March is a special month for women far and wide as the contributions of women in American history are observed nationally during Women’s History Month. Over the years, Women’s History Month has had a corresponding theme and the 2019 Women's History Month theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” The theme honors women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society. Visit your local library and learn about the famous and unsung heroines throughout the ages, and how women have played a role in the making of the United States and worldwide history. Or simply write a letter to a woman who has inspired you. Whoever you view as your heroine, take a moment sometime this month to acknowledge her. This Women’s History Month, WSBID salutes the women, female entrepreneurs, and efforts of visionary women everywhere who dedicate their lives to their families, jobs, businesses and serving their communities.
St. Patrick’s Day 2019 is on Sunday, March 17 and observes St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. This day has evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe celebrating Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green. Luckily, the Square boasts its very own Irish Pub, McDermott’s, where you can bring your shamrocks and celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the Square (2634 E. Tremont Avenue).
Have you registered to participate in the first-ever Business Bootcamp for Westchester Square district business owners? In partnership with the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and the Morris Park BID, this first day - in a series of three business events - will highlight the ways in which business owners can use marketing tools to increase visibility as well as grow and improve their business.
The Business Bootcamp will consist of three (3) days of structured workshops. Dates are as follows:
• Wednesday, March 13 (8:30 am-11:30 am)
• Wednesday, April 10 (8:30 am-11:30 am)
• Wednesday, May 1 (8:30 am-11:30 am)
These workshops are free to businesses within the district. Registration is required. Light refreshments will be served. Don’t miss out. Register today.
Spring is right around the corner and March 20 marks the official first day. Earth Day also draws near (April 22) and we will be celebrating and promoting environmental awareness & protection on April 27th. WSBID is seeking volunteers to assist with its Earth Day festivities and other events taking place this spring at the Square. Have a few extra hours to spare? We can use your help. Need to complete those community service hours? The district is the perfect place to help your community while meeting your service hours. High school students welcome. Let’s work together to make spring at the Square a great and environmentally pleasant place for all. To sign up click here
When United States Army Sergeant First Class and Station Commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Office of Westchester Square, Harvey Oscar Dornellien is not assisting in the recruitment of men and women into the Army, he is busy developing programs for underserved youth. A native of St. Lucia who came to the U.S. and lived in Brooklyn during his late high school years, Sgt. Dornellien enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2002 after brief experiences as a construction worker and security guard. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree, Sgt. Dornellien enlisted in active duty in 2005 and traveled to 19 countries specializing in civil engineering.
Through his tenure in the Army, Sgt. Dornellien has completed two Bachelor Degrees and one Master’s Degree. He also participated in a pilot program at Stamford University as part of one of the Army’s many programs. “I first had an interest in joining the Navy, but when I thought about long-term educational growth and a stationary life, the Army allowed me to stay in one location and pursue my educational goals,” stated Sgt. Dornellien. “The Army invests in your education and training, and guarantees you a job, which I thought would work well for me.”
Sgt. Dornellien grew up in a poor family in St. Lucia. His mother struggled to maintain him and his many siblings during his childhood. In his high school years, the international organization, Save the Children, was instrumental in providing the financial assistance necessary for high school. It was this experience of charitable assistance that instilled in him the desire to one day help others who were in similar situations. On August 30, 2015, Sgt. Dornellien created his own charitable foundation, Give a Little. “Someone once helped me and I wanted to be able to help as many people as I could anywhere in the world,” stated Sgt. Dornellien. Using the Army as his platform, he volunteers his time in a variety of Boys and Girls clubs and organizations, and is currently coordinating an anti-bullying campaign that will span across the U.S. from New York to San Diego. He also focuses on youth ages 15-21 and is collaborating with a General Education Development (GED) program in the Bronx to offer career programs and services to young men and women.
