May 2014 Quarterly MeetingBy Jose B Rivera
Capt. Holly 19th Precinct
Chamber of Commerce President Mr. Henry Calderon started the meeting by welcoming those in attendance and introducing the Execute Officer of the 19th Precinct Capt Holly. Capt. Holly spoke about the mayor's new initiative to combat pedestrian fatalities and injuries with a program called Vision Zero. Vision Zero plans to educate pedestrians and motorist about traffic safety, the pedestrian right of way, coming to a full stop and ensuring that cars stop for pedestrians. Capt Holly said the precinct is concentrating on areas of high accidents such as East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue. He also spoke about the creation of Impact Zones in which a high police presence is instituted in an attempt to lower crime. Capt Holly spoke particularly about the area encompassing 115-119th Streets from second to Park Avenues. There will be 36 patrolman assigned to patrol the Impact Zone.
Paid Sick Leave
Assistant Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Mr. Ricky Wong spoke about the new Paid Sick Leave laws. These laws stipulate that anyone working over 80 hours in a year is eligible for sick leave. Mr. Wong also spoke about new laws pertaining to flavored cigarettes. Except for a few flavors like mint, they are outlawed. And one must now be 21 and over to purchase cirgarettes, tobacco products in New York City.
Hector Santana also spoke about the new Paid Sick Leave laws, Flavored cigarettes and the need for business that sell liquor to inform the State Liquor Authority about who their managers are and if they have a liquor license. He also mentioned that businesses that make Sangria, must make it when ordered, they can not prepare the Sangria before a customer orders it.
Henry Calderon spoke about the positive economic effects of street vendors and how they need to self-regulate in order not to cannibalize themselves (too many one one block selling the same thing).
East 116th Street BID
Jose Grajales, Vice Chairman of the Economic Development/Culture and Tourism Committee of Community Board 11 spoke about creating a Business Improvement District in East Harlem. Mr. Grajales mentioned that more people would shop in East Harlem if the community had a BID. He acknowledges the difficulties that meeting participants brought up about past attempts to create a BID.
Mr. Patrick Kaymack, Director of BID Development at the New York City Department of Small Business Services spoke about what it takes to create a Business Improvement District. He spoke about any BID Assessment monies being strictly spent within the confines of the BID. He also mentioned that no BID are ever approved without community support. And that BID creators determine the extent of the BID enterprise.
Business Interruption Insurance
Mr. Harvey Winer (Attorney) spoke about the need for businesses to have Business Check list before disaster strikes. He also encouraged businesses to obtain Business Interruption Insurance to tied a business over in case of disaster (hurricane, flooding, water main breaks, explosions). The insurance would help pay the rent and loss earnings. Mr. Winer made the point that keep good bookkeeping will help a business when disaster strikes and disaster insurance is implemented.
East Harlem Community Alliance
Yma Rodriguez briefly spoke about The East Harlem Community Alliance, which includes Business, Non-profits, Religious and Government Agencies, all of which are within the 10029, 10035 zipcode. She mention three Alliance Initiatives:
1. Buy East Harlem - organization buy from each other and an Online Business to Business Directory which now contains over 300 Business.
2. Hire East Harlem - a. job board on the Alliance website, and the creation of a Talent Center, which can vet candidates for larger employers. Strive will be a part of this effort.
3. Group purchasing program in which Alliance members buy products, services and goods from each other and where they can unite to purchase products in larger quantities, as a group to lower the purchase price of goods and services.
Mr Calderon Closed the meeting and reminded everyone of the upcoming August 2014 Meeting.