Office of Nightlife Listening Tour in the Bronx

00:00:03:04 JOSE SOEGAARD Good evening. I am Jose Soegaard, Deputy Director for the
Office of Nightlife. Thank you, everyone, for your patience and
for your tenacity in braving the storm this evening. We really appreciate you coming out. Before we get to our program, just some general
house rules, as you’ll see up on the screen here. If you’d like to speak tonight, please turn
in your comment card as soon as possible so that we can manage the public speaking in
an orderly way. Everyone will have two minutes to speak, and
we ask that you please be respectful of everyone’s time and each other. Now I’d like to introduce Ana Martinez Orizondo,
Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Communications, for our host here this
evening at Hostos Community College and CUNY. Thank you. 00:00:47:06 AUDIENCE [ Applause ]
00:00:51:16 ANA MARTINEZ Thank you. Welcome, good evening, and happy first day
of snow. Goodness gracious, it’s crazy outside. And welcome to Hostos Community College and
to the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture. My name is Ana Martinez, and I am delighted
to have you here at our beautiful Repertory Theater for this wonderful community event,
which kicks off the newly created Office of Nightlife and welcomes its first-ever Senior
Executive Director of Nightlife, Ariel Palitz. I’ll tell you, I read that, and I said, “What
a great title to have. I am the Executive Director of Nightlife. Hi, hi.” I could just see the conversation opener right
there. My role as Vice President for the Division
for Institutional Advancement and Communications includes leading the team here at the Center. During this milestone year, the 50th anniversary
of Hostos Community College, the Center has utilized this theater, our main theater next
door — we have two, we couldn’t just have one, we have two — and the Longwood Art Gallery
just across the hall for scores of wonderful exhibits, events, and showcases. Oftentime, we collaborate with community partners
such as the Bronx Council of the Arts, just to name one. And we have contributed to the nightlife and
culture of the South Bronx. We were so thrilled to welcome the legendary
salsa group El Gran Combo just this past September. I don’t know if any of you were here, but
it was historical. And the acclaimed author Esmeralda Santiago
was just here with us last night. Throughout its rich history and 50-year commitment
to this community, Hostos has remained deeply rooted in the arts and culture. We are proud that our center is part of the
history of nightlife in the Bronx. So, thank you all for coming and allowing
us to host this town hall that will no doubt keep the Bronx dancing and energized for years
to come, and now, please welcome Ariel Palitz. Welcome. 00:03:14:01 ARIEL PALITZ Hello, everyone. Thank you all so much for coming. I’m actually really impressed by the turnout
despite the snow, and as we say in the biz, “The show must go on,” right? So, here we are, and thank you, Ana, so much. Thank you to you and your really amazing staff
and crew that has helped us here tonight for hosting us here at the Repertory Theater at
the Hostos Community College, and we also wanted to acknowledge and thank JUST Water
for their generous contribution. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Ariel
Palitz, the first Senior Executive Director for the Office of Nightlife. Before this, I owned and operated Sutra Lounge
in the East Village for 10 years, I served on Community Board 3 on the Liquor Licensing
Committee for 6 years, and I live above a bar. So, I like to say I’m here because I’ve been
there. And I’m really here to be an advocate and
a voice and to serve this industry and community. As you may know, this is the fourth of a five-borough
listening tour for the Office of Nightlife, and it has really been a place where the entire
industry and community can voice its concerns, problems and, more importantly, in hoping
for creative ideas. These meetings have been a positive and productive
discussion. A lot of people have assumed the worst, but
we have really managed to have a really, like I said, positive and productive conversation,
where a lot of great ideas have come between the city and state agencies, the industry
and the community. We are not only here to address the importance
and impact of nightlife but life at night as a whole, which is why we have the city
and state agencies here represented and how to proactively manage life at night for everyone,
so that it works for everyone. The Office of Nightlife was established to
promote a safe and vibrant nightlife scene, and we are a liaison between the industry
and the city, between nightlife owners, employees, performers, patrons, and residents, the entire
ecosystem that it represents. And we are really here to try and find a common
ground so that we can coexist together through cooperation and mutual respect. To understand New York’s Office of Nightlife,
it is important to put it into a global context. New York is now part of a global movement. There are actually over 40 cities around the
world, as well as the United States, that have an office of nightlife. Even earlier this month, Washington D.C. has
announced that they will also be creating their own Office of Nightlife. It’s what I like to call the United Nations
of nightlife, and New York continues to be a leader in that. These offices around the world are getting
results. In Amsterdam, which has a good rival party
scene, I think, to New York, as well, has actually achieved improvements in their quality
of life with the Office of Nightlife, a 30% reduction in crime and 20% reduction in noise
complaints. And these are the type of things that we’re
aiming for, as well. Even in Berlin, their own government has announced
that they will be investing in soundproofing at venues and clubs. Now New York has joined this movement because
it also recognizes nightlife’s significance in our city and our place in the world. As I said, nightlife is an ecosystem that
includes all New Yorkers. We are a 24-7 city, and we like to look at
nightlife as the other 9:00 to 5:00. As we all know as New Yorkers, nightlife is
vital to our economy and our identity as well as our culture, and it has given rise to musical
movements like jazz, salsa, disco and, of course, hip-hop, which was born here in the
Bronx and has impacted the world. For some people, nightlife is their whole
community. It is their world. It is their safe space to come together and
to be themselves. Nightlife is essential to strengthen and protect
the diversity that is New York. In order for us to better understand and assess
the economic value of nightlife, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is releasing
a nightlife economic impact study by the end of this year, and it shows some very impressive
and new numbers that New York hasn’t heard yet. It shows that nightlife supports nearly 300,000
jobs in New York, $48 billion in economic impact, and $700,000 in tax revenues for the
city. As nightlife continues to grow, our city and
each borough will benefit from a more coordinated plan, proactive management, and productive
partnerships to support this industry in order for them to be better neighbors, as well. I believe that the creation of the Office
of Nightlife is, in and of itself, a sign of a new approach that recognizes what nightlife
contributes to the city while also addressing its challenges and its impacts. The purpose of this five-borough listening
tour is to help inform our office as we develop programs and initiatives that address the
industry as well as residential communities’ top priorities. The Office of Nightlife is looking to create
systemic solutions and to find a balance. We want to support businesses with resources
