Friday, December 28, 2012

MCC 2012 Community Benefit Fund Grant Recipients

MCC is pleased to announce its 2012 Community Benefit Fund Grant Recipients. For more information about this program click here.

Year 2012 grant recipients include:
Asian American Film Lab
Description of Project: Independent film artists that display their work free of charge through workshops, seminars and social events and outreach.
Description of Project: The fund is requested to offer Recess Enhancement Program (REP) to increase physical activity and social cooperation.
Description of Project: Funds requested to have the museum present a Summer Garden Concert Series in the Colonial Revival Garden.
Description of Project: Funds requested are to continue providing meals, escort services and other activities that improve the quality of life for elderly residents of the Upper East Side.
Description of Project: Affordable Housing Resource Center:The money will be used to maintain programming at its current level and cover the consultant costs of our attorney and/or social worker.
Faith In Action – Uppers East Side Volunteers
Description of Project: Meals on Heels – to expand the frequency of “Meals on Heels” preparation and delivery from once per month to twice per month. Also he project will allow us to expand the number of recipients from 15 to 25 individuals receiving this service.
Description of Project: Replenishment of music library and instruments for band camp lost in hurricane Sandy.
GOD’S LOVE WE DELIVERDescription of Project: Funds will be used to the Meal Delivery and Nutrition Counseling Program for those with HIV/AIDS or cancer, where menus are designed for each client’s medical and nutritional requirements.
Health Advocates for Older People HDFC, Inc. - CARNEGIE EAST HOUSE
Description of Project: Replace existing computers with window 7 OS to improve quality and learning for class trainings among older adults.
Inwood HouseDescription of the project: Inwood House’s Financial Literary Education and Empowerment Initiative– help teens develop practical skills, set short and long term financial goals and broaden career aspirations through workshops and other tools.
Description of Project: Computer Enhancement-new monitors and Microsoft 7 OS to provide residents the resources for job searches, research, reading and keeping in touch with family.
Description of Project: Sundays at Two-additional funding to support current monthly performing art series to low-income older adults.
Description of Project: Real Arts Education Programming – appropriate arts education including theater arts, music, visual arts, dance, animation and photography for children ages five through 13.
National Academy of Design
Description of Project: The Review Panel- monthly critic and debate on current museum and gallery exhibits.
New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble
Description of Project: Support the 2012 – 2013 Concert Series.
Roosevelt Island Community Literary Associates
Description of Project: Advertising and Promotional Match – money spent to operate the program; matching advertising and promotional expenses of the cultural and educational nonprofit groups of Roosevelt Island.
Description of Project: The Lunch Bunch: renew funding and to continue an activity program, which provides weekly opportunities for socialization to the frail and disabled elders.
Service Program for Older People
Description of Project: Expanded Mental Health Services for Older Adults in Community Board 8. The fund will help SPOP to meet the growing need for health services.
Spanish Theatre Repertory (Repertorio Espanol)
Description of Project: Support school-day matinee performances for students within Community Board 8, subsidies over 200 student tickets, increase our outreach efforts and support outreach activities including, student contests, teacher training sessions, and workshop opportunities.
Description of Project: Support the Rhinelander’s afterschool activities consisting of additional focus on science, math, technology, fitness and ‘brain games’.
The Doe Fund
Description of Project: Funds requested are used for the Community Improvement Project (CIP), where trainees are offered the opportunity they need to lead a productive life. Participants sweep streets, bag refuse, remove graffiti, water trees and plants etc.
Description of Project: funds are requested primarily to pay for the summer camp program. The Friends wish to send another 40-50 children to Camp Ramapo next summer.
Description of Project: Education Enrichment and Mentoring Program-the grant will enable NYCC to expand our tutoring and mentoring program, to provide tutoring and mentoring to more children, to provide additional educational opportunities, as well as to provide updated books and educational materials for the children.
The Senior Fall Prevention Institute, Inc
Description of Project: Fall…MOVE STRONG at MT. Sinai, a 12-session fall prevention and strengthening program including exercise and education
Description of Project: The TBMS’ Public School Outreach Program is requesting the funds to support its community programs, which directly benefit Community Board 8.
Description of Project: Project Dignity program which provides basic services, such as showers, haircuts, laundry, mail services, vocational training psychiatric referrals, and case management services to homeless clients.
Description of Project: The YPC’s annual season includes two self- produced concerts presented at the 92nd street Y’s famed, 900 seats-Kaufmann Concert Hall.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

MCC Community Benefit Festival Raffle 2012 Winners!

