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Lower East Side Businesses Can Now Sign Up For 100 Gates Program

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Cafe Grumpy, 13 essex St. Artist Jessica Blowers. Photo from 100 Gates website.
Cafe Grumpy, 13 Essex St. Artist Jessica Blowers. Photo from 100 Gates website.

Last month, we told you about the 100 Gates Program, which links up local artists and small businesses to beautify the metal roll down gates throughout the Lower East Side. It was the inspiration of artist Billy Rohan and got a big boost in January when the LES Business Improvement District won a $30,000 Neighborhood Challenge Grant grant to expand the program. According to the BID’s Natalie Raben, the early response from artists has been strong. Rohan already had a list of up to 60 artists who had previously expressed interest and around 40 more have applied to take part via the 100 Gates website. If you’re a local business and want to sign up, here’s the link to the online application. The gate painting will resume as soon as the weather warms up, hopefully very soon!


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  1. Meanwhile, how many empty store fronts are there on Orchard Street? The NYCEDC & local BID does an awful job at marketing the Essex Street market, and one BID member has turned his corner store front from a fancy denim store to a Chabad Center. No mention by the BID that Sheila’s a long time business no longer exists, and the Zarin’s buildings will end up as condos. The big question for the local community is there really a need for this BID, seems the board is just a bunch of ppl in real estate and there is no advocacy when it comes to helping business owners. The other big scam is the NYC Small Business Services who oversees BiDS does nothing, and staff seem unaware of the ongoing problem that nobody wants Orchard Street turned into a mall of Duane Reads, yogurt chains….how about just closing down the BID.

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