and education to help them be successful and then, again, in order to be better neighbors,
to ensure safety and quality of life for everyone and to help stabilize the nightlife industry
in order to enable creativity and culture to thrive. We know it’s a tall order, and it’s going
to take a lot of cooperation from everyone. Thankfully, at the Office of Nightlife, which
is housed at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, there are tremendous resources
and a team under Commissioner Julie Menin. I have also brought in a strong core Office
of Nightlife team, including my deputy director, Jose Soegaard, Associate Director for Nightlife
Community and Industry Relations Ray Martin, as well as my strategic planning associate,
Francesca Mirra. In addition to this strong team, we also have
a Nightlife Advisory Board, which was established by legislation. It’s a 14-person, independent body that makes
its own independent recommendations to the City Council and Mayor’s Office. They represent all walks of life from every
corner of the city, and many of them are here tonight, at least some of them. [ Chuckles ] Now it is with great pleasure
that I welcome our city and state agencies to the stage. I am extremely grateful that they have not
only shown up here in the storm, but that they have agreed to sit up on this stage with
me tonight and throughout this five-borough listening tour, again, to inform the work
ahead for the Office of Nightlife, but also in the way that we will continue to work as
a multi-agency body towards supporting the nightlife industry and community together
well beyond these listening tours. So, please welcome to the stage the city and
state agencies that you will see here on this board tonight. 00:12:23:05 AUDIENCE [ Applause ]
00:12:30:17 ARIEL PALITZ Wherever your sign is. While they’re getting seated, my colleague
Jose, I guess, has already told you all the house rules. I’m not sure if he will do it again or where
he is. Jose, are you doing it again? Jose? [ Whistles ]
00:13:00:15 JOSE SOEGAARD Hi. 00:13:00:23 ARIEL PALITZ Okay. 00:13:01:23 JOSE SOEGAARD If you have filled
out a comment card to speak, we’ll be calling you in groups of three. You can line up in either of the aisles, and
everyone will have two minutes to speak. We’ll have a timer right here. 00:13:27:08 ARIEL PALITZ Check, check. Okay. So, thank you all again so very much. This is actually really extraordinary. It’s the first storm. It’s a freak storm, as someone said, and it
just shows, the fact that anyone is even here at all, and that we have this kind of representation,
how important it is an issue for all of us. So, before we get started, I feel it’s important
to go down the line and have each agency introduce themselves, their role at the agency, and
the role that it has in nightlife, so we can begin at the end. 00:14:09:05 DIYA VIJ Sure. Hi. I’m Diya —
00:14:11:06 ANA MARTINEZ And please use the microphones. Thank you. 00:14:14:09 DIYA VIJ Is this on? Hi. I’m Diya Vij with the Department of Cultural
Affairs. I work on a number of special projects for
the Commissioner’s Unit, including working closely with the DIY community during our
CreateNYC cultural planning process to understand how we can better support nightlife — and
I see some folks here that I worked with that are on this advisory committee — how we can
better support nightlife and support artists 24 hours a day and understand nightlife as
a critical component of arts and culture in our ecosystem. 00:14:49:16 BRYANT WASHINGTON Hello, everyone. My name is Bryant Washington. I am from the New York City Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene. I am the director of the evening shift, and
we specialize in the Smoke Free Air Act enforcement, the new hookah regulation, and we also do
every food-service establishment that operates at nighttime, including bars, doing their
full sanitary inspection. So, contrary to belief, we aim to keep people
open so that you can serve food to the public of New York City and not make people sick. 00:15:32:00 ANA MARTINEZ Thank you for that. 00:15:34:22 WERNER deFOE Hi. I’m Werner deFoe, Borough Commissioner for
the Department of Buildings. Our role is basically to provide you with
the nightlife with spaces that are safe. And so it’s more indirect rather than direct,
and we try to see that nightlife happens in a safe environment. 00:16:01:21 JAMES MORELIA Hello. I’m James Morelia. I’m with the Bronx Borough Office of the Department
of City Planning. I’m the associate planning manager there. Zoning is what we do at City Planning. And so what goes where and when and how is
the things that we work with. So when there’s questions about whether or
not a use is allowed in a spot or should be encouraged in a spot, et cetera, that’s what
we’re dealing with through the zoning resolution. Thank you. 00:16:38:19 MICHAEL JONES Hello. My name is Michael Jones. I’m the Deputy CEO of the New York State Liquor
Authority. Basically, I’m in charge of our Zone 1 office,
which is the New York City, Long Island, and Westchester area. The State Liquor Authority regulates the manufacture,
sale and consumption of alcohol in the state. Basically, we issue licenses, and then we
have an enforcement and counsel’s office that would take away licenses if there were violations. 00:17:09:16 CYNTHIA KEYSER Hi. Good evening. My name is Cynthia Keyser. I’m the Chief of Staff for the New York City
Department of Small Business Services. At SBS, we work to serve small businesses. We don’t do inspections. We’re not a regulatory agency, but we work
with other regulatory agencies to ensure that small businesses understand what regulations
apply to them so that you can be compliant, you don’t have to face fines or have any delays
in opening your business. We have great partners in the city to do that
work. We also help businesses to access capital
to plan for business interruption, to become more resilient to recover from an emergency. We offer a whole host of services that I’m
happy to talk about this evening. We do that through seven Small Business Solution
Centers across the city, including one on Fordham Road. Thank you. 00:18:04:13 CHRISTOPHER MANSON Hello. I’m inspector Christopher Manson from Patrol
Borough Bronx, representing NYPD. You all know what we do. [ Laughs ]
00:18:14:11 ARIEL PALITZ Amazing. I feel like we have a hot-mic situation. I hope it doesn’t start squeaking really loud. Anyway, thank you all so much. Please, let’s give them another round of applause
for being here. Again, it’s really — We’re all here to show
unity and the cooperative nature of what is really necessary to create a common ground
of understanding to support the industry. And again, I really want to emphasize, as
well as the quality of life concerns of the community that transpires through a vibrant
nightlife scene. And so with that said, now is the time that
we open the floor to hear from you. So, hopefully, you have signed your comment
cards. And Jose will say your name. And where are the microphones for people to
speak today? There they are. You come down, speak, and they will come to
you, I guess, over there. So, let’s get this party started. 00:19:28:06 JOSE SOEGAARD So, it’s the first
speaker tonight. We only have one of you preregistered to speak,
so I’d like to call Black Rob to speak and anyone else who might —
00:19:37:10 ANA MARTINEZ Give it up for Black Rob, the only person who signed up to speak
tonight. Yes! 00:19:39:23 ALL [ Applause ]
00:19:42:02 JOSE SOEGAARD And anyone else who would like to provide a comment, please
just queue up behind him and we’d be happy to hear from you. Thank you. 00:19:52:06 ANA MARTINEZ Microphone is not
on. 00:20:01:20 BLACK ROB Hello, hello. 00:20:02:14 MAN Yep.
