New York City's five borough Chambers of Commerce and TD announced the specific neighborhoods and commercial corridors across the city in most need of revitalization -- including areas affected by Hurricane Sandy -- and how TD's $200,000 grant to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will assist businesses with strategies to recover and rebuild.
TD Bank Group and the TD Charitable Foundation donated $200,000 to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in November 2012 to help start the Citywide Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Project (NEP), which is aimed at addressing the needs of businesses through a series of programs that includes providing direct commercial revitalization services to shopping districts throughout New York City.
The project will help with merchant organizing, commercial beautification, shop local initiatives, and attracting businesses to low and middle income areas. Services also include programs aimed at direct referrals for small business services such as financing, accounting, hiring, and attaining permits.
The program comes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a time where many businesses across the five boroughs suffered devastating losses. This is the first citywide program that addresses needs of small businesses within low income neighborhoods.
"TD is proud to support local small businesses through the Citywide Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Project, especially as the community recovers from Hurricane Sandy," said Peter Meyer, Market President for TD Bank. "We recognize the impact these donations can have, and our goal is to build successful partnerships that benefit our customers and their communities."
To kick-off the program, the five Chambers will focus on the following areas:
-- Fourth Avenue (between Atlantic Avenue and 65th Street)
-- Nostrand Avenue (between Atlantic Avenue and Eastern Parkway)
-- Red Hook
-- Sheepshead Bay (Sheepshead Bay Road; Emmons Avenue)
-- City Island
-- East Tremont Avenue (between Third Avenue and Arthur Avenue)
-- Second Avenue (between 68th Street and 98th Street)
-- Lower East Side (Avenues A, B, C, D, between Delancey and 14th Street)
-- Rockaway Peninsula
-- Roosevelt Avenue (between 82nd Street and 114th Street)
-- Midland Beach
-- South Beach
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, through its 501c3 not for profit, the Brooklyn Alliance, will work with and provide direct technical assistance to assist NYC's other Chambers of Commerce (Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island) to develop and establish commercial revitalization programs within their respective Chamber foundations.
"I would like to thank TD Bank Group, the TD Charitable Foundation, and the city's other Chambers for their commitment to helping small businesses across New York City," said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. "This grant will enable us to help businesses grow and empower local communities. This also comes at a time when so many businesses are suffering. Urgent intake, assessment, and referral services are even more critical now, with businesses in need of support services to help them rebuild and replace equipment. In addition, many of the hardest hit communities -- such as Coney Island and the Rockaways -- are areas that are low to moderate income who desperately depend on small business for vital good and services, and job creation for their communities."
In addition, the NEP will seek to work directly with Local Development Corporations, Business Improvement Districts, and existing merchant groups to provide access to resources that help them gain visibility, expand offerings, and solidify operations. The Brooklyn Alliance already convenes these groups to meet on a quarterly basis to provide up-to-date information on market issues and conditions, and introduce important topics, such as helping merchants benefit from new tourism spending and attracting new businesses to the community.
"In the wake of Hurricane Sandy there is an opportunity to build even stronger commercial corridors around the city and boost small businesses that are so vital to neighborhoods," said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "Thanks to the generosity of TD Bank and the leadership of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Project will help revitalize shopping districts across the city and strengthen small businesses by connecting them to financing, technical assistance, and other services available through NYC Business Solutions and other organizations."
"Bravo to SBS Commissioner and proud Brooklynite Rob Walsh, to the talented President of the Brooklyn Chamber Carlo Scissura and to TD Bank, and its dynamic President Peter Meyer, who all fully understand that the better small business does, the better the entire community -- and all its shops and residents -- do," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "I'm thrilled that we are able to expand the Brooklyn Chamber's Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Project to all five boroughs! From helping to organize merchant associations to beautifying streetscapes, this program offers business owners and vendor groups the tools they need to grow and succeed - particularly those in underserved neighborhoods and the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Sandy was an equal opportunity storm, hammering businesses of every variety, size, and clientele - but we will rebuild, rebound, and recover better than ever - because as New Yorkers, when we get knocked down, we get right back up - and local shops will play a key role in the recovery effort. How's New York doing? How are our small businesses doing? With the help of TD Bank and the five chambers, they're doing great!"
"I would like to thank TD Bank for their generous contribution. They have allowed us to expand our Merchant Development Program, which began six months ago, in the Borough of The Bronx. This grant further helps our merchants, particularly in East Tremont and City Island, as they look to grow," said Lenny Caro, President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
"We are very excited to be working together to support our small business communities citywide. Many thanks to TD Bank for funding this important initiative which will allow us to expand our outreach in each borough and work with other local organizations in creating strong small business sectors in a variety of neighborhoods. In Manhattan, we look forward to continue our work with elected officials and local partners to enhance economic development on Second Avenue in the subway construction corridor on the Upper East Side - over one mile long with 350-plus businesses challenged by the Second Avenue Subway construction for a full eight to 10 years! And in addition, helping the Lower East Side on Avenues A, B, C, and, D to redevelop after the damage sustained by Sandy and strengthen the small businesses in this community," said Nancy Ploeger, President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of New York City's economy. TD Bank's generous grant and support to our community will help us rebuild and restore the Rockaway peninsula as well as revitalize and reinvigorate the communities of Corona, Jackson Heights, and Elmhurst. We look forward to working with TD and our community partners to make this happen," said Jack Friedman, Executive Director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
"The support of TD Bank Group and the TD Charitable Foundation will help the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce provide sorely needed resources to businesses in Midland and South Beach as they struggle to get back on their feet. I commend TD for partnering with the Five Borough Chamber Alliance to re-build and strengthen commercial corridors throughout the city," said Linda Baran, President of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.