Tribeca Alliance Partnership, New Business Group, Kicks Off

The audience at the Millenium Hilton listens to speakers at the first meeting of the Tribeca Alliance Partnership. Photos by Carl Glassman

Posted
Feb. 28, 2016

Vowing to fight for the survival of local small businesses, city officials and their representatives joined organizers of the Tribeca Alliance Partnership last week for the first big gathering of the new group.

"The more people there are in the organization the stronger voice we have,” the Partnership’s founder, Ann Benedetto, told the roomful of business owners, Tribeca residents and others who had come to be part of this kickoff meeting at the Millenium Hilton Hotel. “The stronger voice we have the more we can accomplish.”

The Partnership unveiled its website ("a work in progress," Benedetto said) and promised the addition of maps, calendar of events and stories that feature local businesses. "We're here for you," Benedetto said.

Anne-Marie Bennick, co-owner of The Live Well Company, a fitness center in Tribeca since 2003, recalled the difficulties the business had with the city bureaucracy when they expanded a few years ago, and offered to give hard-earned advice to others. "I want to help businesses to thrive in this neighborhood,” she said, “and to help them get through all that red tape."

Below are excerpts from what some of the speakers had to say.

 

ANN BENEDETTO

Owner of the clothing store, A Uno

There are many areas of Manhattan that have lost their identity to big brands that have systematically crushed small businesses. I don't feel that Tribeca will benefit from an influx of more banks, big pharmacies, big chains and  fast foods. In fact, it will make it lose what made it so desirable: its unique character. Tribeca is changing so fast and already we have seen so many casualties.

 

 

 

GAIL BREWER
Manhattan Borough President

The biggest elephant in the room is rent. You can have all the customers in the world and be the most wonderful business, and then the rent goes up 300%. The owner won't talk to you. There is nothing you can do. I have seen so many businesses in that situation. I wrote a commercial rent bill with Ruth Messinger in 1985 and it still hasn't passed.  We need something that is going to pass in the city council to deal with this rent issue.

 
 

 

DAVID GRUBB

Owner, CMIT Solutions of Tribeca

I have a technology business so I’m working to help communicate with the community. Our goal over the next few months is be better connected, to communicate with each other, and to communicate the services that are in the community to the residents. We’re going to use our web site and social media channels to interact and to get people’s opinions on board.

 

 

 

GREGG BISHOP, Commissioner

NYC Small Business Services

Fines: “If you’re getting fined or you think your being targeted contact us. ….We can work to help you contest those fines.” Rent: “I’m working closely with the chair of the City Council’s Small Business Committee.…We want to at least start somewhere so there is some law that will protection from harassment, then we’ll move into what happens when the landlord [wants to double your rent.]" Sidewalk sheds: "[The Buildings commissioner] wants to work with me on that. There is a task force that is part of Small Business First that we have put together to address that concern of small businesses."  Small Business First: “We have about 30 recommendations to make it easier for you as a small business owner.”  “Feel free to reach out to me if you have any concerns with your business that I can help you with.” (cbishop@sbs.nyc.gov)