Alliance for Downtown New York launches two
initiatives to help businesses impacted by COVID-19
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
The Alliance for Downtown New
York is unveiling two new initiatives
to help small businesses.
The organization has partnered with
BentoBox to assist eligible restaurants with
setting up their own easy online ordering
platforms. The Alliance is also partnering
with Streetsense, a retail and urban-design
consultancy, to provide up to 25 small
businesses with one-on-one technical assistance
to transform their spaces to be
Both programs are part of a continuing effort
by the Alliance to support businesses that
have been deeply impacted by the pandemic.
“Our program with BentoBox will eliminate
the need for third-party services that
eat into restaurant profi ts. Our local eateries,
which already operate on razor-thin
margins, are facing a once-in-a-generation
crisis. This will empower New Yorkers to
better support the local favorites that need
our help,” said Jessica Lappin, president
of the Alliance for Downtown New York.
“COVID has foisted a whole new set of
demands on all storefront businesses.
Through consultations with Streetsense
we hope to provide timely guidance for
stressed entrepreneurs on everything from
smart changes to their physical spaces to
proper communication with customers.”
BentoBox will cover a year of services for
businesses, offering a plug-and-play e-commerce
experience that can be customized for
each business and allows them to take orders
without the use of other third-party apps.
To apply to the Restaurant Online Ordering
Program with BentoBox, eligible restaurants
are those with gross annual revenues of less
than $3 million and fewer than 30 full-timeequivalent
employees as of Oct. 1, 2020.
Eligible restaurants must also be located
south of Chambers Street and the Brooklyn
Bridge in Manhattan, and excludes national
chains, franchises and businesses that have
more than fi ve locations in New York City.
Applications are due at 5 p.m. on Aug.
14 and will be accepted fi rst-come, fi rstserved
basis. Apply for the program at
“BentoBox is proud to partner with the
PHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
Downtown Alliance and support Lower
Manhattan restaurants with our direct
online ordering solution,” said Krystle Mobayeni,
co-founder and CEO of BentoBox.
“We are thrilled to align with a like-minded,
mission-driven organization that helps restaurants
drive revenue and connect with
diners during COVID and beyond.”
To apply for Streetsense, small businesses
(as defi ned in the BentoBox rules) must be
operating and located within the boundaries
of the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement
District in New York City, roughly from
Murray Street to the Battery and South Street
to West Street (more specifi cally delineated
here). The program also excludes national
chains, franchises and businesses that have
more than fi ve locations in New York City. An
eligible essential small business is required to
have a current lease, or an option to renew,
for a ground-fl oor storefront business within
the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement
District through Dec. 31, 2020.
The application page for Streetsense will
go live on downtownny.com on Aug. 10.
Applications will be accepted on a fi rstcome,
fi rst-served basis until 25 eligible
businesses have been accepted, and consultations
with Streetsense will take place
between August and October 2020.
In addition to working with 25 businesses
to make their spaces COVID-compliant,
StreetSense will also produce two Readiness
Guidelines, one for restaurants and
the other for retailers. Both of the toolkits,
which will be available on Aug. 14, will be
accompanied by two 60-minute webinars
and will be made available to all Lower
Manhattan businesses for free. A webinar
to discuss the restaurant and bar tool kit
will be live Thursday, August 20, followed
by the retail webinar on Friday, August 21.
“We are honored to help the Downtown
Alliance build a tool kit with a combination
of practical guidance and ready-to-use tools
that will help local businesses navigate a
rapidly changing retail landscape,” said
Brian Taff, CEO of Streetsense. “This
important project will directly benefi t
retailers and restaurateurs in one of the
most important global fi nancial districts
in the world, and we are excited for the
opportunity to be a part of it.”
177% shooting spike in July troubles NYPD
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
Statistics show that the number of shootings in New
York City are skyrocketing compared to this time
On Aug. 3, the NYPD released the July 2020 crime
stats, which shows that there was 177% increase yearover
year in the number of shooting incidents across the
city in July with 244 in total. In July 2019, there were only
88 shootings over the course of the month. The number
of shootings increased by 72% year-to-date, with 450 by
July 2019 to 772 by July 2020.
According to the statistics, the number of murders
throughout the city for the fi rst seven months of the year
is also up, jumping from 181 by July 2019 to 235 by July
2020, rising 30% year-over-year. In July 2020 alone there
were 54 murders, rising from 34 in July 2019.
The NYPD has initiated a new plan to simultaneously
increase its targeted mobilization and engage with community
partners, including a series of Stop the Violence
anti-gun town hall events throughout the city. The NYPD’s
efforts to address the surging violence includes shifting
offi cers to areas experiencing upticks in shootings and calls
on offi cers to engage with residents at the grassroots level
to focus on the problems and solve them locally.
PHOTO BY TODD MAISEL
“Amid the ongoing challenges of these times, the
NYPD’s commitment to public safety never wavers,” said
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “Our men and
women offi cers represent the best of the policing profession
and work every day alongside those they serve in an ongoing
joint mission to protect life, prevent crime and build
safer neighborhoods for everyone across our great city.”
Burglaries throughout the city in July rose 31% yearover
year, jumping from 989 in July 2019 to 1,297 in July
2020. Year-to-date, burglaries have risen 45%, increasing
from 5,932 through July 31, 2019, to 8,594 through July
31, 2020. Transit crimes dropped 41.8% to 107 incidents
while housing crimes increased 11.3% to 504 incidents.
The number of robberies decreased by 6.6% year-overyear
with 1,124 total in July 2020. Grand larcenies also
took a dip last month, dropping 25.1% to 3,016. However,
the number of auto thefts increased to 892 citywide, a 53%
The NYPD stats say that the number of assaults decreased
to 1,983 last month, a 4.8% decrease year-overyear.
The number of rapes also dropped 6% from 163 in
July 2019 to 153 in July 2020, but the NYPD acknowledges
that rape continues to be underreported in New York City.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault, the NYPD asks
that you please come forward and call the NYPD Special
Victims Division’s 24-hour hotline at 212-267RAPE (7273).
While hate crimes against Black and Asian New Yorkers
stayed at the same level compared to July 2019, the
city saw 22 coronavirus-related hate crimes. The NYPD
placed coronavirus-related crimes in an “other” category
— regardless of the victim’s race — as there are primarily
two motivating factors behind those crimes: The victim’s
race (Anti-Asian) and the perception that they have coronavirus.
Hate crimes in the “other” category rose from 8
incidents to 17 incidents, marking a 113 percent increase.
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