00:20:03:02 BLACK ROB Hello, hello. Okay, it’s working. Okay, thanks, everybody, for coming out on
a snowy night. Give yourself a round of applause. 00:20:10:11 AUDIENCE [ Applause ]
00:20:11:13 BLACK ROB There you go. Basically, my question has more to do with
film and technology and how people and smaller businesses and people who are — don’t have
the access that you might think is available in New York to take themselves to the next
level and how they deal with working with the city. This summer, I worked with an organization
called ImageNation, and we do film screenings in the public parks in Harlem. And one of the issues that we had was that
we weren’t able to fund-raise in the public parks. And we had a large group of people that we
had access to that we normally wouldn’t have during certain parts of the year. So, how would we kind of work with something
like that to have access to those people? That way, we can kind of fund-raise in places. And I know the the Parks Department is not
here to speak, which is kind of unfortunate because I think parks are part of nightlife,
especially during the summertime. 00:21:11:05 ARIEL PALITZ I’m not sure I fully
— Let him keep the mic for now just because I’d like a little more clarification. Let me see if I heard you correctly. You are questioning where you can more successfully
do fund-raisers in public spaces to support your career in film? 00:21:34:01 BLACK ROB I mean, also — Oh,
this is very loud. I’m not just speaking loudly. More for organizations to gain funding because
we have — because there are times in the year where we have large groups of people
in front of us, and that’s the best time to fund-raise, when there are people in front
of us as opposed to when there are no people in front of us… 00:21:49:07 ARIEL PALITZ Mm-hmm.
00:21:49:19 BLACK ROB …and we have access to the ears of the public. And we weren’t able to do that at that period
of time. So then I was like, “Well, if we can’t do
it there, then it makes our job more difficult.” And the city wants us to do all these wonderful
programs, but we can’t do that without being able to raise funds, and I know that the city
does give some capital to organizations that they want to do that, but… 00:22:13:23 ARIEL PALITZ Well, I think I’m
getting a better grasp of what you’re saying. And what I would just recommend — and it’s
actually a great resource and an opportunity for me to share, one thing that the Mayor’s
Office of Media and Entertainment is doing. There is, only just as of last month, really,
the launch of a brand-new center called the Freelancer’s Hub. And it is in DUMBO, and it is meant to provide
free resources for freelancers that work in the creative arts, such as film and as well
as in nightlife, deejays, performers, waitresses. And so if you go there, you’re able to get
assistance with the existing resources that the city has, perhaps at Cultural Affairs,
and they also help you with grant writing, free legal services and, I think, also networking. And so, whereas yours is perhaps more directed
towards film — and I think what you’re saying is about trying to get in front of a large
audience where people gather, such as nightlife, in order to be able to promote yourself and
get fund-raising — a place like the Freelancer’s Hub is an
incredible resource that our office is a part of and I think would be a great resource for
you and for many other people in the industry. And I hope that helps. 00:23:47:04 BLACK ROB Thank you. 00:23:47:15 ARIEL PALITZ You’re welcome. So, it doesn’t look like anyone else has signed
up, but we do have some people here in the audience. So, I would encourage anyone who did show
up to step up and let you know what encouraged you to be here and not to be shy. 00:24:08:03 MICHAEL JONES You came all the
way here. 00:24:10:01 ARIEL PALITZ Might as well say
something. [ Chuckles ]
00:24:11:05 MICHAEL JONES Yeah. There must be questions about MARCH operations,
extended hours on New Year’s Eve, no more cabaret license. What happens if a crime occurs in your bar? All different stuff, and you’ve got us, so
you might as well ask. 00:24:27:00 ARIEL PALITZ Yeah, it’s a very
great opportunity that we have here. 00:24:30:02 MAN …what he said. 00:24:31:00 ANA MARTINEZ Yeah, what he said. 00:24:31:18 MICHAEL JONES What I said. 00:24:32:15 CATHY Hi, good evening. I don’t want to finish my English for the
night. I have someone who could translate for me
in Spanish if it doesn’t mind? 00:24:41:12 ARIEL PALITZ We have our translators
here. 00:24:43:06 CATHY I appreciate it. 00:24:44:08 ARIEL PALITZ Jose or Francesca,
can you… 00:24:48:21 MAN Oh, okay. 00:24:53:18 CATHY In the meantime, I’m Cathy
from MG 54, and I have a couple of questions now that the gentleman here for the health
department that I guess that is the one who everybody wants to speak. I have a —
00:25:06:22 BRYANT WASHINGTON You love us! 00:25:07:22 CATHY Yes. I have a couple of questions for you. 00:25:10:12 BRYANT WASHINGTON Yes. 00:25:10:13 ARIEL PALITZ What is your organization? 00:25:12:06 CATHY I have a catering place,
catering home. 00:25:14:04 ARIEL PALITZ Oh. Okay, great. 00:25:19:11 BRYANT WASHINGTON Yes, I’m listening. I’m all ears. 00:25:22:02 ARIEL PALITZ Here he comes, your
translator. Come on down. 00:25:23:22 CATHY Okay, perfect. 00:25:25:09 MAN Oh, oh, okay. Sorry. 00:25:28:22 ARIEL PALITZ We are ready for
this situation. 00:25:31:14 BRYANT WASHINGTON Hey, as long
as no one has tomatoes in their pocket to throw at me, we’ll be fine because… 00:25:35:20 CATHY Maybe a couple of — a little
bit of snow. 00:25:37:18 BRYANT WASHINGTON Oh, gosh! 00:25:39:09 ARIEL PALITZ As long as they’re
fresh tomatoes at the right temperature. 00:25:42:12 BRYANT WASHINGTON I’m the nice
guy at the health department. I’m the nice guy. 00:25:45:17 ARIEL PALITZ We’ll be the judge
of that. 00:25:47:12 CATHY Okay. [ Speaking Spanish ]
00:26:05:11 MALE INTERPRETER Good evening, everybody. We as businesspeople, we know that on October
22nd, a law was passed, but we — as businesspeople, we don’t understand. We don’t have it too clearly how the law is
going to work. Can you explain us about it? 00:26:26:22 BRYANT WASHINGTON Which law are
you talking about, the hookah? 00:26:28:21 CATHY Yes. 00:26:29:06 BRYANT WASHINGTON Right. 00:26:29:07 ARIEL PALITZ I would hold that
microphone, translator, please. 00:26:31:14 MALE INTERPRETER Yeah. 00:26:32:04 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you. 00:26:33:07 BRYANT WASHINGTON Okay. So, the law that just passed for establishments
that operate as hookah lounges are required to have permits from the health department
in order to operate if you are solely a hookah lounge, meaning more than 50% of your revenue
comes from hookah, shisha. So, the deadline to apply for that if you
quality as an establishment to sell hookah was on October 22nd. So, one, if you haven’t applied by the 22nd,
then you can’t do hookah inside your establishment anymore. For those that did apply before the deadline,
your establishment has to function as a hookah lounge only, not, you know, a restaurant,
then at nighttime as a hookah lounge, because the majority of your sales has to come from
selling hookah. 00:27:37:00 MALE INTERPRETER [ Speaking Spanish
] 00:28:25:04 CATHY [ Speaking Spanish ]
00:28:52:11 MALE INTERPRETER So, I understand that
this law is for business who are already operating since some point in 2017 until October 22nd
this year, but for new business who don’t have this permit, but they want to operate
under hookah and meet the threshold, what’s going to happen to these kind of business? How can they operate? 00:29:18:05 BRYANT WASHINGTON So, in order
to get that license, you would have to have been an operation the year prior, before the
legislation was signed off. So, if you’re a new establishment after October
of 2017, then you don’t qualify. The only way that you could have people smoke
hookah inside your establishment is if you do not fall under the Smoke Free Air Act,
which means that you have an outdoor space that’s completely separate from the establishment
— there’s no awnings, there’s no roof, no overhang, and there’s no place where your
employees would serve food or drink. It’s just an outdoor space. And there’s some places in New York City that
still have, like, the backyard, or they have, like, the front sidewalk area, where outside
