Tags
. Stone Tavern Farm 1993 2016 2-Up 4th of July aberlour abortion Acid House ACT UP Adjunct Commuter Weekly Afghanistan AIDS AKP party Alan Sidrane Albany Alex Clark Aman Mojadidi Amie Siegel amy poliakoff Andrea Dworkin.Mad Men Andres Serrano Andrew Nichols angela carter angela pham Anna Moschovakis Apple apple cider Apple logo apple week applejack Architecture ardbeg Argos Arkville Arkville Bread and Breakfast Arnolfini Art Artemisia Gentileschi Arthur Dent Artists Space balvenie bankruptcy Belgrade Benjamin Buchloh Benjamin Genocchio Berlin Bernadette Corporation Bibi Seck Bibliobarn Bierstadt blogging blue BOMB Boston Marathon Bovina Bovina Library bowmore Brady Campaign Breezy Hill Inn Brian Loughlin Bristol Bruichladdich Bull Run Road Bushmills Buttercup butterflies Cabela's Campbeltown caol ila cardhu Catskill Mountain News Catskill Watershed Corporation catskills Catskills Community Garden Club Catskills FarmLink Centraal Museum Chandigarh chantal chadwick Charivari Charles Maclean Chloe Sevingy Chris McGee Christie's Christmas civil rights clarence de mar climate change Colbert Report Colleen Asper Columbia Spectator community garden Contemporary Art Corbusier cragganmore Craig Taylor Crystal Bridges Damien Davis Damien Hirst Dan Chadwick Dario Robleto David France David Zwirner Dawn Kasper deer delaware county deminer Denver NY DEP police Department of Environmental protection Depeche Mode Derek Eller Gallery design Design Academy Eindhoven Design Observer Detroit Institute of Arts Devin Mills Diana Spechler Dick Sanford Diego Rivera Diller and Scofidio Dita Von Teese drones Duchamp East Meredith Elissa Schappell Ellen Lesperance Ellie Ga emma goldman Equal Rights Amendment Erodgan Erotica essays Esther Snyder Eva Hesse facebook Farming Bovina Feature feminism Feminist Porn firearms fireworks Fleischmanns flood cleanup Fogo Island Food Forrest Bess Francis Jenkin III Frank McHardy Franklin Getchell Frieze frieze London fair FSBO Gabriel Orozco gallery girls Garage Sale garden snakes gardening Gary Simmons Gerhard Richter Gezi Park ghosts glenfiddich glenfiddichaphids glock glynwood Goldman Sachs google Goya Foods Graffiti Gran fury Granta greg meyer Greg Olear Growing Up Modern Guerrilla Girls Gulf Futurism Gulf Times Gun violence halcyon Harper's Harry Rifkin Hayhenge Headshot hearthbreak hill Hedley Wright Hella Jongerius Henry James Hershey's Kisses Hidden Inn Hollin Hills hollow point bullets Home Goods How To Survive A Plague Hubbell Hubbells Hudson River School hunting Hurricane Irene Hurricane Sandy ICA Indrani Mukherjee inez Valk Isa Genzken Istanbul Aquarium Jake Rosa janet malcolm Janet Steen Jay Sanders Jay-Z Jean Kormos Jeff Tomasi Jennifer Kabat Jennifer Lyon Bell Jennifer Sirey Jeremy Deller Jerry Saltz Jessica Gingrich Joan Benoit Samuelson Joe Moskowitz Joe Perez John Chamberlain John Currin John Lanchester John McCracken John Pawson John Peterson John Reekie John Ruskin John Schulman Jon Raymond Jony Ive Joseph Andreani Joseph O'Neill Judy Chicago Justus Kempthorne Kabinett & Kammer Kabul Kasauli Kate Newby Kathrine Switzer Kelly Reichardt Ken Loach Kenneth Wynder kerri lisa kevin powers Kevyn Orr kim jones Knitting Nation kunsthalle wien LA Kauffman La Loge Lacanian Ink ladies of the night Lady Gaga land mines language Larry Clark laylah ali