FAB Biz Blast – Jul 2021


On June 12, City Council legislation was enacted to restrict the use of plastics straws at restaurants and bars in New York City. The law takes effect on November 1, 2021 and warnings will be issued for any first violation that occurs before November 1, 2022, an entire year. 
So, as business owners, what does this mean for you, and how can you prepare for this change?
You can read the entire text of the law here, but in brief, eating and drinking establishments (this includes restaurants, cafes, delis, bars, grocery stores, and food trucks) may not voluntarily provide customers plastic straws, but only upon request. (To question one’s desire for a straw is a violation of the City’s Human Rights Law, a legal protection for disabled customers who need a plastic straw.) Food and drink businesses have these options:
  • provide paper, biodegradable or reusable straws for customers
  • compostable straws can only be provided upon request for on-premise dining if the eating and drinking establishment has a commercial composting program required under the city’s composting law; compostable straws may not be provided for takeout or delivery
  • again, you can keep plastic straws for distribution by request ONLY
If establishments have “self-serve” stations for napkins, cutlery, straws, etc., a sign must be posted nearby to inform customers that plastic straws are available upon request.
In addition to the changes with straws, single-use plastic stirrers and splash sticks are banned
We’ll be around with reminder flyers and additional information as soon as the city begins its educational outreach campaign.
Late last month, amid the lifting of many COVID-19 temporary emergency restrictions across the State thanks to falling COVID infection rates and a rise in the number of vaccinated residents, the “liquor-to-go” allowance by the New York State Liquor Authority was ended with little warning. New York and Pennsylvania are in the minority of states across the country that decided to pull this pandemic privilege from food and beverage establishments still struggling to stay afloat. We know there are trade organizations, associations, and legislators who still support takeout drinks, and we hope this isn’t the last we hear of this.
The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses, and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York that have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
Grant awards will be calculated based on a business’s annual gross receipts for 2019, but generally range between $5,000 and $50,000. Currently, there is no deadline for application; this program will continue until all of the $800M in funds are exhausted. Check here for answers to your eligibility questions!
With busier streets, warmer days, and more daylight, we’d seen a leveling of crime in our area. However, our Neighborhood Coordination Officers still want us to remind businesses to be vigilant: there was recently a break-in on Lafayette Avenue. Please be mindful of your surroundings, lock your doors and windows after-hours, arm your cameras and security systems, and share any incidents with us or NYPD.
We don’t talk about our maintenance crew enough! The Street Plus team works hard in our district, ridding the area of graffiti, rusty abandoned bikes, and extra piles of garbage that don’t seem to make the baskets and receptacles on many FAB FULTON street corners. More than 250 street poles, fire hydrants, muni meters, and utility boxes have been cleaned and painted throughout the district.
This spring, to welcome back scores of neighbors to the public plaza areas, our team even power washed the sidewalks and pavers! And we have to mention once again, the team was out last year during the height of the pandemic, cleaning surfaces, placing signage, and moving tables and chairs to help keep the public areas safe and clean for everyone. Please take time to give them a friendly wave or say thanks next time you see them; they do so much in our area so we can have nice things!

Did you know that 2017 was the last time we hosted FAB FLICKS movies on Putnam Triangle Plaza? It’s been too long, and this year, Flicks are BACK!
For the 2021 series in cooperation with our fabulous sponsor BAM, we’ll alternate between our Fort Greene “Back Lot” at Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center (650 Fulton) and Putnam Triangle (Grand and Fulton) on the Clinton Hill side. We’ll be making a formal, detailed announcement soon, but for now, mark your calendars for these Thursdays: July 22 (FG), August 5 (CH), August 26 (FG) and September 9 (CH).
Interested in sampling at any of the FAB FLICKS dates? Contact us ASAP; we’ll still be adhering to some general social and safety guidelines to keep everyone comfortable, and we can make that work with most of our businesses who desire to provide refreshments or treats for our audiences. And remember, you don’t have to be a food business to participate; your team can purchase store-bought snacks to distribute. Sign up now so we can start planning immediately for the date(s) that work best for you!

The Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB FULTON) is a non-profit organization that advocates for and collaborates with small businesses and property owners along Fulton Street in Brooklyn’s neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill to maintain a safe, clean, and welcoming community while securing resources and partnerships for initiatives that enhance and promote the district.

This post contains links to the articles and information referenced in our latest FAB BIZ BLAST email communication. You can subscribe to future newsletters; sign up here for the FAB FULTON BIZ BLAST to get the latest information and resources for FAB FULTON Businesses!