It had so much to it, so much to take away, small businesses from the Flatbush Avenue and Coney Island Road aligned their businesses on Church Avenue between Argyle and Coney Island roads to celebrate with a street fair. The event also marking the 10th anniversary of hosting the Street Fair sponsored by the Church Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), not forgetting also the 40th year of the BID’s existence as a business organization in the Church Ave. and Flatbush communities.
It was a street fair reflecting a variety of businesses within the vicinity, exhibiting their works whether through food, music, clothing, art performances, and retail items. A mixed of Caribbean cultural, Asian, Italians, Spanish and American, everyone making an input to positively expose what the community has to offer to each other. The event was festive and entertaining, and patrons turned up to give their support in what they considered to be a meaningful cause put forth by the Church Avenue Bid and the NYPD 70th Precinct Community Council.
Executive Director of the Church Avenue BID, Lauren Elvers Collins, said that the organization had also been recruiting new entrepreneurs to the BID. Street Boys Restaurant, a new business, launched off as owner and manager Reginald Legaspi with Filipino heritage opened his new restaurant Monday morning, May 23 on Church Avenue. Legaspi employs eight Brooklyn residents to help him make his stride as a business operator on Church Avenue. Adding more variety to the Asian community with his style in all kinds of South Asian food.
Another step taken by the Church Avenue BID and is being worked on is to ensure that there are easier ways for the business owners to obtain loans and grants that may be available to them and they are unaware it. In addition, the Church Avenue BID recently conducted surveys speaking to more than 400 hundred of the business owners to identify their most pressing issues. Program Manager at the Church Avenue BID, Barbara Theus said after conducting the survey that they realize that sanitation was a horrendous issue for most of the businesses, “the streets have not been kept clean” and dog owners are not cleaning up after their dog is a loss to the upkeep of businesses. Another challenging situation facing the businesses were the garbage collection and parking tickets. Theus also added that some of the businesses are recovering financially from the pandemic and are looking for better opportunities to access credit and finance.
The performers at the fair were from the local schools, which include PS 249, Prospect Gymnastics, Ezra Guitar, Magic with Nate the Great and Alden Moves Dance Theater. Health agencies Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Metro Plus Health along with co-host, the 70th Precinct Community Council sponsored the annual event.