you’re allowed to smoke if the outdoor seating — 25% of the outdoor seating is allowed to
smoke anything. So, that doesn’t fall underneath the Smoke
Free Air Act. If you’re an indoor establishment, and you
have no outside, you cannot smoke indoors at all. 00:30:39:16 MAN [ Speaking Spanish ]
00:31:45:16 CATHY This is going to be my last question for you. 00:31:47:15 BRYANT WASHINGTON I’m going to
give you my information, too, because I know there’s some people may have other questions. And you can always just e-mail me or call
me. But go ahead. I’m listening. 00:31:55:02 CATHY This doesn’t concern to
me, but I know that it’s going to be a concern for a lot of commercials. They want to know — They already applied
for the permit. What is going to be the regulations that you
guys are going to need for them to be approved? 00:32:09:19 BRYANT WASHINGTON Okay. Is he going to translate that? No? Oh, okay. Well, that’s fine. Well, he doesn’t need to, I mean, because
— Anyway, so, as far as the enforcement, like, what do we do if we catch someone smoking
hookah without a license? Right. So, what we do is that — There’s a fine attached
to it, and in some cases, we will try to revoke the license for the hookah if you have — scratch
that — revoke your health department license. So, it’s a serious thing. I mean, it’s not something that you want to,
you know, test out if you don’t have the license. The city has, you know, come up with ways
now to limit the amount of establishments that have hookah for health reasons. And, you know, we’re the regulatory agency. You know, we didn’t make the law. We just want to try to help people who have
the license make sure that they know the rules and regulations, and for those that don’t,
also know the rules and regulations so that they don’t, you know, get caught and jeopardize
their permit. 00:33:33:14 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you so much
for bringing this issue up. I know that it is something that is affecting
a lot of small businesses, especially in the Bronx and outer boroughs. And I would recommend that you also connect
with him so that you can continue to follow up on a personal level and to continue to
address it. Is there anyone else in the room, perhaps
somebody who owns and operates a venue or a resident that may want to bring up an issue
that we have this esteemed panel to address or to get on the record? All right. Well, I guess with that said, we do recognize
that it is genuinely terrible weather out today. We still think it was extremely important
that we continue with our presentation here and availability tonight. We will take a question or a statement now,
and it’ll give you an opportunity to perhaps think of something that you didn’t think of
before. 00:34:56:09 ANDREW RIGIE Hello. I’m Andrew Rigie. I am on the Nightlife Advisory Board, and
I’m here with a couple of my fellow Advisory Board members. So, I know sometimes in these forums, people
come out and they want to hear what people have to say, but they’re not always comfortable
talking in front of a whole audience. What would be the best way for people to get
in touch with either your office or anyone on the panel if they want to talk about an
issue specific to them, without doing in a larger forum? 00:35:29:07 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you for asking. I think that’s a really good point, and what
I was hoping to do was to also bring attention to the fact that we — In addition to this
one, we will be having another meeting in Manhattan. And I invite you or anyone you were hoping
to also be here to go to that meeting, as well. If you are not comfortable speaking in a public
forum, the Office of Nightlife has a e-mail address, which — [email protected]
— that you can submit your written testimony, as
well as ideas, as well as if you’re having any problems with your business or with quality-of-life
issues, we will be able to really direct you to the right agency. Sometimes people get lost in the red tape
or they don’t know where to go or who to contact to help them with their individual issue. And we see the Office of Nightlife as that
liaison to the business owners and the employees as well as the residents, to be able to make
sure that you’re getting the information and support that you need. So, you can go to our website,,
e-mail us, or come to the next meeting, or just call us anytime. We have our business cards out front. And I also want to say that this is — Even
though we are on a five-borough listening tour right now, this is not the last conversation
that we’re going to have with the Bronx. This is beginning of many conversations. Wonderful, please stand up. Thank you. 00:37:43:02 WOMAN So, my question to the panel
is, what kind of considerations are being made for underrepresented groups to be able
to participate in this part of economic development and participate in the nightlife business? Like, how are you thinking about that currently? 00:37:59:19 ARIEL PALITZ Well, I can — Does
Small Business Services have something to contribute to that? And then I’ll follow up with ways Office of
Nightlife can, as well. 00:38:09:16 CYNTHIA KEYSER Yeah. So, again, I’m Cynthia Keyser. I’m the Chief of Staff for the Department
of Small Business Service with the city. So, we have Business Solutions Centers across
the city, including one on Fordham Road, where we provide our services for small businesses. I’ll tell you about the general ones and then
specific services we have to ensure that we’re reaching populations most in need of our services. So, we have access to capital. We conduct regulatory reform and compliance
assistance to help businesses to understand regulations before they have an inspection,
before they encounter a regulatory agency, before they might incur a fine, so that they
know how to be compliant. As I mentioned earlier — but I know some
folks were traveling in — we work with our partner regulatory agencies to really help
businesses understand those regulations, both in their native language, ensure that that
information is accessible, that it’s plain language so that it’s not overly burdensome
to be compliant. We help businesses access capital. We do that by helping a business to prepare
that loan application. We walk you through the process. We’ll connect you with a community development
financial institution, CDFIs, if a business owner has had trouble accessing capital in
the past, help them plan for their business, help them hire employees, really help them
through the lifetime of starting and growing a business. So, those are the services that are available
to anyone and everyone. We also, in the last year, launched free legal
assistance for businesses if they rent their space and they’re encountering an issue with
their landlord or if they just want a lawyer to help them review their lease to ensure
that they have a fair lease to begin with. So, those are some of the general services. We also have an immigrant business initiative
that’s specifically targeted to immigrant business owners who make up the majority of
business owners in New York City. That includes a guide that’s translated into
multiple languages, but also just assistance through our business centers, so that we can
help folks, again, in their preferred language and ensure that all of our information is
legitimately accessible to them. We also have a program for women entrepreneurs,
WE NYC. That includes legal assistance, capital access,
a mentorship program, help to — We conducted a study with women entrepreneurs to really
understand what kind of additional barriers they face and address those needs. We have specific programs for women- and minority-owned
business enterprises, MWBEs, with the city. That’s specifically small businesses that
hope to contract with the city of New York. So that could include Nightlife businesses. That’s just to say that the city is really
committed to using our dollars and our spend to help grow those businesses that are owned
by women and people of color. So, those are just some of the ways, but I’m
also happy to talk to anyone in the room. If folks are not in a rush to get home, I
can stay after, as well, to discuss some of the other ways that we help small business
owners. But we’re really here to be a use to owners. So please reach out to us. 00:41:33:14 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you so much. That was a learning experience for me, too. It’s really good to know the infrastructural
