IN THIS ISSUE New Long Branch Walkway and Pedestrian Bridge Page 1 From Long Branch to Wall Street? Page 2 “Discover Long Branch.com” Launches with New Year
Long Branch Business League
Work Begins on Long Branch Walkway, Pedestrian Bridge Construction began this January on a new pedestrian walkway and bridge connecting the Long Branch Community Center with the Long Branch Public Library. The walkway and bridge are located in the Long Branch Stream Valley Park. The project replaces an existing very steep asphalt walkway and narrow bridge with poor lighting. The new construction will eventually make moving through the valley more convenient for recreational and community uses, including biking. Work should be finished by the end of 2014. During construction, the old walkway and bridge will be closed and Piney Branch Road will be the only way to cross the creek. (see New Bridge, page 2)
Page 3 Long Branch Place-Making Workshop a success Page 3 Join the Business League Page 4 Resources Page 4
Long Branch Walkway and Pedestrian Bridge as it will look when completed (view from the Long Branch Community Center facing the Long Branch Public Library) Supported by:
Long Branch Business League Gathering Speaker: Lorig Charkoudian, "Local Investing in Long Branch?" (story, p. 2) Tuesday, February 4th from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. El Golfo Restaurant, 8739 Flower Avenue
(New Bridge from page 1) Improving public safety was, from the very beginning, built into the design and planning for the improvements, says Park Police Chief Antonio DeVaul. In addition to lots of new lighting, trees and bushes were trimmed to further improve visibility. “We feel confident this will be a safer environment,” Chief DeVaul said. “There will be no hidden areas for people to hide.”
From Long Branch to Wall Street? Meet Lorig Charkoudian, Local Investment Activist Tuesday, Feb. 4, local investment activist Lorig Charkoudian will speak at El Golfo Restaurant about matching local residents with local businesses through a new style of investment (see Business League meeting announcement, page 1). The following letter from Charkoudian explains. Part of creating a strong local economy is creating access to capital for small and micro-businesses and creating opportunities for local investment for local residents. Right now, however, it is nearly impossible for residents to invest in local businesses, due to complicated securities regulations.
The new bridge is 180 feet long and 10 feet wide. The proposed new walkways also have a path leading to the nearby Flower Apartment complex. Both bridge and walkway will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Old Takoma Business Association (OTBA) has been working to develop ways for residents to invest in local businesses. One strategy is the creation of Takoma/Long Branch Notes which will allow residents to invest in a pooled loan fund managed by the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), a ‘CDFI’ with a history of working with businesses who cannot get loans from banks.
Design work has already been completed on public art that would further beautify the new walkway – if and when funding becomes available.
Come find out about this project and discuss how to make the Long Branch portion of the Fund successful!
For more information, contact Rogers D. Stanley, Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) at 240-777-3633 or at rogers.stanley@montgomerycounty md.gov
(A CDFI is a Community Development Financial Institution certified by the Department of Treasury that works to promote economic revitalization.)
