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Small Business, Big History: Celebrating and Advocating

We continue to advocate for small businesses and to add new local independent businesses to our “Small Business/Big History” signage program, in which we are partnering with great local businesses to promote neighborhood history and the wonderful services and products they offer. Go here to learn all about our current Small Business efforts and to get involved.

Small Business, Big History

Spring is almost here. Time to go out more safely, and maybe tune up, or get a new or used bike.

Echelon Bikes on 8th Avenue is one of a number of local bike shops serving Greenwich Village, NoHo and the East Village we are fortunate to have around here. You can learn some of the amazing history of their location from the Small Business, Big History display in their window.

Each display is customized to the location, this one reads:

This simple brick six-story building was constructed in 1893 for John A. Kluber and designed by James W. Cole. Cole was a distinguished and prolific architect of the late 19th century, and the building no doubt originally had much greater architectural detail when built which has been lost over the years. The facade isn’t the only thing about the building that’s changed. Though now known as 51 8th Avenue, it was originally known by the addresses of the two streets it is actually located upon — 338 West 4th Street and 20-24 Horatio Street. This portion of West 4th Street located west of Sixth Avenue, which unlike the other section does not run East-West but rather at a sharp diagonal, was originally not part of West 4th Street at all. Known as ‘Asylum Street,’ its name derived from the New York Orphan Asylum, the first private orphanage in New York City, which was founded in 1806 and beginning in 1807 was located at present-day West 4th and Bank Streets. The orphanage was cofounded by Alexander Hamilton’s widow Eliza Schulyler Hamilton, who began the work of establishing the organization not long after her husband’s death from a duel with Vice-President and longtime rival Aaron Burr. As the area changed from rural retreat to urban neighborhood, the orphanage moved uptown in 1833. After its departure, the street was renamed as an extension of West 4th Street. Not originally part of the rectilinear Manhattan street grid or West 4th Street, this is why today’s West 4th Street (confusingly) extends as far north as 13th Street, just past here.

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Small Business Phone Bank Wednesday, March 10

There will be a phone bank on Wednesday 3/10 at 1 PM to call NYS legislative leadership. Please join if you can and help spread the word!

Sample tweet & registration link below. Legislators are preparing the state budgets right now and they need to hear from us. Call your reps and ask them to support small biz rent relief!

Wed, 3/10 at 1 pm. Register here  bit.ly/CRRphonebank

#SaveOurStorefronts: Commercial Rent Relief

Small businesses and nonprofits are a crucial part of New York State’s economy and culture. The COVID-19 pandemic and sensible public health restrictions continue to wreak havoc on these essential sectors of our economy, threatening jobs and tax revenue.

The inability to pay rent is the greatest threat for small businesses and nonprofits. Without rent relief, many beloved businesses will not survive.

That is why Village Preservation has been supporting legislation that would assist small businesses. The Save Our Storefronts legislation (S.8865/A.10901) creates a path to recovery based on sharing the burden of the crisis. For the period from March 7, 2020 until 180 days after the state of emergency ends, businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 25 full-time employees would qualify for rent relief. The relief would be distributed as follows:

Do you want to help support our small businesses? Here’s how:

  • Send a letter of support to your representatives to let them know this matters to you! You can use this email action to send a message now.
  • Send a letter of support to your representatives to tell them you support limits on chain stores in the East Village. You can use this email action.

Recent East Village Small Business Rally And Walkabout

NY1 Noticias recently aired a wonderful clip with coverage of the recent press conference and rally Village Preservation participated in with Cooper Square Committee, East Village Community Coalition, LES CommUnity Concerns, East Village Independent Merchant Association, United for Small Business NYC, Save our Storefronts and more.

One of our Business of the Month awardees, Casa Adela, on Avebnue C featured in the NY1 piece.

The clip features some of our Business of the Month awardees like La Sirena and Casa Adela, which Village Preservation nominated for a Backing Historic Small Restaurants grant of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Abigail from Cooper Square Committee breaking down the advocacy message and how to get involved. @loisaidarealty

Click here to see the full clip.

Supporting Small Businesses

Village Preservation works to support, promote, and protect small independent businesses in our neighborhoods. We do this through our Business of the Month Program and our Annual Village Awards. We have advocated for businesses facing unfair evictions or rent hikes. And we advocate for legislative measures that would help to maintain small businesses. This includes the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would require landlords to offer up to ten-year lease renewals to commercial tenants if mutually agreed upon or arbitrated terms can be reached, as well as zoning regulations that would restrict chain stores in certain locations. Go here to learn more and to get involved.

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