The Fabric Of Our City

The fabric of our city

Every business needs a legal team! I do this work to ensure high-quality legal representation for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Dear friend,

My name is Alham Usman and I am the new Director of the Community and Economic Development Program at Brooklyn A. I do this work to ensure high-quality legal representation for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Every business needs a legal team!

With the COVID-19 pandemic, I am committed to supporting NYC nonprofits and small businesses because these enterprises are tied into the fabric of this city. Being on the ground providing small business and nonprofit legal support work, my colleagues and I are seeing:

  • Small enterprises struggling financially; in New York, 78% of businesses with less than 500 employees are still enduring a negative impact due to the pandemic one year since COVID took hold. In NYC, the number of restaurants unable to pay rent reached 92% in December. NYC nonprofits employees are 64% women and 56% minorities and closures of these businesses impacts disadvantaged populations.
  • Closure of iconic NYC businesses.
  • Significant uptick in illegal lockouts of commercial tenants.
  • Increased commercial tenant harassment.
  • Aggressive rental arrears collection methods.
  • Challenges due to the limited legal protections available to commercial tenants.
  • The NYS moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions expires on May 1st.

How Brooklyn A is addressing these needs:

  • Negotiating new and renewal leases.
  • Securing favorable rent abatements, reductions or waivers of arrears, and other terms enabling a business to stay open at its location.
  • Lease terminations and lease amendments in order to minimize losses and liability for those businesses forced to close due to the pandemic.
  • Prioritizing the protection of personal assets of business owners.
  • Advocating for favorable policies and increased protections for business owners through participation in the USBnyc Coalition.

If you or a business owner that you know would like to connect with our nonprofit and small business legal support related to commercial leases, fill out the request form at nyc.gov/commlease or contact CLAhelp@bka.org or (718) 487-2300.

If you have the means, would you consider contributing $10 or $100 to support the small businesses that define such an integral part of the fabric of each neighborhood throughout our City?
We need maximum support from our supporters, like you, to meet the need and support our ability to continue being a trusted resource, especially at this moment, when our communities need help the most.

Thank you,

Alham Usman, Esq.
Director of Community and Economic Development Program

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