Lee Little LEEBA Lifesavers Lisa Selin Davis Liz Collins liz margulies local food Loch Lomond London Police protest Londoners Los Angeles Review of Books Luc Tuymans Lutz Bacher Lynne Tillman Maarten Bass maggie schaffer Margaretville Margaretville Central School Marge Miller Marina Abramovic Mark Birman Mark Dion MARK Project Marlen Esparza Marlene McCarty Martha Rosler Martine Syms marty margulies Mary Cassatt Marybeth Mills massoud hassani Matinee Metropolis metropolitan museum of art Miami Art Museum Michael Maharam Michelle Grabner Michelle Lopez Michelle Petricini Michelle Segre Michelle Sidrane Middletown Mies van der Rohe Mike Kelley Mike Triolo Mine Kafon minimalism Mitt Romney modernism MoMA Moss Store Mountain Brook Inn Mr Ed Mudfest Mureille Scherre Murray Moss Museum of Sex Music Nabokov nadja Marcin Nancy Barton Nari Ward Neil Bartlett New York City New York City DEP Nicholaus Schafhausen nina turner Notting Hill Notting Hill Editions NW NY Times NYC DEP Oakleys Occupy Olympics On Stellar Rays Our Greater Selves Paul Elliman Paul Ryan Peg Ellsworth Peter Applebome Peter Schjeldahl Peter Staley Philip Johnson Phoenicia Phoenicia Lodge Pinups plattekill pleasure poetry Prattsville Qatar Quakers Quarlteres Queen Victoria Rainmakers Flood Raleigh bikes Rembrandt ReneĢ Daumal Richard Merritt Richard Nixon Richard Prince Richard Sanford Rob Janoff Rob Pruitt Robert Rauschenberg Roberta Smith Rochelle Feinstein roe V wade Roger Ross Williams Roxbury Roxbury Central School Royal College of Art RSK farm rush limbaugh Russell's General Store sade safari Salon Sam Byers Sandy Hook Sara Loughlin Sarah Ann Henley Sarah Lyall scotch Scott Finley Sean Beaudoin Sean Scherer Sex Shakers shalane flanagan Sheila Pepe Shia LeBeouf short stories Shulamith Firestone Simon Preston Gallery skiing Skin Like Sun skype Slavery snowmaking Sojourner Truth Sophia Al Maria South Kortright Springbank Stanley Fish Stedelijk Museum Stephanie Weber Stephen Burks Stephen Elliot Sterling and Francine Clark Institute Sterling Clarkl Sternberg Press Steve Jobs Steve Koester Stroud Sue Ilho Sue Williams Supervisor Campaign supervisor debate Table on Ten Taksim Square Tate Modern Tatlock & Thomson TED Television the Believer the Bibliobarn The Brooklyn Rail The Catskills The Cheese Barrel the civil war The Evening Standard the fourth of July The Hayward Gallery the hedonic treadmill. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy the ICA The Miner's Strike The Muster The New Museum The New York Times The New Yorker the NRA The Peekamoose the Promise The Rainmaker's Flood The Record The Roxbury Barn The Rumpus The Talking Heads The Weeklings The Western The White Review The Whitney Biennial the Whitney Museum The Woolpack The Yellow Birds Thomas Cole Thomas Thwaites Time Life Science Tintoretto Todd Akin Tom McCarthy Treadwell Trevor Paglen tThe Weeklings Turkey Two Dark Birds Two Old Tarts Two Paths for the Novel undefined University of Albany Art Museum Upstater Valeria Luiselli Vanessa Muller Vermeer Victoria Charkut VQR Wallpaper* Walt Whitman Walter R Brooks Watts Towers Wayd Jaquish weddings Whisky William Boyd William Hazlitt Prize William Pitt the younger Williamsburg Winslow Homer Winter in the Catskills blog WIOX writing Zadie Smith Zanele Muholi zita Cobb zucchinis Zuccotti Park

