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Long Branch Business League

Volume 7

Join the Business League

IN THIS ISSUE

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.

Carlos Perozo, President Long Branch Business Leagues carlosperozo@verizon.net. 301-587-4829 or 301 812-4141

‘Facelift’ for Laundromat! Page 2

What are the benefits to you of membership?  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

Long Branch Underground Page 2

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.

Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program Access to County tax credits for real estate improvements and employee hiring. Mr. Pete McGinnity peter.mcginnity@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-8126 Montgomery County Council county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-7900

Department of Permitting Responsible for all permits to make property improvements and signage. permittingservices.montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-0311 DED’s Small & Minority Business Empowerment Resources and training for small businesses. Judith Stephenson judith.stephenson@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-2012 Montgomery County Police Non-emergency dispatch for Long Branch: 301 279-8000 All emergencies: 911

Montgomery County (All other services) For all Montgomery County services there is now a single number you can call, this includes bulk trash pickup (5 requests annually) 311 (English) 311 + 1 (Español) Department of Liquor Control DLC licenses and regulates businesses that sell alcohol, and provides education and assistance to businesses and their employees. Emily DeTitta emily.detitta@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-1904

Long Branch Business News, a monthly publication , Paul Grenier, Editor 301-622-2400, x 41 pgrenier@MHPartners.org

July 2014

Long Branch Business League

Long Branch Celebrates Flower with More Flowers

Flowers Page 1

What is more, the Business League's newsletter keeps you up-to-date on important events, local business news, and business tips.

Resources: Small Business Development Center SBDC provides counseling and classes. Counselors speak Spanish and other languages. sbtdc-training@umd.edu 301-403-0501x11 7100 Baltimore Ave, Suite 303, College Park, MD 20740

Issue 8

Toucan Mural Page 3 Local Heroes Page 3 Join the Business League Page 4 Resources Page 4

Friday-night Salsa continues at El Golfo Restaurant! This June, nineteen Flower Avenue light poles were decorated with forty planters filled with flowers, transforming the Avenue into exactly what its name suggests -an avenue full of flowers. To celebrate the change, the Long Branch Business League held a ‘Flowers on Flower’ celebration on Saturday, June 7. The festivities took place under the new Flower Avenue Toucan mural, whose completion was also a cause for joy. (See Flowers, page 2) Supported by:

Long Branch Business League Gathering July 1, Tuesday, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. El Gavilan Restaurant, 8805 Flower Avenue


(Flowers, from page 1) It was the Long Branch Business League’s leadership team of Carlos Perozo, Ada Villatoro and Art Cobb that came up with the idea for the Flower project last fall during a conference on community building held by the national NeighborWorks America foundation. NeigbhorWorks also provided $2,000 in funding for the project. The road from idea to implementation, however, was neither short nor easy. It required a lot of hard work from business league members, community volunteers and, especially, Shqipe Kajtazi, a national VISTA volunteer with MHP. If you live or work in Long Branch, you may have seen Shqipe and her helpers over recent weeks going up and down ladders: first to prepare the poles, then to place the brackets, then to hang the planters, and then to water them. Whew! And that is not to mention all the work done on the ground, from planning to purchasing to planting. In the end, though, the result made it all well worthwhile. At the June 7 celebration, Chris Anderson, Chief of Neighborhood Revitalization at the County, and also Councilmembers George Leventhal and Cherri Branson enthusiastically greeted the small crowd, and praised the flowers and mural. All the speakers expressed their affection and support for Long Branch. Master John Holloway, director of the Gentle East Taekwando studio (located on Flower Avenue not far from the Toucan mural) entertained the audience with a riveting display of martial arts. Small children broke boards with their bare fists, while older children managed to split, with feet or fists, an imposing stack of several boards at once. But what is a celebration without music? Business League’s own Art Cobb and his Greater U Street Jazz Collaborative kindly volunteered to provide the music, and they were magical!. You can hear them every Wednesday night at El Golfo, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.! 2

DiscoverLongBranch.com

DiscoverLongBranch.com Mural, Now Completed, Grabs Attention

Washington Adventist Students and Professor do ‘Facelift’ for Rainbow Laundromat

Flower Avenue’s second mural - a two-story tall toucan bird was completed in June. The brightly-colored street art, located next to El Golfo Restaurant on Flower Avenue, was painted by Washington, DC-based artist Peter Krsko.

