Alliance Launches Program to Help Local Small Businesses Connect with Customers Online
The Downtown Alliance, as part of its broader effort to help Lower Manhattan’s business community recover from the COVID-19 crisis, has launched Get Social, a free program teaches local firms how best to use social media to bolster their bottom line. The Alliance will pair ten businesses with social media consultants, each of whom has demonstrated skills and strategic insight on building an audience across a variety of platforms. The program also provides each participating business with a $1,500 grant to spend on advertising and content creation.
“We’re on the ground every day talking with store owners, and we often hear about struggles to make an impact in the digital space,” says Alliance president Jessica Lappin. “Our program aims to solve this dilemma—training businesses to use social media effectively and have fun while engaging with potential customers.”
To be eligible, participating businesses must:
• Be open at the time of application
• Be an independent business (with no more than five locations in New York City)
• Not be a national chain or franchise
• Be located in the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District, a catchment roughly bounded by West Street and the East River, south of City Hall
In a related development, the Alliance is continuing to accept applications for its Jump Start program, a package of free incentives and support services, valued at $10,000, to help new retailers and restaurants seeking to open in Lower Manhattan. The Jump Start initiative is designed to give small businesses a better chance at success in both the physical and online marketplace, by offering up to 20 eligible applicants a customized strategic launch plan, along with four interactive consultation sessions. Services will include advice on everything from driving foot traffic to creating a successful e-commerce platform.
Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance: “We’re on the ground every day talking with store owners, and we often hear about struggles to make an impact in the digital space. Our program aims to solve this dilemma — training businesses to use social media effectively and have fun while engaging with potential customers.”
“Opening a new storefront business in New York City is incredibly daunting,” acknowledges Ms. Lappin. “Unexpected challenges surface at every turn. Just because you have the best recipe for pho or a keen eye for tech’s next hottest gadget, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to market it online or efficiently set up a payroll system. That’s why we are committed to helping new retailers survive and thrive in Lower Manhattan.”
To support new storefronts, the Alliance is partnering with Streetsense, a Tribeca-based global creative company that aims to solve business challenges with a strategic blend of design, marketing, and consulting. In addition to crafting a launch plan tailored to each business, the company will consult on physical operations, digital marketing, and public relations.
To be eligible for Jump Start, applicants must have a signed lease or letter of intent for a storefront commercial space located within the Business Improvement District operated by the Alliance. This lease must continue for at least one year and the location cannot be open at the time of the application is filed. The storefront must an independent business, with no more than five locations in New York City, and cannot be a national chain or franchise.
These initiatives are the latest in a series of efforts by the Alliance to support local small businesses. In 2020, the Alliance awarded over $600,000 in rental assistance grants and, at the height of New York’s pandemic, partnered with Streetsense to provide 35 small businesses with one-on-one technical assistance to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. (The Alliance also gave $3,000 grants to 27 of those businesses to implement the recommendations Streetsense formulated.) In 2020, the Alliance also formed a partnership with the online platform BentoBox to offer local restaurants a free alternative to third-party delivery services, and separately donated $10,000 each to 11 local arts and cultural groups, to spearhead the recovery of Lower Manhattan from the pandemic coronavirus, and the economic downturn that it unleashed.
When it’s not aiding small business and cultural institutions during times of crisis, the mission of the Downtown Alliance is to enhance Lower Manhattan for businesses, residents and visitors. In furtherance of these goals, the Alliance not only operates the local Business Improvement District, but also provides local security and trash pickup. Among the services provided by the Alliance that Lower Manhattan residents especially prize is the Downtown Connection shuttle, which ferries passengers (free of charge) between more than 30 local stops that link residential areas with business and shopping districts, as part of a partnership with the Battery Park City Authority. The Alliance and its sister organization, the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, also produce research, information, and advocacy designed to brand Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st century central business district.