Entries in Jeff Tomasi (1)

Wednesday
Nov232011

European Bailout... Help for Margaretville

The Woodman as it once was.It's a first to have a date-line London piece in the Catskill Mountain News. But there I got to meet the lovely understated couple, Jeff and Indrani Tomasi, and hear about how they are getting funds to help businesses in the town of Middletown. Also to do a pub quiz (a first for me) and talk about our mutual love of the sticks from 3,000 miles away. Together with other second homeowners and matching funds, the Tomasis are raising $800,000 for area small businesses.

 

 

London, England — More than 3,000 miles from Margaretville, a couple wants to save Middletown’s businesses. Jeff and Indrani Tomasi live in London but love Margaretville and have a home just outside the village.

After the flood they helped establish the Small Business Development Fund in conjunction with the MARK Project. So far they’ve raised more than $200,000 but are committed to raise at least $800,000, Jeff explains. A Goldman Sachs partner, he and Indrani now sit in a pub in Highgate on quiz night, and the two answer questions about both the fund as well as trivia and current events for the pub quiz.

The first part of the fund began taking monthly applications earlier in November to distribute grants of up to $5,000 to help small businesses with flood damage. So far, Jeff explains, the applications have come from a variety of businesses from retail and restaurants to golf courses. “We’re seeing people who need help with structural repairs but more than that who need help replacing inventory that either got damaged in the flood, or else that they can’t afford new inventory for the holidays.”

The next part of the project is more ambitious and is slated to start early next year. While the details are still being worked out, the plan is to distribute between $20,000 and $50,000 in a combination of grants and low interest loans to small businesses, partnering them with mentors to help with everything from writing business plans to merchandising and establishing marketing plans. As Jeff explains, “We want the program to be more than flood relief, but if places are just barely hanging on, we first need to make sure they are around to help.”

He’s quiet with clipped hair and the intense look of a long-distance runner, while Indrani has warm eyes and an infectious laugh. The two have lived in London since 2003. They moved a year-and-a-half after buying their Margaretville house. She explains, “We’re there for only a short time each year, but it’s shaped our sense of community and home. Margaretville feels like our home for a lifetime.” They still mourn the café across from the school in its incarnation three restaurants ago, before it was Harry’s or even the Café de Paris. Part of what the couple wants is stability and success for businesses here.

MARK Project Executive Director Peg Ellsworth has been talking to the Tomasis at least twice a week as the project launches and says, “I’ve found them both to be genuine and non-pretentious people who really care about the community. They want to give back, and we see the project growing and growing. It’s not just out there for six months but going to get bigger and better.” She says she’d like to see it build into an example for rural development across the region.

One of the donors, another second-homeowner named Joe Perez says, “We don’t want Route 28 to be a string of Burger Kings and Dunkin Donuts. We want it to maintain its dignity and vitality. It would be great if Margaretville became a poster child for knowing how to stay viable and true to its basic traditions.” Perez works for Goya Foods in both Spain and New Jersey and is in Spain as we speak. With the Tomasis and Perez both overseas, the project is almost like a European bailout for Middletown at a time when there’s so much financial unrest in Europe itself.

Questions about Prince William and the new Italian prime minister are broadcast over the pub’s PA, and Jeff makes a euro note out of Playdough as he talks. (Sculpting someone in the news is part of the quiz, and given the state of the currency, the euro seems particularly apt if not an actual person). He explains that the fund will be part of his company’s charitable program, Goldman Sachs Gives, and thus benefit from its resources as well as how employees collaborate on each other’s causes. “It’s a great way to get people to help in areas they might not otherwise,” he says and adds that he and Indrani had long wanted to do something to help local businesses and the flood provided the catalyst.

The couple have given anonymously in the community before to groups like the library and are nervous now about becoming public figures. “We don’t want Main Street to become a ghost town,” Indrani says, and Jeff adds, “But we also don’t want to dictate what businesses are there or what Main Street looks like. We’re leery of this being some central planning exercise or the village becoming just a tourist community.” They see Margaretville as far more vital than serving simply second homeowners. “We want it to have local pride and independence. Hopefully this will spark people into really investing in and shopping with Main Street businesses. If people are complacent, Main Street will slip away.”

Editor’s note: Catskill Mountain News writer Jennifer Kabat was traveling in London when she interviewed Jeff and Indrani Tomasi for this story.

 

The Woodman today -- you should see the pub carpets...