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BY SAM SPOKONY | The Lower East Side Business Improvement District held its annual meeting Monday night at the new Finale nightclub, at 199 Bowery.
The BID’s successes of the past year were lauded, notably including the establishment of a nearly $10,000 grant fund for member businesses that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. The BID announced that nine L.E.S. businesses received grants of either $500 or $1,000, those being Saxelby Cheesemongers, Goodfellas, Congee Village, Georgia’s Eastside BBQ, Melt Bakery, Boubouki, Heritage Meats, Delicate Raymond Jewelry Bar and The Living Room.
Among other things, the meeting also included a big “thank you” to Mark Miller, who owns 92 Orchard St. and who served as the BID’s president from 2008 until the end of this past year. Miller’s fellow board and staff members called his leadership “nothing short of extraordinary,” as he was instrumental in developing an award-winning marketing campaign, the N.Y.C. Apple Day event series and the BID’s newly designed Web and social media presence.
Miller’s hard work was rewarded with a proclamation from the office of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, as a well as a plaque and gift of an iPad from the BID, which was presented by Executive Director Bob Zuckerman and Vice President Michael Forrest.
On another note, during his opening remarks for the evening, Zuckerman stressed that he and the BID will remain active players in the ongoing development process for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).
“We’re going to continue to be a major influence and stakeholder in SPURA, without forgetting about the small merchants who helped us get to this point in the first place,” he said.
As for the event’s venue, Finale has already become the source of some neighborhood complaints. Word is that residents are going to be storming next week’s Community Board 3 S.L.A. Committee meeting in attempt to have the place’s liquor license revoked.