Downtown Alliance Opens Pearl Street As Part of City-Wide Open Streets
Beginning on Saturday, May 23, the Alliance for Downtown New York, the nonprofit business improvement district for Lower Manhattan, is partnering with the Department of Transportation to bring the Open Streets Program to an eight-block stretch of Pearl Street, between Cedar and State Streets from 11a-3p ET.
“As the city moves forward with the recovery, we need to ensure that people feel more comfortable in public places,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “We hope these first measures will help our neighbors make good use of this reclaimed roadway.”
Per the organization’s proposal to participate in this citywide program, the Alliance Operations team will place and remove temporary barricades along the stretch of road to designate the protected area as restricted to traffic. DOT will also provide signage that explains social distancing requirements and requests slower vehicular travel speeds. This effort is part of a City-wide program to make a total of 100 miles of roadway available for public use in the warmer weather. Pedestrians and bicyclists using the roadbed along Pearl Street must maintain social distancing of at least six feet and wear a face-covering in public.
No through traffic will be permitted while Open Streets are in effect. Vehicle traffic will be limited to local deliveries, pick-ups/drop-offs, necessary city service vehicles, utility vehicles, and emergency vehicles only. When Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect, drivers must move their vehicles from the street and may return when ASP is over. These drivers and cyclists are advised to be extremely cautious and to drive 5 MPH or slower.
NOW OPEN- MORE DOWNTOWN DELICIOUSNESS MADE TO ORDER
Diversify your home dining experiences by supporting the following Lower Manhattan restaurants recently reopened for takeout and delivery:
—Jeremy’s Ale House (228 Front Street)
—La Parisienne (9 Maiden Lane)
—No. 1 Chinese (10 South William Street)
—Route 66 Smokehouse (46 Stone Street)
As always, bookmark and keep an eye on our list of restaurants offering takeout and delivery, which we’re constantly updating.
DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE EXPANDS CRITERIA FOR SMALL BUSINESS RENTAL ASSISTANCE GRANT
The Alliance for Downtown New York is expanding criteria for the Small Business Rental Assistance Grant to offer immediate help to more storefront businesses currently providing vital services to residents and workers in Lower Manhattan during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, which launched earlier this month, is funded by the Alliance with support from Brookfield Properties, Silverstein Properties and The Howard Hughes Corporation to award a total of $800,000 in grants.
More businesses can apply to start on, Thursday, May 21 at 9a ET at downtownny.com/RentAssistGrant.
The expanded criteria include eligible businesses with gross annual revenues of up to $3 million and who employ up to 30 employees, and to storefronts within expanded geography that covers everything south of Chambers Street.
The individual grants will offer $10,000 each to small businesses as a single direct payment to be applied to April or May rent. Businesses must provide appropriate documentation and meet all the following requirements:
—Currently be open and providing an “essential” service as defined by Governor Cuomo in the PAUSE order of March 22, 2020
—Be located on the ground floor in Lower Manhattan below Chambers Street—Be an independent business with five or fewer locations in New York City
—Have fewer than 30 employees as of March 1, 2020
—Gross annual revenue below $3 million—Have a lease at their current location through December 31, 2020
—Provide proof of rent payment for April or May 2020 or potentially for later months if the landlord has given approval for rent deferral
Applications are available starting Thursday, May 21 at 9a ET on a first-come, first-served basis through June 4 at 11:59p ET or until funding has been exhausted. Required documentation includes 2019 4th Quarter 941, relevant lease agreement pages, and the main pages from the business’s most recently filed IRS business tax return, showing its annual gross revenues.
RESTAURANTS CATCH A BREAK FROM DELIVERY APP FEES, THANKS TO CITY COUNCIL MEASURE
Food-delivery apps will no longer be able to charge high fees to restaurants in the five boroughs, thanks to local legislation. On Wednesday the New York City Council passed Int.1908-b, a bill that caps third-party delivery fees at 15%.
The vote tally was 46-4 with zero abstentions.
Int.1908 was introduced last month in the Committee on Small Business by Queens council member Francisco Moya and co-signed by District 1’s Margaret Chin of Lower Manhattan, among others.
At a City Council hearing in April, Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin spoke in support of the bill.
“Our local restaurants, which already operate on razor-thin margins, are facing a once-in-a-generation crisis,” Lappin said. “They may be serving takeout and delivery, but are likely doing so at a loss just to keep their doors open and staff on payroll. These outsized fees are massively eating into what little profit restaurants are able to realize today. Charging a 30% fee, especially during an unprecedented crisis, is unconscionable.”
The new measure goes into effect seven days after being signed into law by the mayor.