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce congratulates this year’s winners of the Community Benefit Festival Raffle prizes!
The MCC Community Benefit Raffle ticket winners were picked from 62,618 stubs on Friday Dec. 7th in the MCC offices. The following are the winners:

Grand Prize

Two Roundtrip Tickets to Miami and A weekend stay for two at Loews Miami Beach Hotel Including Breakfast at Preston’s Brasserie

Winner: The Gioia Family from New York, NY

Year Passport Membership to New York Sports Club
Winner: Mr. & Mrs. Bruno from Staten Island, NY

Airfare for Two within the US on Southwest Airlines
Winner: Wanicha Nash from Long Island, NY

$250 Free Catering for Up to Twenty People with Qdoba
Winner: Ed Borras from Elmhurst, NY

Two Orchestra Seats to Broadway Show from Plum Benefits
Winner: The Rich Family from New York, NY

$120 Party Lite Candle Set from Amazing Scents 4 You
Winner: Fiona Mills from New York, NY

$100 Gift Certificate for Patina Restaurant Group
Winner: Nenita Dillera from Elmhurst. NY

$100 Gift Certificate to Office Depot
Winner: Darwin Abello from New York, NY

$100 Dinner Gift Certificate for Veranda Restaurant and Lounge
Winner: William Frost from New York, NY

$50 Gift Certificate to Café Metro
Winner: from New York, NY

$50 Gift Certificate to Be Cleaning Services NY
Winner: Helen Said from New York, NY

MCC Member, Sokol Braha, Attorney-At-Law, drew this year’s winners in the MCC offices. Non-profits gleaned $62,618  in donations from contributions for tickets.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MCC Small Business Recovery Grant Distribution: Cafecito and Royale

Yesterday, MCC awarded $500 grants to Cafecito and Royale Restaurant, located on Avenue C in the East Village section of Manhattan. Lola’s businesses had damage from flooding and were closed for 10 days. Lola worked diligently to get the restaurants back open to serve her local clientele. The grant money will be used towards restoration costs. and 
We thank Constant Contact’s SaveLocal and Paypal for helping raise the funds.

Lola Pearl, owner Cafecito and Royale accepts the grant checks from MCC President Ploeger.

MCC Small Business Recovery Grant Distribution: Sunshine Fruity Smoothie

Last week, MCC awarded a $500 grant to Sunshine Fruity Smoothie, located downtown at One State Plaza in lower Manhattan. Michelle has been in business for 7 years at the same location and Sandy caused her generator to die and she lost all her perishable fruits. Her business was closed for 10 days and even though she is bad in business, her customer base is not there due to continued closure of several downtown buildings that house thousands of employees. 

Michelle Dinn, Owner Sunshine Fruity Smoothie, in front of her business
Jennifer is using all her contacts to gain more exposure for her once thriving business and hopes that her clients come back soon. The grant money will be used towards the purchase of the new generator she was forced to purchase to continue her business.

Sunshine Fruity Smoothie now sandwiched between two enormous restoration trucks downtown.

We thank Constant Contact’s SaveLocal and Paypal for helping raise the funds. Please click here for more information about the 2012 MCC Small Business Recovery Fund.

Monday, December 10, 2012

MCC Small Business Recovery Grant Distribution: Rose Crown Skin Care Inc.

Last week, MCC awarded a $500 grant to Rose Crown Skin Care, located in downtown Manhattan. Jennifer’s business was closed for 10 days and Sandy caused the company to cancel a very important two day trade show in Philadelphia where it was expected to garner Rose Crown new clients and export possibilities. Now Jennifer will be using all her resources to gain more exposure for this all-organic product line from Australia which she represents. The grant money will be used for short-term payroll.  We thank Constant Contact’s SaveLocal and Paypal for helping raise the funds.