support for a business and the funding that’s available. From a cultural standpoint, I think that the
Office of Nightlife, including the Advisory Board, which, again, has 14 members which
represent LGBTQ, DIY, the artist community, women’s issues. And what we’re really hoping to do is ensure
that the diversity of New York, as well as its needs to express itself, as well as to
build its own businesses within the hospitality industry, are represented at the Office of
Nightlife. I think, moving forward, in order to be able
to create access and bridges to those opportunities, we will be having seminars. I think we will also be doing a hospitality
career fair in each borough. I think people don’t really realize that when
you’re talking about the hospitality industry, it’s not just about being a barback or a waitress
or a door guy or a deejay. There is public relations. There’s real estate. There’s all types of career opportunities
within this vast $48-billion industry that people can find their place in and also, you
know, again, in the creative sense, from the underground DIY, do-it-yourself creative communities,
we’re working very hard to ensure that they are done safely and legally and in a way that
is supported to make sure that that culture has a voice in our city. So, I think this office has been around for
nine months. What you’re seeing here is the beginning of
a very collaborative and strong relationship with the city and the state and the community,
to ensure that this industry is vibrant and safe and growing. Come on down. And then you’ll be next. Or, yeah, you can speak from up there. You don’t have to come down. 00:43:59:23 WOMAN Okay. Okay. Hi. So, Bronx nightlife is very vivid, but it
can also be riddled with a lot of crime, and it can be a little dangerous. How is the NYPD and the Office of Nightlife
going to work together to, you know, drop the crimes? Or what are the numbers, also, if I can know
— has it dropped? — from the NYPD? 00:44:19:15 CHRISTOPHER MANSON Well, there
have been approximately 360 crimes in bars and clubs this year so far, of which slightly
more than half were assaults. 90 of them are misdemeanor assaults, which
is the lower level, and then approximately 65, I believe, were felony assaults, which
is either a weapon was used or there was serious injury. There have been 10 robberies, 36 grand larcenies. There’s been a number of weapons. Either guns or knives were taken off of people. NYPD pays so much attention to the bar because
of crimes in bars. We want everyone to have a safe environment,
and some bars — I’m not saying your bar, but some bars in the past have been magnets
for — and we have to be honest about it — have been magnets for criminal activity, whether
the proprietors of the bar knew about it and did not care or they did not know about it,
what was going on in the bathroom. So, NYPD has a number of ways that we go about
and we investigate these crimes, whether it’s undercovers to see if there’s narcotics or
prostitution going on, or we send in underage people representing the police department,
who see if they’re serving alcohol to people under 21 years old because there’s — People
under 20 and 19-year-olds tend to get into more fights, it seems, than other people. And what happens when there is a number of
crimes in a certain bar or they fail these tests, that they’re serving alcohol to minors
or to intoxicated people, they become on the radar of that precinct. And that will lead to what we call a MARCH
operation. Have you ever been the subject of a MARCH
operation? Okay. 00:45:55:16 ARIEL PALITZ Yes. 00:45:56:10 CHRISTOPHER MANSON Yes. Okay. Has anyone here been a subject of a MARCH
operation, where we all come running in your bar? Well, I’ll tell you what a MARCH operation
is. A MARCH operation is when — And we don’t
just arbitrarily pick your bar. If your bar is a problematic location, it
has to be approved by the precinct commander and then the Chief of Patrol’s office or the
Chief of Department’s office and then Legal Bureau for NYPD. And MARCH stands for Multi-Agency Response
to Community Hotspots. Basically, what it means is, we’re going to
target this bar — Yep, five, right? We’re going to talk at this bar because there’s
problems there. So, they set up an operation where we’ll target
three or four bars that night. And myself, SLA, the fire department, the
health department, Department of Buildings, we all go into the bar around the same time
and we just make sure everything is running legit. And sometimes summonses are issued. Sometimes they’re not. Sometimes, worst-case scenario, the bar might
be shut down. But we have to — When a bar is problematic,
or a club, we have to jump on it. We have to make sure. And if this is the shot that we need to fire
over the bow to get the people of this — the owners of this bar to realize what’s going
on, how serious it is — Because our whole object for the police department is we want
bars to be good neighbors. We want the bars to act like they live across
the street or they live next door. So we don’t want the music too loud. We don’t want intoxicated people in the bar. We don’t want violence. So, there’s a whole lot of things that we
do, and it never stops. You know? If you never hear from us, that means all
is good with you and we’re very happy with you. And you’ll never hear from us if you don’t
have these problems. If you do have problems in your bar, the best
thing that you can do is call your precinct and ask to speak you your NCOs or your community
affairs officers or come down to the precinct and start working with the precinct because
we’ll help you with the problems that you have. If it’s gang issues or people just causing
problems outside your bar, it’s not related to your bar, there’s a lot of things we can
do to help you. We don’t want you to take the blame for things
that you’re not responsible for, so we’ll work with you. It’s a two-way street is what I’m trying to
say. 00:48:11:05 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you so much. That was an amazing display of statistics,
as well, very impressive. And I think that the way that the Office of
Nightlife comes to play — Listen, safety first, right? That’s a universal truth in everything that
we do, and it’s a top priority for this administration and, I think, for everyone. No matter how much you love nightlife, you
want to make sure that you can go out and be safe doing it. And it is an important role for NYPD and,
I think, a lot of the people on this stage who are also members of that MARCH task force
— health department, buildings department, SLA. What the Office of Nightlife is also proposing,
and in this multi-agency relationship that we’re creating, is that outreach and education
and support before a MARCH task force is necessary. And we feel that there’s a lot of ways, between
the complaint or the violation, to enforcement that can be implemented, one of which is mediation. And I think that what we’ve come to learn
at the Office of Nightlife is that there isn’t a lot of mediation that takes place, especially
if it’s between, let’s say, a loud bar and a neighbor, a residential neighbor. There’s 311. There’s 911. There’s the community board. But really providing free mediation services
in order to be able to try and create understanding and agreement — and also there is a large
amount of complaints or violations, to be able to dispatch a multi-agency response of
support, to ensure that they are getting the guidance and education that they need. And, yeah, if they’re a bad operator and they
are chronic and they’re not listening and they don’t care, they will be handled because
everybody deserves to be safe and also we don’t want one bad bar putting a black eye
on an incredible industry. And so this whole panel here is to ensure
safety and compliance, but also outreach, support, and education to make sure that it
happens. 00:50:51:18 WOMAN Thank you. So, you mentioned initiatives overseas with
soundproofing and such. So, I’m just wondering what initiatives do
you have planned right off the bat? Like, is soundproofing local businesses something
that potentially can happen here in New York City, as well? 00:51:10:23 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you so much
for that question. We have a lot of ideas, overflowing with ideas. And also being able to look to the other Offices
