Boca Lawyer Launches Downtown Business Alliance


By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Boca resident and lawyer Michael Liss hadn’t been working downtown too long before he noticed he spent a lot of time walking to his car and heading away from downtown.
And that bothered him.
“I have to leave downtown to go to networking events,” he said. “That struck me as odd.”
He said he would walk around downtown and he wouldn’t recognize people. He would find his business lunches taking place at restaurants outside of downtown.
“Usually people flock to downtowns during the day and back to suburbia at night,” he said.
Looking out of his office window at 150 East Palmetto Road, he pointed to all the residential buildings that have popped up downtown. Then, he pointed to the couple of office buildings and noted that many aren’t full. But he said he wants the downtown businesses that are open to join forces as a community.
So, he decided to launch the Downtown Business Alliance with a few other downtown business owners with a goal of bringing downtown business owners together to discuss common interests. The kick-off will take place on at 5:45 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the Hyatt Place.
The goal is start a conversation about downtown Boca that includes the private sector.
Liss said it is often the business owners who are impacted the most by parking and construction because they have to worry about where their customers will park and how traffic may affect their clients reaching them for meetings. He also said it is the business owners who should change the downtown mantra of “Come Early, Stay Late” to “Downtown, Why Leave?” He said he wants to see business take place downtown.
The first meeting will be a discussion on what downtown business owners want and for downtown business owners to get to know each other. The alliance is inviting any business located within the CRA boundary and extending that boundary to the beach and Boca Raton Community Church.
Liss said his vision for the alliance is to create a downtown business community. He sees it as a conduit for the city to reach downtown businesses more efficiently and effectively. He sees the alliance as a way for downtown business owners to get involved in all of the charitable events that take place downtown. And he sees it as a social group where people can just have fun together.
“With 1,000 downtown businesses I see nothing but possibility,” he said.
Visit DBAforBoca on Facebook to keep up with more information.