For more information, or to apply for the Get Social program, please browse:
Two Passionate Advocates for the Arts in Lower Manhattan to Be Fêted Friday
Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores
This Friday (April 8), the highly regarded Church Street School for Music & Art will honor two champions of the Lower Manhattan arts scene—the late Tom Goodkind and Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores—with a gala benefit at City Winery (25 11th Avenue, in the Hudson River Park, near 15th Street). To read more…
Floating an Idea
Port Authority Interprets Governor’s Order Littorally
Lower Manhattan residents could soon have a new option for accessing LaGuardia Airport, if planners at the Port Authority approve an option to launch ferry service between the Wall Street pier and the aerodrome in northern Queens.
The Port Authority has been compelled to take a fresh look at ways to access LaGuardia after Governor Kathy Hochul killed plans formulated by her predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, to build a new AirTrain. That proposal would have connected the airport to both the Long Island Rail Road and the subway’s 7 train—in both cases by moving passengers eastward for those transfers, when the vast majority of users would likely be headed to destinations west of the LaGuardia (such as Manhattan). This scheme was slated to cost several billion dollars.
Census Analysis Indicates Downtown Has Become a Lot Younger, Quite a Bit More Crowded, and Slightly More Diverse
The population of Lower Manhattan has grown by almost 20,000 residents in the decade preceding the 2020 Census, according to an analysis co-authored by James Wilson-Schutter, a Community Planning Fellow affiliated with the Fund for the City of New York, who is consulting with Community Board 1 (CB1), and Diana Switaj, CB1’s Director of Planning and Land Use.
Elevator Outages Have FiDi High-Rise Tenants Out on a Ledge
Months of chronic elevator problems at a historic skyscraper in the Financial District have left tenants at 20 Exchange Place hiking dozens of flights to and from their apartments each day. At a Monday rally called by elected officials to show support for the plight of residents in the building, City Council member Christopher Marte said, “this is the worst-case scenario for any resident. The first incident was in late October, almost six months ago.” Since then, he said, “there has been neglect from Con Edison and the management office. This is unacceptable. Enough is enough. Let’s get this fixed.”
Local Rates of Infection with BA.2 Version of COVID Among Highest in City
In a sharp reversal of previous trends, four Lower Manhattan neighborhoods are ranking among the top five anywhere in the City for rates of infection with the new BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron mutation of COVID-19.
In data released by the City’s Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday (covering the period from March 18 through March 24), southern Tribeca, two areas of the Financial District, and southern Battery Park City all placed among the five communities with the highest percentage positive test results for COVID infection. The four local zip codes with the highest level of positive test results were:
Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Come prepared for enthusiastic instruction, a little strength training and a lot of fun. Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel etc. Free.
Street Event Review: Washington Market School Fund Raiser, Duane Street – Discussion & Resolution
4 Street Event Review: Bike New York Five Borough Bike Tour, Multiple Streets – Discussion & Resolution
5 Street Event Review: American Heart Association Wall Street Run, Multiple Streets – Discussion & Resolution
5 Street Event Review: 9/11 Memorial & Museum 5K Run/Walk, Multiple Streets 5 Discussion & Resolution
Stories Survive: Ann Kliger Axelrod
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Ann was born Elizabeth Benedikt on August 25, 1929 in Budapest, Hungary. On March 18, 1944, when Ann was 14 years old, the Nazis invaded Hungary and forced Jews to obey the degrading laws that were already in place in Germany. Ann will be interviewed by Rick Salomon, a co-founder of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Free; suggested $10 donation.
What was the biggest obstacle to China’s modernization as the Qing Dynasty collapsed? The Chinese language, according to Yale University Professor Jing Tsu. Back then, literacy was reserved for the elite few, and the system of calligraphy was far too complicated for the technological revolution that was sweeping the world. Join Professor Tsu as she explores the century-long fight to make the Chinese language accessible to the modern world of global trade and digital technology. Free.
The events of 9/11 profoundly transformed how the United States engages with the rest of the world. Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton was at the forefront of that transformation, first as a senator from New York (2001-2009) and then as secretary of state (2009-2013) in the Obama administration. In this conversation with 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs Clifford Chanin, Secretary Clinton reflects upon the attacks, the power and limitations of diplomacy in the ensuing two decades, and what the future might hold for American foreign policy. The program is at capacity and tickets are no longer available. For those unable to attend, the event will be broadcast live, with captioning, at 911memorial.org/watch.
