A marketing director from the MTA has agreed to meet with Frank (president of the 30th Avenue Business Association). The meeting was cancelled and rescheduled for Monday, March 5 @ 11am. Frank invited a few of the politicians, some fellow merchants and their staff. Instead of meeting with 2-3 people there are eight people now expected to show up that day.
This makes no sense to me. We are not here to pirate a coup. All the merchants have their own agenda and feelings on what they want to say.
As far as I see we are NOT in concert yet with each other nor come in with a sharply honed and focused plan. Showing up with 8 people including city level politicians is a tactic of intimidation which won’t fare well for the merchants.
The plan many of the merchants have is “we’ll see” which leaves us at a loss for a solid plan but not for ideas. A lot of words will fly around the room and we can expect this MTA meeting to arrive with zero net results. It plays right into what the MTA wants which is an unorganized group of merchants.
Since we don’t have a plan for what we want, we will stand at their mercy and must play the cards they deal us (according to game theory). I prefer to have them play the cards we deal them. What I propose is to come in with a budget of 40,000 which the business association will (receive into its account and) use for ads in the local media, Daily News, NY Post, and NYTimes.
This is not a great plan but it is a plan nevertheless. It is far better than having no plans or too many plans leading to confusion and an unfocused purpose.
The ad would focus on a block party enticing the 36th and 30th Avenue merchants to do a special day with one sort of special offering to the people that come to shop and eat. I’d also ask the newspapers to do an article mentioning the hero’s of the MTA for seeing the problem and throwing us a couple of chips to help us out. The ad will also thank the MTA for sponsoring the business by purchasing the ads. The MTA comes out as the hero instead of the villain. The 36th and 30th Avenues are the benefactors. It’s a win-win.
The plan “let’s see what they say” shows that there was no solid idea or plan brought to the card table by the merchants so we are likely to see nothing result from this meeting. That’s the sad part.
The problem is more than two-fold. On the one hand we’ll have nothing to show from the meeting except “Did you see what happened when I said this and they said that…” stories. Then the next problem will be this:
So when the media returns for a follow up story for the 36th & 30th Avenue MTA story there is a zero net gain. Nothing was accomplished and nothing was resolved, no actions we’re taken and we have a “Let’s wait and see” plan which is a plan of no plan at all.
Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I am.
If we can walk out of there with the MTA providing a Shuttle bus, then we will have some service partically restored in terms of foot traffic. If we can walk out of there doing the ads… that would give some of the merchants most effected by this as a sign of hope. These ads can help save the businesses that are still opened.
Let’s wait and see. 🙃