of Nightlife that exist around the world and around the country gives us the opportunity
not to have to reinvent the wheel sometimes. If something is working in Amsterdam or in
London or in Seattle, then we’re already taking a very close look at taking cues from them. I believe that one of our council members
also has a potential legislative bill on the table called Agent of Change that will be
discussed, that does put responsibility on new developments, residential and business,
that are coming into entertainment areas that are known to have a vibrant nightlife scene,
that the onus is on them to also ensure that they’re providing the right soundproofing
and making sure bedrooms are in the back and not in the front, and then, conversely, for
new venues that are going into residential areas, to ensure that they are legislatively
ensuring that they are providing the right soundproofing. And that is a bill that is on the table right
now. As far as what we will be doing from within
the Office of Nightlife, first and foremost, we really want to get through these five Town
Hall meetings. The whole purpose of these is to inform us
about the top priorities of each borough and to take that information and to ensure that
we — What I think is important is one thing, but it’s really what you all think is important
that really matters. And very soon and very quickly, we will be
rolling those out. And I believe that it’s really the small incremental
changes — getting things safer, getting things quieter, making sure there’s no horn honking,
making sure that all of these city agencies are working more streamlined towards supporting
a business. These are the small, incremental changes that
we can do from a brand-new office that has never existed to support the industry in a
way that it has not been done before, in another level. So, stay tuned for our initiatives and policies. Yes? 00:53:56:07 WOMAN So, I’m curious about something
that might be a little more controversial and whether or not you might spearhead things
that might be more controversial. For instance, would there be a stance, potentially,
on something like legalizing sex work? 00:54:19:10 CHRISTOPHER MANSON Probably not. 00:54:20:19 ARIEL PALITZ Well, I think that
there has been conversations. It has, at least, been brought to the Office
of Nightlife’s attention, in regards to, like, looking at marijuana, sex, other types of
drugs, things that are illegal here, as, I think, even with the decriminalization of
marijuana. Perhaps a few years ago, we would have never
thought that there would be any genuine benefit to doing that in the city, but I think tides
change, minds change, policies change, and I think, again, the purpose of this office
is to listen and to hear what the pros and cons would be. And I can tell you — I don’t know that the
administration has a stance on that. Perhaps NY–
00:55:16:07 CHRISTOPHER MANSON I’m trying to ask — Is that referring to, like, legalized
prostitution? 00:55:20:23 WOMAN [ Speaking indistinctly
] 00:55:22:22 CHRISTOPHER MANSON Okay, well
— 00:55:24:08 ARIEL PALITZ Sex work. 00:55:24:23 CHRISTOPHER MANSON I’m just calling
it what the police department would call it. And it’s way above — I’m not the one who
would dictate policy on that. Right now, it’s illegal. In fact, it’s something that both the police
department and the district attorney’s office take very seriously, only because — mainly
because there’s a lot of human trafficking that does go on, and so there are victims. I know there are people who in their own free
will who do that, of course. But that’s an issue that — for someone way
above my pay grade. I’m sorry I can’t answer the question, though,
for you. 00:55:57:10 ARIEL PALITZ And I think it’s
those nuances between trafficking and real victims and crimes and then the victimless
crime that exists. And I know that there is — from what we’ve
been hearing, there is the reality about sex involved in nightlife, whether it be voluntary
parties and what have you, and the criminality of it. I also — It is way above my pay grade to
make those determinations. But I can tell you that with the establishment
of the Office of Nightlife, it is a conversation that we will have and we are willing to have,
and if you represent a larger group or a movement or an idea and you have suggestions on how
to make things more fair in the victimless world, then we would love to hear it. Yes, ma’am? 00:57:10:20 OLYMPIA KAZI Thank you. Hi. My name is Olympia Kazi. I am also with the Nightlife Advisory Board,
and I’m with the New York City Artist Coalition. We advocate for the safety and preservation
of grassroots cultural spaces. They mentioned them earlier. Some of them are DIY music venues, but generally
any kind of cultural space that really caters to the community, that is affordable because
very often, you know, things that are offered in this city are not for all. So my question, I think, is on the pay grade
of SBS and DCLA, and we have discussed it in the past with you — and I also mentioned
to Commissioner Brickby at the previous Town Hall. One of the ways grassroots, small cultural
spaces are shutting down is when they’re hit with a lot of fines or they have a freak accident
or — These people don’t have capital to survive the few weeks that they should be closed to
repair something or the capital funds for that. So, during the Create NYC process, we discussed
whether DCLA and SBS could collaborate and create a pool of, you know, micro loans, matching
funds, all sorts of things that you could do for these small businesses that sometimes
are not-for-profit, sometimes are small businesses for profit. But, you know, we’re losing them because the
moment they have some unexpected expense, they just need to shut down, even though they’re
very, very valuable community spaces. They just don’t have the capital. 00:58:39:17 CYNTHIA KEYSER So, I’ll take the
initial stab at it and then pass it over to Cultural Affairs. So, we serve for-profit small businesses,
but many cultural organizations certainly are operating as small businesses. We will help with both emergency response
and access to capital. So, we have a wonderful emergency-response
team that will come in and help to coordinate across all of the agencies that you need to
work with, to make emergency repairs or to get back on your feet. We did this with Flatiron recently, but also
in the instance, certainly, of Hurricane Sandy business recovery and other instances like
that — fires, water main breaks — Anytime a business has a calamity like
that, we’ll come in with emergency response. On the capital-access side, we help businesses
to prepare all of their documentation, to understand what capital is right-sized for
them, to help them through the conversations with the lenders, to connect them to appropriate
lenders and to ensure that they can plan for the use of that capital. So, we do offer those two sets of services. I hope that’s helpful to your question, and
then — 00:59:49:08 OLYMPIA KAZI Can I — So… 00:59:51:03 CYNTHIA KEYSER Yes? 00:59:51:05 OLYMPIA KAZI …basically, the
kind of calamity — And, like, the scale of the spaces is tiny. So the kind of calamity could be a MARCH walk-through
or something like that that they have to respond to, and they cannot, you know, because they’ve
been shut done, sometimes with fines that were, you know, like, improper showing of
a sign or, like, things that are not life-threatening, but that they amount to a few thousand dollars,
that for these businesses, it is an emergency. 01:00:16:14 CYNTHIA KEYSER I apologize. I see, yeah, a different kind of emergency. So, in that instance, I would say that we
have two sets of services that have to do with ensuring that a business understands
what regulations apply to them and can be compliant with those regulations, on a one-to-one
basis and then broader than that. So, we have client managers and compliance
advisors. It doesn’t really matter. You don’t need to remember that, but the point
is we have folks who help you pre-inspection to prepare for inspections — so, to know
ahead of time, before fines are even on the table, before issues even occur, what regulations
apply to your business, how to be compliant with no risk. Then we have folks who will really work with
a business owner one-on-one to understand how to help them through and navigate an issue