Military histories often focus on battles campaigns, overlooking the soldiers who fought them. Who were the red-coated soldiers who formed the ranks of the British army in the 1770s? In this talk, Don N. Hagist will investigate where British soldiers were from, what they did before joining the army, what motivated them to enlist, how they were trained, how they lived in America on campaign and in garrison, and what became of them after the war. Free.
Wake in Fright (1971,Ted Kotcheff) tells the story of a British schoolteacher’s descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. Registration required.
Audrey Schulman, author of Theory of Bastards, and Samantha Hunt, author of The Seas, will come together to discuss their new genre-bending works of literature as part of McNally Jackson and Europa Editions’ series of conversations on literature from around the globe, Here & Away.
zavé martohardjono and collaborators present TERRITORY: The Island Remembers, an examination of colonial history through a parable of an island, which, divided by a border, grapples with reconciliation. TERRITORY: The Island Remembers will premiere as a week-long multimedia installation that will take over Gibney’s Studio Y. From April 7-9, the installation will be activated with three nights of rituals, performance, and audience-interactive actions. Prior to activations, visitors are invited to the installation at no cost on April 5-9 from 12-3pm EDT. With guided instruction, installation visitors can give offerings to altars within the space to acknowledge the land and prepare it for evening activations. $15-$20.
On Saturdays and Sundays, visit the exhibitions and the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum for free. At 12 Fulton Street, see “South Street and the Rise of New York”” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914,”” and at Pier 16, explore the tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose. Free,
Jeff Deutsch presents In Praise of Good Bookstores, in conversation with Sarah McNally
McNally Jackson 4 Fulton Street
Do we need bookstores in the twenty-first century? If so, what makes a good one? In this beautifully written book, Jeff Deutsch–the director of Chicago’s Seminary Co-op Bookstores, one of the finest bookstores in the world–pays loving tribute to one of our most important and endangered civic institutions. He considers how qualities like space, time, abundance, and community find expression in a good bookstore. Along the way, he also predicts—perhaps audaciously—a future in which the bookstore not only endures, but realizes its highest aspirations.
For the Birds
A Guide to our Feathered Friends in Lower Manhattan
Gail Karlsson is a local writer and photographer who recently began focusing on New York City birds. She has put together a photo book called A Birds’ Guide to The Battery and New York Harbor. Most of the text is written from the birds’ point of view.
In 2017, she began going on morning bird walks in The Battery led by Gabriel Willow, a naturalist working with New York City Audubon. “One day he told me that not very many birders went to The Battery, and it would be good to document what we saw there. I didn’t know much about the different birds, but I did have a new telephoto lens, and Gabriel helped me identify ones I didn’t recognize. I was amazed at how many different types of birds we found there.I decided to put them together in a book – which turned into a much bigger project than I imagined. But a really fun one.”
‘Downtown Birds’ is now on display in the ground-floor window gallery at the former Western Union building (60 Hudson) located on the northwest corner of West Broadway and Thomas now through May 1
The book A Birds’ Guide to The Battery and New York Harbor is available on Amazon.com.
Local Legacies Lionized
Three Downtown Preservation Projects Cited as Exemplars of Landmark Protection
Three of Lower Manhattan’s architectural masterpieces have been singled out for the prestigious Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, conferred each year by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, a highly regarded non-profit organization (itself based in Lower Manhattan, on Whitehall Street) that seeks to protect New York’s architecturally significant buildings. To read more…
Folk dance group seeks empty space of 400+ sq feet for 2 hours of weekly evening dance practice.
Average attendance is 10 women. This is our hobby; can pay for use of the space.
Call 646 872-0863 or find us on Facebook. Ring O’Bells Morris.
HOUSEKEEPING/ NANNY/ BABYSITTER
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Open Saturdays and Wednesdays year round
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Green Greenmarket at Bowling Green
Broadway & Whitehall St
Open Tuesday and Thursdays, year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Compost Program: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.