What We Do
As the largest BID in Queens, the Jamaica Center BID seeks to make the Jamaica Center business district a thriving business hub and an enjoyable destination to shop, work, live, and visit.
Sanitation & District Maintenance
Our contracted uniformed sanitation team cleans our district 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., year-round. These hardworking individuals sweep the sidewalks and gutters (18’ out from the curb), bag litter, and empty trashcans daily and in all weather. They also wash and paint the district’s trash receptacles as necessary and clean graffiti and stickers regularly from street furniture, light poles and building surfaces. Come winter, the team removes snow from our BID’s catch basins, crosswalks, intersections, bus stops, and fire hydrants.
Several times a week, various members of our administrative team pound the pavement to assess street conditions, identify broken or troublesome city infrastructure (promptly reporting it to 311), and identifying other areas that can be beautified or fixed with our assistance.
Beautification & Public Art
During the dreariest months, we light up Jamaica Avenue with holiday lights, while year-round our banner program decorates street pole banners, adding visual interest to the area and reminding consumers that they are shopping Jamaica Avenue. Currently, we are inventorying our many tree pits to evaluate both planting and maintenance needs and are trying to find funding to repair the historic and landmarked clock at Jamaica Avenue and Union Hall Street.
We also facilitate public art in our built environment. Our most recent installation: Power Strip, a colorful linear ground mural by Queens artist Brittany Baldwin, at Parsons Public Space.
The BID provides business assistance to our current merchants and hosts events targeted towards our business community. We help notify local businesses of new city regulations, incentives or services that could affect their business, and in return, provide useful feedback to city government regarding street-level issues and policies affecting our merchants. Our online directory encourages consumers to patronize our local businesses, while our periodic classes or technical assistance workshops offer free capacity-building opportunities for local business to grow, survive and thrive. We also coordinate a large sidewalk sales days calendar, a boon for local retailers, and a value card that consolidates discounts offered by local merchants to increase sales and loyalty.
Economic Development and Planning
Jamaica Center BID is a three-year recipient of a Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Avenue NYC grant. This structured program, led by an in-house Avenue NYC Program Manager dedicated to our community (and with technical support from SBS), has allowed us to complete a comprehensive planning study (Commercial District Need Assessment) to highlight the existing business landscape of our neighborhood shopping corridors with community-identified strengths, challenges, and opportunities for commercial revitalization, and to implement projects addressing the needs identified in the report.
District Marketing and Events
Jamaica Avenue has a lot to offer. Our district marketing and events initiatives are designed to put the spotlight on our wonderful retail, restaurants, businesses, public spaces and cultural organizations and encourage consumers to make the most of this area. Key programming includes:
Our website, active social media and weekly e-newsletter keep the community abreast of what’s here and the latest news.
We periodically print specialized guides and distribute at local bricks and mortar entities, public spaces and events. Our current project: Guide to Seasonal Events in Downtown Jamaica, a New York City Small Business Services Avenue-NYC funded project, will highlight cultural events and local retail and restaurants within walking distance.
Networking Happy Hours
On a quarterly basis, we invite local community partners and business owners to mingle and make fruitful connections at varying spots throughout the district. Past happy hours have taken place at Raymour and Flanigan and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.
Weekend Walks - Family Fun On The Ave
Our inaugural 2019 Weekend Walks (a NYC DOT-funded initiative) will close Jamaica Avenue between Parsons Boulevard and 162nd Street from traffic for a few hours, replacing cars with children’s activities, vendor and community-based organization tents, live music performances, yard games and more. (July 13 & August 17)
One of our most popular initiatives, our district presents 20+ sidewalks sales annually, a shopping extravaganza where local retailers put out merchandise for outdoor perusing, allowing neighbors to get to know one another, enjoy the weather and score a bargain.
Many hands make light work, and advocating for a strong Jamaica is no different. We value our neighborhood’s network of anchor institutions, government partners, nonprofit and community-based organizations property owners, business owners and others that are focused on making Jamaica all it can be. For that reason, we work closely with many entities (Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, Community Board 12, our two neighborhood business improvement districts—Sutphin Boulevard and 165th Street BID, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Jamaica Cultural Collaborative, Queens Borough President’s Office, local sanitation, transportation and police department contacts, to name but a few entities) to share information, cross-promote, jointly advocate, and collaborate whenever possible. (One recent example: our Community Development Neighborhood Analysis study, detailed above.)