once they’ve already received a fine, or they’re already having an issue with an agency. And so those are people in our agency who
have contacts and have friendships and have connections with folks at other agencies and
will say, “Let’s work together. Let’s help this business owner. Let’s try to figure this out and work through
it.” And so that team can really help the business
once an issue has occurred, also before there’s an issue, before there’s an inspection. That’s our preference. We want to work with you beforehand, again,
help you with access and capital if there’s an issue, and in the case of an emergency,
at that point — Again, those services are for for-profit businesses, but I’ll turn it
over to cultural affairs for the nonprofits. Thank you. 01:01:51:08 DIYA VIJ Yeah. So, as you know, we are chartered — The Department
of Cultural Affairs is chartered to support nonprofit organizations with arts and cultural
programming. So, if you are talking about nonprofit spaces,
and they’ve been a 501(c)(3) for three years and meet our budget thresholds, they should
definitely apply to the Department of Cultural Affairs for funding. If not, then they should seek their local
borough arts councils where smaller organizations and individual artists and collectives can
apply annually. And I know that there are a lot of cultural
organizations post-Hurricane Sandy that have been coming together to think about disaster
relief for the arts community in relationship to natural disasters. And this is a conversation that we’ve been
trying to extend into the space of DIY or artist-run spaces. And because we are not chartered to work with
for-profit businesses, we have been in conversation with SBS about seeing what kind of services
we can market directly to the community, our community, that might fall just outside of
the boundaries of the 501(c)(3) and are really grateful to be partnering or in conversation
with the Office of Nightlife to continue that work. 01:03:00:09 WOMAN Thank you. 01:03:01:22 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you so much
for drawing attention to the DIY dilemma, I guess we could call it. Again, I think it’s clear that safety is always
a primary concern, especially when it comes to venues that are not always — I don’t know
— co-opted in a traditional fashion through the, you know, buildings department and getting
all of those permits that are necessary. And these are enforcement agencies that are
doing their job and insuring safety. But with the creation of the Office of Nightlife,
it’s really about creating pathways with all of these agencies to look at creative spaces,
perhaps not like a large nightclub, and that there should be and maybe can be different
expectations, different regulations and different streams of support, as long as safety, again,
is always the top priority, and then we can get creative and cool. And that’s what I hope we’ll all be able to
do together. Anyone else have a question for — The State
Liquor Authority is here, DOB. [ Laughs ]
01:04:22:06 MICHAEL JONES We’re doing all right. 01:04:23:04 ARIEL PALITZ Yeah. I hope so. Good morning. So, I — Again, I’m really honestly, genuinely
grateful and impressed that everyone showed up. You have something you’d like to add? 01:04:41:12 BRYANT WASHINGTON Yes. 01:04:42:07 ARIEL PALITZ Oh, sure. I was going to go down the line… 01:04:43:15 BRYANT WASHINGTON Oh, sorry. 01:04:44:04 ARIEL PALITZ …and have everybody
say something, but you — 01:04:45:15 BRYANT WASHINGTON Oh, no. Well, go ahead. 01:04:46:03 ARIEL PALITZ No, say it now. Do it now. 01:04:47:11 BRYANT WASHINGTON Okay. Well, just —
01:04:48:09 ARIEL PALITZ Please do. 01:04:49:04 BRYANT WASHINGTON Now, I know
— I’ve been to one of these before, and I know that — I mean, I joke around with people
throwing tomatoes at the health department, but I know that we get a lot of questions
about, you know, the things that we do, and a lot of our violations that we write could
be very costly. And I know there’s many a times where, you
know, we shut people down, and it’s not fun. I know it’s not fun for you guys. Whoever is the owner of a restaurant or a
bar, it’s not fun for you, and it is not fun for us also. I just want to let you know that we have a
lot of resources at the health department that’s absolutely free. There’s no charge. You can walk into the office. Go through security first. You can walk into the office and get, you
know, as much information as possible to help you, you know, run your restaurant or bar
according to the health codes so that you don’t — you know, you’re not subject to,
you know, these fines or these violations that a lot of people complain about. And it seems that a lot of things have changed,
but really a lot of stuff remained the same. You know, the restaurants are very different. You know, we go at different times of the
day. We go early in the morning, late at night. If you’re open at 2:00 a.m., we’ll show up
at 2:00 a.m. So, a lot of times, there are different things
that are happening inside the restaurant, and people get different violations. It doesn’t mean that, you know, that we looked
to find new things or something new came up that you didn’t know. All of the information is on the Internet. It’s in our health code. We break it down for you in some of the resources
that we have inside our office. So, please, if you’re a new business or if
you’ve been in operation for a long time and you have a lot of turnover and you may want
to get some more information to pass out to your employees, you can stop by the health
department. You can go online. You can call me if you want. The information is there, so — And you can
always call us and ask us questions about things that you’re not clear with. And it’s free of charge. So, that’s it. 01:07:21:23 ARIEL PALITZ We have another. Thank you so much for that. Appreciate it. 01:07:29:22 WOMAN Hi. So, recently, there was a state law passed
around sexual harassment and mandatory training, and there’s some talk around city laws passing
around that, too. And I just kind of wondered for everyone what
they plan on doing to support nightlife venues that might have some questions or are a little
confused about that. 01:07:54:14 ARIEL PALITZ In regards to the
Office of Nightlife or the other city agencies? 01:07:58:15 WOMAN Well, Office of Nightlife,
and I don’t know if any of the city agencies will be putting a toe into that. 01:08:03:15 ARIEL PALITZ Okay, well, I’m very
happy that you brought this up. There was a hearing the other day at City
Council about proposed legislation in regards to sexual-harassment training and, also I
think, bringing more awareness around consent into nightlife spaces. And I think that, obviously, this is something
that is extraordinarily important to the administration and to the industry that all women and men
feel safe to party freely without feeling the stress of an unwanted advance. I think with the Me Too movement and everything
that’s going on, it’s really an incredible opportunity to bring awareness. Where there is awareness, there is change. And in regards to mandated legislation around
training and awareness, that’s still up for debate as to what levels of mandatory regulation
there is. But I think, from a voluntary standpoint,
nightlife already does a really great job of managing and maintaining its spaces, but
I also think that these new conversations about consent and things where there has been
more gray area about what is acceptable and unacceptable when addressing a woman in a
nightclub — or a man — and also what — providing more guidelines and educational materials
and posters and training for staff that can be done in a voluntary way, depending on your
venue. Some venues perhaps need more, some perhaps
less. And so these are the conversations that we’re
having now, but the primary concern for the administration is ensuring that there is greater
awareness around sexual harassment and consent, not only for employees, but for patrons. 01:10:08:18 CYNTHIA KEYSER And for other small
businesses… 01:10:11:12 ARIEL PALITZ Oh, yes. That’s right. 01:10:12:05 CYNTHIA KEYSER …SBS is working
with other agencies to spread that information. We have the new regulations on our website
so that small business owners know how to be compliant. 01:10:21:08 ARIEL PALITZ Yeah. This is obviously not something that nightlife
