Networking Tribeca style: Breakfast with The Grid

Tribeca folks are nothing if not good at networking – making connections, urging each other along, spreading the word. So when Amy Bonomi and Loretta Lester first met at PS 234 and would ruminate about their respective businesses at drop-off, they decided to continue the conversation at home. The group grew to include a couple more people, and then became too big for their living rooms, and then, in 2013, became The Grid, a business networking group that helps members discover best practices and then some.

“When we formed we thought it would be mostly for business referrals,” said Amy, a local real estate broker. “But it’s really the sharing of ideas that has become most important to us. Whatever people are doing is applicable to everyone else one way or another.”

The group has 10 core members, with no more than one in any profession; guests are invited to join the monthly breakfasts. Right now among them there’s a general contractor, a caterer, a graphic designer, a physical therapist, a landscape architect. They meet on the first Wednesday of the month at Sarabeth’s and also host crossover networking events for 50 or so a couple times a year in the evening – social gatherings where people can schmooze, share contact info, get to know other entrepreneurs in the neighborhood.

Members use the meetings for different purposes – some as a sounding board, some as a brainstorming session. And there are often monthly guests brought in to share an expertise. In September, a woman talked to the group about what she called “joyful marketing.” It’s a chance for a free consultation that may not come along otherwise and a way to mix with others, especially when you might work in an office of one.

“A lot of us work in isolation as small business owners, and this is a way we can share and keep ourselves accountable,” said Michelle Gutierrez, a mediator.

Core membership is $450 a year; to join for a single breakfast is $25. To learn more, email


1 Comment

  1. The Grid’s presenter on “Joyful Marketing” was M.Shannon Hernandez – check her out!