Bruckner Boulevard’s Port Morris Merchants Gather To Promote Business Development in the District

On December 12th the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) attended a meeting of local merchants and business owners at the Clock Bar in the Port Morris section of the Bronx. The merchants met to discuss future development in the area, “green” initiatives, attractive signage, plantings, beautification projects and security improvements. A major goal is to increase awareness of the neighborhood as a destination for new business, visitors and private investment, and expand its offerings for those who live or work in the area.

The meeting was organized with the help of Jamila Diaz from the Bronx, Bronx, South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation(SoBRO) and Stephane Hyacinthe from NYC Business Solutions. With assistance from SoBRO, the merchants are organizing the Bruckner Boulevard Merchants’ Association (BBMA). Members include Verde Flowers, Clock Bar, Bruckner Bar & Grill, El Habanero, Ceetay and Wish 37. The association was formed over the summer to create an organized and vital voice that will represent the businesses in the area. Members are also considering creating a local Business Improvement District (BID) to advance and facilitate funding for further improvements.

Alex Abeles, restaurant owner of the Bruckner Bar & Grill and Ceetay said, “The group will have one voice – a strong voice – to help the area grow stronger. Right now people don’t have a reason to come to the area unless they’re coming to one of our restaurants.”

AEA is committed to the livability, affordability and commercial viability of Bruckner Boulevard and neighboring blocks. Its Energy Management Training Center has been located in the district since 2001. AEA provides engineering and training services and energy efficiency programs across New York region, and in California. In collaboration with SoBRO, Sustainable South Bronx, the Osborne Society, the Consortium for Worker Education, and other nonprofit workforce partners, AEA has prepared numerous Bronx residents for job opportunities in energy efficiency with its nationally recognized training. Many of its graduates are now working at AEA and other agencies performing jobs in this promising field.

The Port Morris Industrial Business Zone includes businesses located along the shoreline of the Harlem River and East River between 149th Street and Bruckner Boulevard to East 150th Street. SoBRO acts as the liaison with New York City agencies, helping to resolve problems that may arise within the park, particularly those having to do with the physical maintenance of the area. The Park includes most manufacturing/industrial properties in the area and is home to approximately 400 businesses including plastics, paper products, metal working, and furniture firms.

For 40 years SoBRO has been committed to strengthening the development of the South Bronx; its economy and improving the living and working environment for neighborhood residents. The NYC Business Solutions Center at SoBRO, launched by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), provides access to the following services under the Industrial Business Zone Program: Financing; Real Estate Search Assistance; Business Planning; Government Facilitation Services; Emergency Response Unit (ERU); Federal, State and City Incentive Programs Empire Zones; Empowerment Zones; Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (ICIP); Energy Cost Savings Program (ECSP); Business Incentive Rate (BIR); NY State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA); Industrial Relocation Grant Program (IRG); The Relocation Fund for the Printing and Graphics Arts Industry (Printers Relocation Fund); NYC Department of Environmental Protection Wastewater Allowance; Wa$teMatch.

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