Downtown Alliance Announces Two Initiatives To Help Small Businesses And Restaurants

Downtown Alliance Announces Two Initiatives To Help Small Businesses And Restaurants
The Alliance for Downtown New York, the nonprofit business improvement district for Lower Manhattan, is launching two initiatives focused on assisting the neighborhood’s small businesses.
The Alliance has partnered with BentoBox to assist eligible restaurants with setting up their own easy online ordering platforms. The plug-and-play e-commerce experience can be customized for each business and allows them to take orders without the use of other third party apps. The program will cover one year of services.
The Alliance is also working 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 COVID-compliant.
Additionally, Streetsense will be producing two Readiness Guides, one specific to restaurants and bars and the other for retailers. The guides will be accompanied by two, 60-minute webinars. The guides and webinars will be made available to all Lower Manhattan businesses for free. 
"Our program with BentoBox will eliminate the need for third-party services that eat into restaurant profits. 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,” Lappin continued. “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.”
Brian Taff, CEO of Streetsense: “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. This important project will directly benefit retailers and restaurateurs in one of the most important global financial districts in the world, and we are excited for the opportunity to be a part of it.”
“BentoBox is proud to partner with the 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.” 
Both of these programs are part of a continuing effort by the Alliance to support businesses that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. The Alliance is actively working to help Lower Manhattan's business community recover from the crisis: awarding rental assistance grants, educating local-business owners about available funding opportunities, convening industry-specific working groups, communicating which businesses are open to residents and spotlighting essential workers who are making a difference. Efforts will continue throughout the year with dedicated marketing initiatives to help safely open doors and turn the lights back on across the neighborhood.