While recruiting has afforded him the opportunity to make a difference in many communities, Sgt. Dornellien ultimately aspires to attend Harvard University and pursue a law degree. He hopes to utilize his experience and education by returning to his native St. Lucia and one day becoming its Prime Minister. “I would like to focus on making changes in healthcare and bringing tertiary-level education to St. Lucia. I also believe it’s youth are important and I would like to bridge the gap between the younger and older generations of St. Lucia. I hope to make some kind of a difference in the lives of St. Lucians,” stated Sgt. Dornellien. He also envisions St. Lucia participating in the Olympic Games sometime in the future
WSBID, in collaboration with the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Morris Park BID, and Battery Park City Authority, is pleased to announce its very first Business "Bootcamp" This premiere business event aims to provide business owners with the information and tools needed to increase visibility, grow and improve a business, develop and strengthen a social media presence, and address the various legal issues encountered by small business owners. The Business “Bootcamp” will consist of three (3) days of structured workshops on the topics of marketing, business operations, and legal issues in business. Dates for the Business “Bootcamp” are as follows:
• Wednesday, March 13 (8:30 am)
• Wednesday, April 10 (8:30 am)
• Wednesday, May 1 (8:30 am)
These educational workshops - facilitated by experts in the fields of business, marketing and law - are free to business owners within the Westchester Square district. Registration is required. Light refreshments will be served. Register here.
Effective January 1, 2019, New York City stores, food service establishments, and mobile food vendors are no longer allowed to offer, sell or possess single-use foam food containers such as foam takeout clamshells, cups, plates, bowls and trays. Businesses affected by the foam ban will have a six-month warning period through June 30, 2019. Following the warning period, Notices of Violation will be issued and civil action may be taken. Be prepared and learn more
Pet owners rejoice! National Love Your Pet Day is on Wednesday, February 20. On this holiday, show your beloved animal how much you care by bringing them a special treat, giving them more attention, or taking them on a walk through Westchester Square.
No pet? No worries! The district is home to several pet stores including Petland (25 Westchester Square) and Zoo-Rama Pets (2566 E. Tremont Ave.) where a variety of pups and aquatic species are eagerly awaiting a home. Is your pet in need of medical care and services? Visit the Bronx Veterinary Center of Westchester Square (66 Westchester Square), which treats dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, ferrets, pocket pets and other small exotic pets.
On National Pet Day (February 20), we’d love to feature your special pet on our social media. Use #WSLoveYourPet to show off your pet on the WSBID social site.
Esmeralda Quiterrez has been the owner of Esmeralda Flower Shop since April 2018 and with over three years of experience working with plants and flowers, she holds the expertise to meet the Westchester Square community’s floral needs. Her shop offers customers a friendly, welcoming and floral-scented environment, and she enjoys taking the time to explain how to properly care for plants and flowers. Blooms and blossoms are always in season and the perfect gift for any occasion. Visit Esmeralda Flower Shop at 1422 Williamsbridge Road from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday thru Saturday and 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
It’s a new year and WSBID has made a resolution to bring you more useful tools aimed to help you improve your businesses. We look forward to working with businesses in the district to make 2019 a successful year for all. What's your resolution? Share on our social media #2019WSGoals
As tax season approaches, it’s important for business owners to understand how the 2019 tax laws, any key provisions, or updates affects businesses. Utilize and consult with the tax service offices in the district to learn what you need to know this year.
A new minimum wage increase went into effect recently in New York City. The increase for a worker’s salary is determined by the industry (hospitality, fast food, and others) and businesses owners should have a plan in place to budget for the increase. To assist businesses in being prepared for tax, wage and other business issues, WSBID will offer a Business “Bootcamp” in March. This bootcamp will provide useful information on how to leverage technology and marketing techniques in business, and help business owners learn more about many of the financial and legal issues involved with owning a small business. Additional details on the Business Bootcamp is forthcoming.
Council Member Mark Gjonaj recently released a statement seeking to pass a bill that stops the enforcement of the city’s outdated storefront signage law. If passed, the bill would require the city to refund signage related fines issued to businesses within the last year, and create a task force to study the issue and modernize the law. View the full press statement from Council Member Mark Gjonaj.
The NYC Small Business Services has extended its deadline for the NYC Love Your Local grant program 2/3/19. Grants offer small businesses up to 20 hours of in-depth consultations from industry leaders to determine how to adapt to rising real estate costs and up to $90,000 in grant funding to implement recommendations. Apply Here.
The season for snow is upon us and WSBID is ready to offer assistance with a snow preparation plan that includes salt, shovels, and sanitation support. All necessary resources are currently in place to help businesses weather through the storm season and stay open for business throughout the winter. Contact us for more information.