should be singled out for because, as we know, sexual harassment and lack of consent can
happen everywhere. It can happen on a subway. It can happen at the gym. It can happen anywhere. And I think what’s important is to expand
that conversation so that it goes across all workplaces and all places of leisure where
people gather socially. I think now is a time of education for men
and women to know what the new rules are and where the boundaries are and how to treat
each other with mutual respect. And that is a top priority for this administration
and this office and a lot of these — and this department, as well, and all of these
departments. Yes, sir? 01:11:22:04 MAN Hello. Outside of these listening tours, how will
the Office of Nightlife — How do you aim to gauge, like, neighborhood-specific problems? Will you be working with City Council, community
boards? How will you stay up-to-date on new problems
that arise in the nightlife scene? 01:11:44:21 ARIEL PALITZ All right. Well, thank you for asking. These town — These listening tours are really
just the tip of the iceberg. We have very close relationships with each
precinct, with the community boards, the bids, industry organizations, artist organizations. And so these conversations are going to continue
to happen. Our lines of communication are always open,
and we have been receiving calls from different agencies, council members’ offices, community
boards, nightlife operators that call us directly and say, “We’re having a problem with a chronic
venue.” “I’m having a problem with this agency. Can you help us?” We will also be working with 311, and the
Office of Nightlife with have access to the 311 calls that we will be able to monitor
and to be able to see where are the chronic problems borough-wide. After these town halls, I’m also intending
on going with NYPD precinct to precinct, neighborhood to neighborhood, five boroughs, and drive
around at night and get my eyeballs on — You know, I’m born and raised in New York, but
I haven’t been to every corner, and I’ve heard about a lot of the hot-spot areas, but to
be able to see it for ourselves and to have a real understanding on the ground where the
problems are, I think, will give us a better understanding. But this is a living, breathing office, and
what I really want to be able to do is to make sure that all the city agencies, community
boards, council members, assembly members know that when they’re having issues with
operators or chronic neighbors or other — anything that may arrive in relation to nightlife,
that they should and can call us and that we will provide the nightlife perspective
on how to address it. And you can call, too, anytime. So, it’s going to be last call for questions. I think, given the weather — I’d also like
to give my panelists who managed to be here and sit through this — if there’s anything
else you wanted to add, any of you? Sure. Go ahead. 01:14:18:21 CYNTHIA KEYSER One last plug. The city under this mayor has made a really
incredible effort to get information for small businesses online. So, we have a website called,
and on that website you can find all information pertaining to small businesses from every
agency. So, it’s not just information from the New
York City Department of Small Business Services. It’s information from Department of Health,
from Department of Buildings, from Department of City Planning, from all of us. We were all required to put our information
on one website if it pertains to small businesses. So, that used to be a problem in the past. Everything isn’t perfect, but we’re getting
much better. You can go on that website and specifically
select your type of business and find out what permits apply to your kind of business,
what licenses you’ll need, what regulations may apply, how to be compliant and get in
touch with the folks that work in my agency who can help you with some of those services
I mentioned earlier like how to be compliant, capital access, business courses, free legal
assistance, all of that and all of the services at all of our agencies that apply to small
businesses. So,, select your business
type, select the kind of help that you need, and you can find it all there. So, that’s how we’re online. We’re also in all the boroughs with our centers. I know many of the agencies on this stage
have borough offices, as well. So there are a lot of ways to work with us
in your language, a lot of ways that we are trying to be accessible, be place-based, be
online, and be connected with you through 311 and other resources. So, there are a lot of ways that the city
is improving the way that we work with small businesses. 01:16:12:11 CHRISTOPHER MANSON Just one thing
from the Police Department — every borough in the city has four nightlife meetings a
year, smaller meetings. The next one for the Bronx, if you’d like
to attend, is December 5th at 3 p.m. It’s in the first floor of the 4A precinct. It’s a large meeting room and police are there
and the legal bureau is there and the SLA is there and we answer all your questions. 01:16:35:13 ARIEL PALITZ Mike? 01:16:36:21 MICHAEL JONES I would just like
to comment that the SLA has a website as well, which I encourage people who are interested
in obtaining a license and roll over those that already have a license…There’s a lot
of information on the website. People could file complaints if there are
complaints regarding certain places. And I have a handbook. I brought a few copies with me, about 20 or
so. I suggest those that have a license to look
at the handbook because it has a number of violations which people may not be aware of. And, you know, it would be a shame to get
these fines for, like, not having a sign up or certain things that — they’re fairly technical. But the books are up there, and that, too,
is on our website. And I am here tonight because, basically,
I am the contact person for the SLA for any issues. I will hand out my card, and I’ll give you
my e-mail address. So, if you’re a licensee that has a problem
— mainly, like, renewals or things that happen, you know, where you need your license, and
if there’s an issue, I wouldn’t mind hearing from you and see what we could do about it. Matter of fact, if you have any issue, I review
the e-mails that come in regarding complaints, and I’ll be able to look into any situations
that you people have. 01:17:53:16 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you, Mike. 01:17:57:06 JAMES MORELIA Hello. I’m James from City Planning. Just want to say that we have an office here
in the Bronx, obviously, on 1775 Grand Concourse. You can reach us at 718-222-8500 or of course
at We have 9, 10 staff members. We have liaisons for every community and neighborhood,
and oftentimes we field questions that really have nothing to do with planning and zoning,
but we have an overview of the different agencies and how they fit in, et cetera. If you have a complaint about a particular
property, we can often send that over to the Department of Buildings, who are the enforcement
agency. If you have questions about a use, something
that’s happening in your neighborhood, something that’s being built in your neighborhood, that’s
all the information we have, and of course, we’re the caretakers of the zoning that allows
what goes where, as I said before. So please, you know, utilize us. Just look up NYC Planning, Bronx office, and
we’ll put you in touch with one of our liaisons for your particular neighborhood. 01:19:02:23 ARIEL PALITZ Thank you so much. Anyone else care to chime in? So, I do think it’s a good time to wrap up. I do want to mention all of these agencies
do have their own websites, but ultimately what the Office of Nightlife will be doing
is also creating a one-stop-shop website, so that if you don’t know where to go or what
agency to go to, that you’ll be able to just go to the Office of Nightlife, and we’ll also
be able to direct you not only to their websites but to trainings and seminars and tool kits. And so, you know, the best is yet to come. Thank you all so much for being here, for
participating. I think it was a worthwhile event. I’m happy we didn’t postpone it, and I just
wish that you all get home safely. And if you want to continue the conversation,
e-mail us or come to the meeting in Manhattan on November 28th. Thank you all so much. 01:20:09:11 AUDIENCE [ Applause ]

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