FAB Biz Blast – Nov 2020

The success of Open Streets and Open Streets: Restaurants has led to the development of Open Storefronts, a reimagining of outdoor space that will allow ground-floor storefront businesses to use a portion of the sidewalk to conduct business. An NYC Department of Transportation initiative, the program allows eligible businesses to conduct activity on sidewalks, on roadways in the Open Streets: Restaurants areas, or a combination of both. In addition to businesses engaged in retail sales, repair stores, personal care services, and dry-cleaning and laundry services are able to use outdoor space for seating, queuing, or display of dry goods.

Open Storefronts is set to run through December 31. If you’re a ground floor level storefront business, learn more about this program and sign up to participate here, or go to: nyc.gov/openstorefronts
Is your business on the Shop Small® Map? It should be! Create or update your listing on the site so shoppers can find you and support your business! Do it here.
As the temperatures dip, NYC food and drink establishments now can “winterize” their outdoor seating set-ups for the comfort of their customers — but it must be done safely.
For winter heating options for outdoor restaurants, read Comfort Heating Guidelines from the FDNY here and information on Propane Fueled Heaters here. Check here for updated DOB permit application details. And if you need assistance with acquiring heaters, the Brooklyn Chamber can help. Apply here for a Bring Back Brooklyn Grant for use on equipment.
With the elections approaching, we wanted to alert you to the possibility of gatherings and demonstrations of growing intensity in the lead up to Election Day on Tuesday, November 3.
We do not have any specific information to share currently, other than what is publicly available; this website is still the best source for daily protest information. We are being told that these activities could potentially continue for some time even after Election Day, especially if the outcome of the presidential election takes time to resolve.
How can you prepare for possible demonstrations and increased activity in the FAB corridor? Check out these tips, shared by NYC Small Business Services:
Property owners should think about instructing both commercial and residential tenants and buildings to not put garbage out until the very last minute. (There are NO DSNY garbage pickups on Tue., Nov. 3, in observance of Election Day, so all should be kept inside on that day.) If you utilize private haulers, see if they can come earlier in the day if possible so that large piles of trash are not left in front of your buildings overnight.
If you have plywood for boarding windows, we advise that you keep it on-site should you need it. However, we strongly prefer that you do not install the plywood preemptively as it has a powerful negative impact on the neighborhood’s appearance. Have a plan to move valuables and inventory out of sight, to keep lights on, make sure that doors lock, and that gates and security cameras are all working.
If necessary, food service establishments might be asked to bring outdoor setups inside or to secure all movable objects on very short notice. Have a plan and the staff on-site to make this happen. Sign up for updates from DOT and from NotifyNYC, and keep an eye on DOT and NYCEM social media for any citywide directives.
FAB FULTON will remain in constant contact with our partners at NYPD, the Departments of Sanitation and Parks, as well as Small Business Services, and we will continue to update you as we know more information ourselves.
As always, we will be responding to conditions such as trash, graffiti, and damage to public property. If you observe anything you would like to bring to our attention, please let us know so we can respond. As always, call 911 for emergencies and contact 311 to log any complaints so that the City has these registered in their trackable public record.
If you missed the virtual FAB FULTON Annual Meeting last month, no worries! Check out the recap of the hour-long event: highlights and board election results are detailed on our website, here.
Sure you have a nice Instagram feed and great posts on Facebook. But how useful is your social media for your customers and potential clients? By making a few tweaks to your existing accounts, you can optimize the experience for shoppers that check you out!
  • Is your address in your bio? Seems like a small thing, but you can save interested customers a step by not forcing them to head to Google for your info and instead include it right on your page, in the bio section (or in a pinned post on Facebook). You can’t use very many characters, but including your address and perhaps your hours or phone number is extremely helpful.
  • Are you posting about what’s NEW? New entrees, new products, new services, new hours… you should be sure to include posts on your feed that show customers that you are active and ready to welcome them! Include info in the post captions regarding changed or extended hours, special services you offer like gift wrapping or gift cards, and other details to attract shoppers.
  • Do you have a newsletter offering deals or specials? Is there a shopping guide on your website? Was your store or shop featured in a newspaper or online site? If you have lots of news to share, change the link in your bio to a menu with Linktree! Connect your customers to all of your info with just one link; and it’s FREE to use the basic level. Check it out and sign up here.
We hope everyone’s gearing up for a good holiday season. Remember to also tag FAB FULTON in your posts and stories; we try to amplify as much news from the area’s small businesses as we can, and we’d love to re-post, re-tweet and share your holiday happenings!

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!