Today’s news:

Under one flag - Irving Ave. stores form new group

Following the lead of merchants on Wyckoff Avenue, Knickerbocker Avenue and East Broadway, business owners on Irving Avenue are forming the Myrtle-Irving Avenue Merchants Association.

“I’ve seen a lot of businesses on Irving that are hurting and we want to help,” said Charles Verde, president of the Myrtle-Irving Avenue Merchants Association. “It’s hard to say why. The economy is struggling right now.”

The merchants convened their inaugural meeting at the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens’ Center, 319 Stanhope Street, to discuss the formation of the association and issues relating to real estate prices and security on their blocks.

Some 150 businesses reside within the Myrtle, Irving, Dekalb avenues triangle from which the new association is drawing its membership. The organization has not fully incorporated into a nonprofit organization, as its lawyers are still reviewing its paperwork, but Verde and other members of the board convened the initial meeting to get to know their neighbors better and increase publicity for the fledgling association.

Ridgewood Bushwick will be providing Myrtle-Irving Association with economic development services in a similar way to the Wyckoff Aenue Merchants Association and businesses on Knickerbocker Avenue. Ridgewood Bushwick administers grants from the state for Main Street beautification projects to renovate storefronts on Wyckoff Avenue.

The Bushwick-based nonprofit organization currently submitted a grant proposal for storefront restoration project on Knickerbocker Avenue, which is still pending.

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