attending an information session this coming Monday, May 5, at 11 a.m. at Wheeler’s Restaurant (1705 Sheepshead Bay Road). There, we’ll be hammering out more details on the programming, so if you’ve got a great idea for a street-side activity make sure you attend. (Note: there is absolutely no cost to business owners to get involved!)

And don’t forget: there’s also BayFest 2014 coming on May 18 on Emmons Avenue. Two awesome street fairs spotlighting the businesses, organizations and waterfront that bring our neighborhood to life!

Click for full flier

Click for full flier

A group of city planners and neighborhood activists will be meeting tomorrow, March 5, at 7:00 p.m. to begin creating a new comprehensive vision of the Sheepshead Bay waterfront’s commercial and recreational corridors.

The public forum, open to all and taking place at the Kings Bay Y Emmons Avenue Annex at 2801 Emmons Avenue, is organized by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and NYU’s Wagner Capstone Team. Support for the initiative is being provided by Empower Sheepshead.

The Capstone program is doing the groundwork of the initiative, researching, conducting site visits, attempting to organize a merchant association and conducting interviews with local stakeholders.

The point of the plan is to come up with a slate of new proposal to reinvigorate the business and recreational life of Sheepshead Bay. The planners are looking to hear from residents and business owners on ideas to unify, beautify, strengthen and enrich the waterfront for years to come.

And while there have been many meetings on the future of Sheepshead Bay since Superstorm Sandy, the Capstone program has a record to stand behind of getting things done in New York City neighborhoods.

The program partners student planners with nonprofit organizations to help solve real-world business and planning problems. They’ve previously drawn up a vision to increase business along Bay Ridge’s 4th Avenue, and elements of that are currently being put into effect with help from city agencies. They’re also behind the proposals to reactivate the Crown Heights Armory.

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.

Source: Bay Improvement Group

The one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy is nearly upon us and various Brooklyn-based groups and organizations are looking to remember the event with a candlelight vigil across the borough. Laura McKenna, the vice chair of the Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group and the acting executive director of the Bay Improvement Group, sent us the following message with the specifics and details of the event slated for Tuesday, October 29:

The Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group, with the support of the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations, invite all disaster survivors, first responders, recovery workers, and anyone else affected by Superstorm Sandy to participate on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 for “Light up the Shore,” a candle-lighting event along the Brooklyn shoreline to mark the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and its impact on our borough.

Along with communities in Staten Island, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, we will assemble to remember our losses and honor how our communities came together to recover and rebuild. We can each stay with our community and still be united.

Here is a link to an interactive map of locations with a description of the event on top as well as other event details.  Locations are being added as the anniversary date approaches (in Gowanus, Coney Island, Seagate, and others, so far–we’re just waiting for the details).  Click the candles for info on the lead organization and contact person is at each location. http://www.zeemaps.com/view?group=701389&x=-73.956202&y=40.650363&z=6

At all sites, survivors and organizers will begin to gather between 6:30 and 7pm.  Candles or other lights will be distributed and after a brief welcome, all lights will be lit at exactly 7:45pm, when Sandy made landfall.

The Sheepshead Bay site has already been chosen:  2801 Emmons Avenue, office of the Empower Sheepshead coalition of the Brooklyn Recovery Fund. 

In addition to marking the anniversary of the disaster, we hope to encourage people to sign up for a caseworker for help with unmet needs and also to sign up for Build It Back, the deadline for which is 10/31.  Mental health professionals from Project Hope and other social services organizations with expertise in disaster counseling will be at each site to offer support.

In addition to the Sheepshead Bay location, there will also be a Brighton Beach vigil at the Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Avenue at the same time.

Thanks for the info, Laura. We hope that the event draws a lot of participants to continue the effort to help people rebuild and recover from the destructive events of Sandy.

For more information about the Empower Sheepshead coalition, call  (718) 648-7703 ext. 260.

Source: Nadler.house.gov

Representative Jerrold Nadler is facing some criticism from Jewish groups today over his stance on the recent Congressional legislation that allowed for FEMA money to be spent on the repair and rebuilding of synagogues, churches and other religious houses of worship damaged by Superstorm Sandy, according to an editorial by the Jewish Press.

Yesterday, we reported that the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve the use of federal funds to help Sandy-stricken houses of worship of all faiths. The passing of the act is likely to face some friction in the Senate and the courts as it brings up important questions regarding separation of church and state.