In cities around the world, Laundromats often find ways to make themselves unique. There are Laundromat cafes, Laundromat ice-cream parlors, even Laundromat pool halls.

Krsko told the Newsletter that, as he painted, he was glad to see all the foot traffic and families with young children. The passers by were also happy to share their opinions.

Now, Nok Kim’s Rainbow Laundromat on Flower Avenue has come up with a new twist: a Laundromat with a rainbow colored interior! The idea for the rebranding and repainting of the store’s interior came from business professor Kim Pichot who teaches at Washington Adventist University (WAU). The project forms part of a wider (and, we hope, long term!) student initiative at WAU called Flower Facelift, which focuses on revitalization in downtown Long Branch.

“Besides endless compliments,” Peter said, “the most often expressed comment from the local residents was that they love seeing the street scape being refreshed and that they would love to see more art, benches and flowers all over Long Branch.”

This May, Prof. Pichot along with Christine Sumampouw and other business students spent many hours – on a volunteer basis -- repainting Kim’s Laundromat.

El Golfo owner Ada Villatoro told the Newsletter that the Toucan mural has become an integral part of the Restaurant now. “Everyone loves the mural,” Ada said. “They want to see more murals in Long Branch that are colorful like that!”

It’s beautiful. Go take a look – and take a load of laundry while you are at it! Artist Peter Krsko painting his already much-loved Toucan mural at 8739 Flower Avenue.

The Toucan mural is part of an ongoing beautification program jointly sponsored by the Long Branch Business League and MHP, with support from the Cafritz Foundation and the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

In Praise of Local Heroes Nok Kim, owner of Rainbow Laundromat, turned his store into a staging ground for the Flowers on Flower project (story, p. 1), and spent many hours nursing and watering the small flowers, and carrying them back and forth to give them daytime sun.

‘Rainbow Laundromat’ 8735 Flower Avenue—Before & After.

Notes from the Long Branch Underground (Just kidding! In reality, Business League meetings are open to the whole community) At the June 11 Business League meeting, President Carlos Perozo reported on his meeting with Maryland Transit Connectors, a corporation participating in the competition for the Purple Line Construction job. He urged the company to participate in the CASA de Maryland community compact, which would, among other things, encourage contracting locally to fill needed positions. Also present at the meeting was Councilmember Marc Elrich, who voiced his concern for the long-term welfare of locally owned affordable retail in the Long Branch area. He stated his interest in further developing the policy toolkit to make sure that can happen. The fate of the former Flower Flea Market was also discussed. The consensus view of the business league members present was that the ideal location for the market would be the empty plaza in front of the Long Branch Library.

From left: Ada Villatoro, Nok Kim and Danielle Hermey helping with planting flowers

Evan Smith, though he lives in Bethesda, has given many hours, most without pay, working as the wonderful DJ for Long Branch’s Friday-night Salsa at El Golfo. By day he is a patent attorney! Similarly, expert salsa instructor Barbara Bernstein has gone above and beyond being a dance instructor at Friday night Salsa: she has become a much-loved local institution! Wendy Coulton (pictured at left, lower right), Long Branch resident and arts marketing consultant, often volunteers for Long Branch, whether by helping to market Friday night Salsa at El Golfo or potting and giving away flowers at our June 7 festival. Giant Foods and Capital One bank are to be thanked for their ongoing support of the business league and Long Branch.

Likewise, Casa de Maryland has donated generously to the Wendy Coulton (in red t-shirt) giving flowers to community Business League, and actively supports its pro-local agenda. 3


Final july 2014 longbranchnewsletter pub