A second project is developing legislation that would make small crowd-funding projects simple. District 20 Delegates are introducing legislation in Annapolis that will allow businesses to raise up to $100,000 with residents lending up to $100 each. This process will be simple because the securities will be exempt from registration and reporting. Come find out about the legislation and how you can support its passage! —Lorig Charkoudian, co-chair, OTBA Local Investing Committee Meet Lorig at the Long Branch Business League gathering Tuesday, February 4th, 2:00—3:30 pm El Golfo Restaurant, 8739 Flower Avenue
Snow Again?! Here’s the Drill We seem to be getting a lot of snow this year! As a friendly reminder, please note: County law requires commercial property owners to clear their public sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. All residents are strongly encouraged to be good neighbors by clearing the sidewalks in front of their homes, as well as assisting those who may not be physically able to do so. In case of power outage, call Pepco at 877-737-2662, or BG&E at 877-778-2222. For emergencies only: 911. 2
“DiscoverLongBranch.com” Launches with New Year! In January the Long Branch Business League launched its new web site, DiscoverLongBranch.com. The new web site name reflects the decision of the business league to make the ‘Discover Long Branch’ campaign more central to its image and purpose. Compared with the old site, DiscoverLongBranch.com features better design and is more dynamic. Colorful photographs scroll across the home page, the attractive logo of the business league runs boldly across the top of every page. A separate page lists Long Branch businesses by category and includes addresses and phone numbers. As before, the main goal of the web site is to “get the word out about Long Branch — the comfortable commercial area tucked between Takoma Park and downtown Silver Spring.” The new website was designed by University of Maryland architecture student Natalie Dikhanov. Interested in helping the business league keep the website up to date? Community members with the skills and interest in doing so are welcome to join in! Contact Art Cobb (Secretary-Treasurer) at email@example.com or Paul Grenier at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Long Branch Place-Making Workshop An Artful Success On Friday, January 17, some thirty local Long Branch residents gathered at the TESS Center to talk about bringing more of a sense of place to Long Branch. During the two-hour long workshop, residents were given multiple opportunities to prioritize improvement sites and point to their favorite styles of public art. Art Cobb, secretary of the Business League, welcomed the participants and pointed out that making Long Branch’s business area more pedestrian friendly and attractive is very important to local businesses, as their success may depend on it. Participants in the workshop were widely varied, a cross section of the diverse ethnicities, native languages and ages typical of Long Branch. The place-making workshop was the product of several months planning by Montgomery Housing Partnership working in close cooperation with the Long Branch Business League. Results and next steps will be discussed at the next Long Branch Business League gathering on Tues., February 4, from 2:00 — 3:30 p.m., at El Golfo Restaurant (8739 Flower Avenue). Be there! 3
Long Branch Business League
Join the Long Branch Business League Over the last four years the Long Branch Business League, with its Discover Long Branch! initiative, has gradually built a more exciting image for Long Branch commerce. We brought the community the successful Super-Block Party last May; we started a Salsa Night series this September and we have helped install art work. What is more, the Business League's newsletter keeps you up-to-date on important events, local business news, and business tips. What are the benefits to you of membership?
Carlos Perozo, President Long Branch Business League email@example.com. 301-587-4829 or 301-812-4141
Preferred access to store design improvements Assistance with marketing and business planning Help with Enterprise Zone tax credit applications Greater visibility in Business League marketing materials
And with big changes coming to our area because of the Purple Line, now more than ever we need to stand together to make sure all of us benefit from the expanded customer base the Purple Line will bring. Making Long Branch successful for everyone.
Resources: Small Business Development Center 301-403-0501 x 11 firstname.lastname@example.org 7100 Baltimore Ave, Suite 303, College Park, MD 20740 SBDC provides counseling and classes. Counselors speak Spanish and other languages. Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program Mr. Pete McGinnity 240-777-8126 email@example.com Access to County tax credits for real estate improvements and employee hiring. Montgomery County Council 240-777-7900 firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Permitting Services 240-777-0311 permittingservices.montgomerycountymd.gov Responsible for all permits to make property improvements and signage. Department of Economic Development Small & Minority Business Empowerment Judith Stephenson 240-777-2012 email@example.com Resources and training for small businesses. Montgomery County Police 301 279-8000 is the non-emergency number for Long Branch. For emergencies only: 911
Montgomery County (All other services) 311 (English) 311 + 1 (Español) For all Montgomery County services there is now a single number you can call, this includes bulk trash pickup (5 requests annually). Department of Liquor Control Emily DeTitta 240-777-1904 firstname.lastname@example.org DLC licenses and regulates businesses that sell alcohol, and provides education and assistance to businesses and their employees.
Long Branch Business News, a monthly publication , Paul Grenier, Editor 301-622-2400, x 41 pgrenier@MHPartners.org