Jennifer Huang, Managing Director of Rose Crown Skin Care Inc.

For more information about the 2012 MCC Small Business Recovery Fund click here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Disaster Preparation for Businesses: "With Windows Server 2012, my customers were prepared for Hurricane Sandy.”

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many of our partners let us know about services they offer to help businesses prepare for disasters or business interruption. Here is info from Microsoft about how Windows Server 2012 helped businesses be prepared.

12/06/12 - “With Windows Server 2012, my customers were prepared for Hurricane Sandy.”

When the winds and waves of Hurricane Sandy bore down ferociously on New York City, at least two Microsoft SMB customers were ready. Microsoft partner WorkITsafe had just helped these customers upgrade to the Windows Server 2012 operating system with the new built-in Hyper-V Replica feature. As a result, their IT systems experienced minimal interruption as the hurricane flooded the surrounding area and required employees to hunker down at home. In this post, WorkITsafe President Steve Rubin tells how Windows Server 2012 protected his customers’ businesses—and has the potential to protect many more.
By Steve Rubin, President, WorkITsafe

We are a Brooklyn-based IT services firm and Microsoft partner that provides a wide range of services to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in a number of industries and ranging in size from 7 to more than 200 desktops. Our customers understand that IT is critical to their business, but they don’t want to worry about it.
It used to be that only large enterprises enjoyed the peace of mind provided by disaster recovery solutions, and SMBs had access to no such thing. But small businesses require the same level of business continuity support as large companies—they are either up and running or they are out of business. Conventional wisdom says that if your business is down for more than two days, you’re toast.

When Hurricane Sandy was hurtling toward the eastern seaboard, everyone was watching the maps closely, but many people did not think that it would really hit. Suddenly, on Sunday, October 28, the winds picked up and people became alarmed. My team at WorkITSafe started getting phone calls from customers worried about business continuity. On Monday morning people went to work as usual. But at 11:00 A.M. things went haywire. Evacuations were ordered, and things got very intense. But businesses still needed to operate, especially for our customers serving their own customers outside the eastern US, so people left their offices and worked from home.

Two of our customers, the Law Offices of Aaron I. Katsman, P.C. and CSU Industries, had upgraded to Windows Server 2012 and asked us to activate Hyper-V Replica as the storm approached. Hyper-V Replica is a new feature built into Windows Server 2012 that replicates, or copies, virtual machines from one location to another using a standard broadband connection. Setting up replication can take less than an hour and involves setting up the appropriate hardware at a replication site, copying customer workloads to the replication hardware in advance, and then having Hyper-V Replica copy changes to those workloads every five minutes. With this feature, businesses have their workloads running safely in another location, and the state of their replicated virtual machines is never more than five minutes old if their primary site is knocked out.

By Monday afternoon, the tides started flooding lower Manhattan. The offices of both Katsman Law and CSU lost all power to their buildings. They were advised that they probably wouldn’t be able to return to their offices for a week or more. However, thanks to Hyper-V Replica, the IT infrastructure for their businesses continued to run safely in our data center, and employees were able to log on and work from home.

Both customers told me they were thrilled with the results of Hyper-V Replica. During a time when many other businesses failed, they were able to proceed with business as usual, making a very positive impression on their customers.

I wanted to share the story of these two customers because I believe it’s critical that every small business understand the capabilities that are available to them today to protect their business in the face of a potential disaster. New York City alone has been hit by two hurricanes in the past year, and every single business in a 500-mile radius of Manhattan needs to be prepared.
You can do so by learning about solutions like Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V Replica. And you wouldn’t be the only one to do so. In just the first two days after Hurricane Sandy, I received four calls from businesses that wanted Hyper-V Replica. At least one silver lining of a disaster like Hurricane Sandy is the opportunity it provides people and businesses to be prepared for the worst.
For more information, visit the case study here:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

MCC Announces New Partners!

MCC welcomes the following new Bronze Partners!