Nadler was a vocal leader of the opposition to this bill, arguing that the use of taxpayer money to fund the reconstruction of religious buildings was unconstitutional. His stance did not go unnoticed by the Jewish Press, arguing that the legislation made “common sense.”

If Congress decides that it is in the public interest to bring about large-scale restorations, such as roof and sidewall repair, by what logic can one exclude religious institutions that are in exactly the same position as non-religious entities? After all, religious institutions are entitled to, for example, police and fire protection just like their non-religious counterparts.

While Nadler was on the receiving end of criticism, other politicians, who have been pushing for the bill, like Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz were pleased with its passage in the House, reaching out to his Facebook followers with this message.

 Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the “Federal Disaster Assistance Non-Profit Fairness Act of 2013,” which would allow houses of worship to be included among the non-profit recipients of FEMA relief aid. I’ve been working on this issue with the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to help synagogues and churches apply for FEMA. Houses of worship impact our entire community and desperately need a helping hand to get back on their feet.

 

Photo by Erica Sherman

If your business was affected by Superstorm Sandy, you are eligible to receive pro-bono legal advice from volunteer attorneys who are with the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and accounting guidance from CPAs with the New York State Society of CPAs, during a free clinic today, January 31, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at El Greco Diner, 1821 Emmons Avenue at Sheepshead Bay Road.

Attorneys and CPAs will be available to answer questions related to:

  • FEMA and SBA issues
  • Commercial landlord/tenant issues
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Insurance issues
  • Contract issues
  • Filing amended returns
  • Calculating business loss
  • Applying for tax relief

You should also bring all documents related to your primary question, including:

  • Your lease and all riders
  • Any contracts (including amendments and relevant communications)
  • Insurance policies, riders and any communications with your insurers

Assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. RSVP by going to http://sheepsheadbaysandyclinic.eventbrite.com or by calling/emailing Rodrigo Camarena at (212) 513-9211/rcamarena@sbs.nyc.gov. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycbusiness.

Photo by: BSH Shooter

Like many local business owners, Paul Randazzo, owner and operator of the world famous Randazzo’s Clam Bar (2017 Emmons Avenue), is rushing to reopen his doors to cash in on the upcoming lucrative holiday sales week. Until his desperately missed clams are back for sale, though, Randazzo himself refuses to indulge in any clam until they are served from his kitchen, according to a report by NY 1.

Since Superstorm Sandy closed Randazzo’s down in October, the clam bar has been doing all it can to reopen its doors as quickly as possible, but progress has been slow.

“I’m still not fully restored. I still have no register. I might be working out of the cigar box. As long as there’s money coming in and the doors are open. I just got my credit card machine,” Randazzo told NY1. “I know it’s coming. I’ll be eating calamari Thursday at the latest,” Randazzo added, to the relief of those hungering for his delicious clams.

Despite the understandably less than speedy progress made by Randazzo to provide the city’s best clams, he considers himself fortunate compared to some other local businesses that share spots along Emmons Avenue.

Just a reminder that we’ve expanded our business recovery workshop to include more agencies and also have someone on hand to help with residential concerns.

This week’s event will take place Wednesday, December 12, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Cherry Hill Market (1901 Emmons Avenue, in the Lundy’s Building).

The event is again sponsored by Sheepshead Bites, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

The one-on-one workshop features experts from the Department of Small Business Services, the Small Business Administration, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and FEMA.

For businesses, they’ll be helping fill out loan applications, filing appeals, or figuring out next steps. The NYCEDC will will consult with business owners to determine additional needed programs from the city, and help owners with any permit or regulatory challenges.

Finally, we’re also bringing in FEMA representatives to help residents with their own next steps.

We may also have Con Edison reps on hand to expedite service reinstatements, so if you lack power, come and get on their radar!

And keep in mind that many of the programs have a December 31 deadline – so don’t delay! Come to our workshop!

To help speed things up, we recommend you bring the following, though it’s not a requirement:

  • 2011 Business taxes returns
  • Copy of ID
  • FEMA pin number
  • A voided check
  • Credit report
  • Copy of your lease
  • Any forms, paperwork or documentation you may already have relating to recovery resources

None of the above are necessary, and the good folks here can get you on your way if you’re missing any of them – but it will make for a faster, simpler process.

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