When Tammeca Rochester, a lifelong athlete, wanted to go to spin class, she would have to leave her Harlem neighborhood and take a train downtown to a corporate studio. She never felt satisfied with these classes feeling they lacked culture, community, and accessibility. So, she decided to open Harlem’s 1 st and only indoor cycling studio, Harlem Cycle.
Tammeca wanted a place that embraced community — her community.
“ From our murals to the pictures on our walls, to the music we play—I always tell people, ‘if you can’t imagine it being played at the Apollo, you won’t hear it being played at Harlem Cycle.’ We make sure we’re capturing the culture of the people that live here.”
Since Harlem Cycle opened its doors in 2016, demand for the classes grew, and Tammeca decided to expand and open a second studio.
When she received the lease for the new location, Tammeca was overwhelmed by a complex 300-page document. Tammeca recognized she needed an advocate to help her through the contract negotiation process; that is when she sought out help from Brooklyn A’s Small Business Support Project.
“Working with Brooklyn A was amazing. My attorney was tough. There were a couple of things where I was like, ‘Oh, maybe we should bend,’ and [my attorney] would say ‘ No. You don’t need to bend ,’ which is great because I didn’t know that those were my rights. Without the assistance of Brooklyn A, I would not have gotten any concessions. Now I understand my lease.”
Brooklyn A provides free legal services to underserved, small business owners who otherwise could not afford counsel. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen a 10-fold surge in requests for help from small business owners like Tammeca.
Our program is one of the best tools for the recovery of NYC’s small businesses. Click here to donate now and support our work representing resilient small business owners like Tammeca.