Popular Community Bank: Since 1893, Popular Inc. has been built upon strong institutional values, providing full service financial services in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America. First established in the Unites States in 1961, Popular today continues to grow its core banking services and operates approximately 90 branches in five states: California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, with approximately 40 branches in the NY/NJ region. Popular also markets online deposit accounts through E-LOAN, a subsidiary which offers loan customers the option of being referred to a trusted consumer lending partner.

Founded in 1901, Walgreens goal is to be consumers’ first choice for health and daily living across the nation, and a central part of people’s lives and the communities where they live and work. The company provides the most convenient, multi-channel access to goods and services, and pharmacy, health and wellness services while developing a new customer experience.

Our vision is to become “My Walgreens” for everyone in America by transforming the traditional drugstore into a health and daily living destination that offers a range of products and services to help customers get, stay and live well. Our pharmacies – on the front lines of health care in America – serve as a centerpiece in improving patients’ overall health, and improving access to care and lowering costs through an expanded scope of community-based health and wellness solutions.

The core, fundamental strengths of our company, developed over more than a century, include the best, most convenient store network in America and our trusted and iconic brand.

In 2011, Walgreens introduced its Well Experience store format, which offers a new, enhanced layout, a completely revamped pharmacy and health care experience and a number of new product selections. We currently have the new format in select locations in Chicago, in a market-wide pilot in Indianapolis and in some Duane Reade locations in New York City.

At the core of this approach is an effort to bring the pharmacist out from behind the counter so they can provide more counseling to patients, offer clinical services and answer questions. By advancing the role of the community pharmacist in this way, we believe we can create better health outcomes, prevent hospitalizations and save money for patients, employers, insurers and the health care system.

In addition, transforming the customer experience at our stores through the interaction of our team members and a new Health Guide role will help Walgreens become more than a drugstore, but a trusted resource and health partner for every part of our customer’s shopping, pharmacy and health care journey.

Duane Reade takes its name from the Company's first successful full-service drugstore, which opened in 1960 on Broadway between Duane and Reade Streets in Manhattan. Since then, Duane Reade has grown to become the most recognized drugstore chain in metropolitan New York. Today, the Company operates over 253 stores in commercial and residential neighborhoods throughout New York.

Duane Reade's conveniently located stores carry an extensive assortment of items, including those from the pharmacy as well as vitamins, nutritional products, cosmetics, greeting cards and photo processing.

The company has ranked as the fastest-growing drugstore chain in the industry, and is number one in sales per square foot. Duane Reade completed its initial public offering of common stock on February 10, 1998.

MCC Chairman's Breakfast at MetLife: Forum with Sam Schwartz of Sam Schwartz Engineering

MCC hosted a forum for MCC partners, corporate members and invited guests on December 6, 2012. The invited speaker was Sam Schwartz, more commonly know to New Yorkers as "Gridlock Sam," who spoke about his Move NY plan to improve transportation in NYC. In addition, David Gmach, NYC Director of Public Affairs for Con Edison, outlined for the group Con Edison's work to restore power to New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy. The forum was sponsored by MetLife and hosted in their conference space overlooking Bryant Park. More than 100 business owners and executives attended the event. For more information on MCC corporate membership or sponsoring MCC events please contact Laura Bucko,VP/Director of Communications, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce at

Nancy Ploeger, President of MCC, Sam Schwartz and Sunita Bajaj of MetLife

Ronald I. Paltrowitz, Esq., Interim Chairman of MCC

Sunita Bajaj of MetLife

David Gmach, Director of NYC Public Affairs, Con Edison

Josephine "Joey" Longo of TD Bank particpates in the discussion.

Sam Schwartz describes his MoveNY plan

A capacity crowd for the event!

Sam Schwartz details his plan for the attendees
All photos by Jeffrey Holmes 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MCC Women Honored!

A number of MCC women were honored at the first annual WCBS 880 Newsradio Women Achievement Awards event today held at City Winery. MCC President Nancy Ploeger and MCC Board Member Deborah Koenigsberger of Hearts of Gold were honored. MCC member Mindy Tarlow of Center for Employment Opportunities was honored as well!

Deborah Koenigsberger of Hearts of Gold, Pat Carroll of WCBS and Nancy Ploeger of MCC

Congratulations to all of today's winners and thank you to WCBS 880 Newsradio for a great event!