EWVIDCO, the membership organization representing local manufacturing and industrial businesses, is embarking on a brand new chapter.
For starters – It is changing its name.
The organization will now be known as Evergreen Your North Brooklyn Business Exchange.
The name is modeled after the original phone exchange that served the industrial part of North Brooklyn several years ago. It’s a way for the organization to identify its strong historic roots, but also to indicate its relationship with businesses in the neighborhood.
“We wanted something that describes us as a resource center,” said Leah Archibald, the executive director at Evergreen (formerly EWVIDCO). “This also tips a hat to the history of the neighborhood, but it also talks about our role as an exchange in community – a place where you can exchange ideas and resources.”
In addition, the organization is also moving to its new digs on Kingsland Avenue – a shift from its old location on Catherine Street.
The announcement was made at the organization’s annual fundraiser gala held at Brooklyn Bowl Tuesday night. Archibald said the organization has had its best fundraising year so far. Around 20 percent of the organization’s budget is raised through the annual fundraisers, Archibald said.
In 2013, the organization secured over $3.6 million in financing for local firms, according to the organization’s annual report. In addition, the organization helped improve the average wage of its employment placements by 35 percent over the course of 2011, also according to the annual report.
At Tuesday’s fete, the organization presented awards to community members and to former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
“You could have opened your businesses anywhere,” said Markowitz to a packed crown of businesspeople in the audience. “You kept your faith and invested time and money in the community during challenging times. Now the fruits of your labor are being realized day by day. Keep on manufacturing because we cannot make it on the service industry alone. We make this borough better than anyone.”
The three other awardees for the evening were Grady’s Cold Brew, the New Orleans-style cold brew concentrate company that was awarded emerging businesses of the year, Accion received an award for business partner of the year, and East River Ferry received an award for Community leader of the year.
Evergreen was established in 1982 when a group of local business owners got together with St. Nick’s Alliance to revitalize the East Williamsburg neighborhood. Thirty-two years later the organization continues to attract new members each year and is made all the more relevant with North Brooklyn’s burgeoning economy.