Friday, February 24, 2012

Your Feedback Needed: MCC Veterans in Business Survey

MCC is getting involved with NYC area returning Veterans and helping them explore business opportunities.

Please take this quick poll and help us gather information.Your input is vital to help us find new ways to help Veterans re-integrate into the NYC business community. It only takes a few minutes to complete the survey.

Please note the most current news regarding the new tax credits for hiring veterans:

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 made changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The Act added two new categories to the existing qualified veteran targeted group and made the WOTC available to certain tax-exempt employers as a credit against the employer's share of social security tax. The Act allows employers to claim the WOTC for veterans certified as qualified veterans and who begin work before January 1st, 2013. In addition, qualified tax-exempt organizations, organizations described in IRC Section 501(c) and exempt from taxation under IRC Section 501(a), may claim the credit for qualified veterans who begin work on or after Nov. 22nd, 2011, and before January 1st, 2013. For more information, including how to claim the credit, click here.

Thank you again for your participation. We appreciate your time and effort.

To access the survey, click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Billion + Change

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce along with the BCLC is delighted to be a supporting resource to the pledge companies of A Billion + Change. A Billion + Change is a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services from corporate America by 2013. Our goal is to have 500 companies from around the country take the Billion + Change pledge, using their unique skills and talents to serve the needs of nonprofits at home and around the world. Already more than 60 companies have taken the pledge, committing over $1 billion in pro bono services.

We wanted to give you an opportunity to join this growing pro bono movement and this campaign. As a pledge company, you would commit to create or expand a skills-based volunteer program by 2013. On February 27, we will celebrate the progress of A Billion + Change at an event at Morgan Stanley’s headquarters in New York City. We want you to be there as a new pledge partner.

In conjunction with International Corporate Philanthropy Day and CECP, this celebration will be a networking and a learning opportunity for pledge companies to meet industry, civic and nonprofit leaders and to learn about innovative, best-practice corporate volunteer programs. We will spotlight international corporate volunteer programs and how they are making a difference in communities around the world to solve pressing social, environmental and economic challenges. The morning celebration will be followed by an afternoon learning workshop, which will take an in-depth look at topics such as best-practice corporate volunteer models in disaster response and how to measure the impact of skills-based volunteer programs.

If you take the pledge by February 21st, we will recognize your company at this event, and in our media and event materials. Visit our website to learn more about how businesses are making a difference through pro bono work, and how you can take the pledge: I’ve also enclosed a one-page fact sheet, which includes the pledge, the invitation to our Feb. 27 celebration and a list of pledge companies, for your reference.

If you are interested in taking the pledge and attending the event, please contact Jennifer Lawson  at or at 202-729-8189.  We look forward to working with you on this great opportunity.

Jennifer (Denney) Lawson
Executive Director
A Billion + Change
(o) 202-729-8189
(c) 703-599-9873

East River Greenway Initiative

MCC is a supporter of the East River Greenway. If you don't know about this initiative please look at their website and see their plans as how this will develop. It will help create new public space and help green our city! Here is some text from their website:

A completed world-class East River Greenway will provide East Side residents with waterfront access, open-space, parkland and sustainable transportation options.
The East River Greenway Initiative supports:
  • Adaptively re-using the FDR ODR caissons to build a waterfront esplanade and greenway from East 52nd Street to East 62nd Street.
  • Building a waterfront esplanade along the length of the United Nations campus as mitigation for the alienation of Robert Moses Park.
  • Realizing the Municipal Art Society’s vision for the former Con Ed pier and Solow Development site.
The East River Greenway Initiative supports the adaptation of the Greenway Planning Primer when new segments of the East River Greenway are eventually planned and developed. Originally developed for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Initiative by the Regional Plan Association, the primer is designed to guide the planning of any urban waterfront greenway.
future vision
outdated plans from the 2004 MWG Master Plan

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Great for You: Walmart's Healthy Eating Initiative

Here is news from MCC Partner Walmart about their new healthy eating initiative:

Dear Friend:
Last year, Walmart stood with First Lady Michelle Obama and showed how a company, working with its suppliers, the public sector and non-governmental organizations, can truly make a difference in people’s lives. Our healthier food initiative was designed to make food healthier and healthier food more affordable and the program was implemented in each of our 96 New York State Walmart stores.
Now, after pledging to develop a front-of-pack label that would give our customers an easier way to identify healthier food, we unveiled the “Great For You” icon at an event yesterday in Washington, D.C. The icon will initially appear on select Walmart Great Value and Market side items, as well as on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables at our stores nationwide this spring.
According to the First Lady, yesterday’s announcement is “…yet another step toward ensuring that our kids are given the chance to grow up healthy.”
You can read more about the “Great for You” program here.
You’ll recall that our healthy food initiative includes several goals and over the past year, we have been working with private label brand and national brand suppliers to make progress. To date, some of the highlights include:
·         Reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015: we have been working to reduce sodium and added sugars in 165 food items; some examples include:
ü  15 percent sodium reduction in Great Value ketchup;
ü  An average of 15 percent sodium reduction in Great Value canned vegetables;
ü  More than 70 percent sodium reduction in fresh steaks, roasts and other muscle cuts of beef;
·         Making healthier food choices more affordable: we surpassed this goal by helping customers save $1.1 billion in their cost of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, we’re reducing or eliminating the price premium on more than 350 better-for-you items, such as low-sodium lunch meat, reduced-fat peanut butter and fat-free salad dressing.
·         Providing solutions to address food deserts by building stores: last July, we said we’d open between 275 and 300 stores in areas serving food deserts by 2016. Since then, we’ve already opened 23 stores in these areas and anticipate opening between 50 to 60 more in 2012.
·         Increasing support for nutrition education programs: in the past year alone, we have provided more than $13 million in grants to nutrition education programs. Local organizations that have received funding include God’s Love We Deliver, New York City Department of Education Office of SchoolFood and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation “CookShop” program which teaches children how to prepare healthy meals. National examples include Share Our Strength, the National 4-H Council and Action for Healthy Kids, to name a few.
We believe we have a responsibility to respond to what our customers tell us they want and need. In the coming months and years, we will continue to work with our national and New York State partners and apply what we learn in our stores, in ways that make a real difference for our customers and their families.
If you have any questions about our healthy food initiative or yesterday’s announcement, please don’t hesitate to reply to this message.