Recently, we debuted a new I “Love” Jamaica Ave storefront icon to express our fondness for the diverse businesses and many cultural organizations located in our Jamaica Avenue Business Improvement District. As I write this today, that little phrase “I Love Jamaica Ave” takes on new meaning and inspiration. During this tough time, when the community is trying to stay healthy, and businesses are trying to stay vibrant with significantly reduced customer traffic, it is important more than ever for us to love and support our Jamaica community and neighbors during this time.
For the past few days, our BID has been calling, writing, and visiting hundreds of our businesses to ensure that they are aware of the support materials that the Department of Small Business Services has prepared to help the City’s business community weather this challenge. We are tracking and sorting through the latest legislative developments, financial support instruments and NYC Department of Health and NYC Office of Emergency Management directives and compiling that info on our new “Covid-19 Info for Businesses” page on our website, Jamaica.nyc. We are passing along reliable and accurate information from City government and the CDC to our broader community of residents and shoppers via our social media channels and e-newsletter. And we are collaborating with our neighboring BIDs and other economic development organizations in Queens and City-wide to ensure that we are sharing ideas for assistance and solutions to address today’s challenges as thoughtfully as possible. We have already fielded several calls from our business community, and we are working on issuing a special COVID-19 dedicated support number for those businesses who wish to speak to a “real person” because they may not feel comfortable using a computer to explore our new Covid-19 Business Page on our website or the many excellent City of New York online resources.
This is all to say that it has always been our job to look out for Jamaica Ave (see our boundaries here). We Love Jamaica Ave and more than ever, our Jamaica Center BID team is working hard to ensure that our community gets through this.
Kind regards,
Jennifer Furioli
Executive Director

Restaurant Delivery/Takeout

Thursday, 19 March 2020 by

 

A large number of our restaurants and bodegas on Jamaica Avenue offer delivery and takeout options. Please take a look at the below document we have compiled. How lucky we are that 29 eateries offer takeout and 22 offer delivery. We will continue to update this document as circumstances change. Please make an effort to keep these businesses open and their staff employed by supporting them.

 

Click here to download the list.

COVID-19 Updates

Thursday, 19 March 2020 by

COVID-19 UPDATES

Our BID is committed to ensuring that our local business community receives the latest resources necessary to help them weather the current Coronavirus situation. We will be updating this page regularly with information we receive from City, State, Federal agencies and other respected economic development and business support institutions. Please bookmark this page and check back often.  

Know something we are missing? See something inaccurate? Please email us at jfurioli@jamaica.nyc.

Start Here:  

  • NYC Department of Small Business Services “SBS”: nyc.gov/sbs.  SBS is an official City agency with a comprehensive home page with many resources about business continuity, workforce support and more. Sign up to receive email updates about COVID-19 and NYC SBS programs to help businesses: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N336ZYB 
  • On March 24th, the NYC Department of Small Business Services will be hosting a webinar on preparing for disruptions. You can find more information here. 
  • Get regular text alerts from City government regarding the novel Coronavirus, by texting COVID to 692-692. 

Financial Support for Businesses (Loans and Grants): 

City of New York Loans and Grants for Small Businesses 

Mayor DeBlasio announced that there will be assistance to small businesses to help them adapt to changing customer behavior. Businesses may qualify for low-interest loans and employee retention grants. 

  • Businesses with fewer than 100 employees, seeing a decrease in sales up to 25% or more will be eligible for zero-interest loans up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. Fill out this survey to be notified when the loans are available:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N336ZYB 
  • The City is also offering eligible small businesses with fewer than five employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.  Grant is Now LIVEAccess here. 

The GRANT Note: To take advantage of these programs, please keep in mind that it is very important for you to keep track of your business finances, along with how Coronavirus has affected you. While we don’t have the details yet of exactly what will be required, we recommend that everyone gathers: 

  • 2019 tax returns 
  • Bank Statements (2019 & 2020) 
  • Quarterly sales tax filings 
  • Point-of-sales reports 
  • Certified profit & loss statements 
  • Receipts for virus-related expenditures 

Small Business Administration Low-Interest Loans: 

 The Small Business Administration will be giving out low-interest loans for businesses affected by the Coronavirus, as part of their disaster assistance program. Learn more here.  

Facebook Small Business Grant Program:  

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate. The grant application is not yet available. Interested businesses should sign up at the link here. 

Loan/Grant Application Support with Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC):  

QEDC will provide resources to help businesses apply for these important business survival loan and grant programs. They are working on their strategy to deliver these services now. More info to come. You can also check in on their website: https://www.queensny.org/coronavirus-info/ 

Financial Support for Business (Utility Support) 

  • Con Edison will not shut off electric, natural gas or steam service due to payment difficulties resulting from the health crisis. They are also waiving new late-payment charges for all customers. Learn more here about all the measures Con-Ed is taking during the pandemic here. 
  • National Grid: Collections activities & disconnections – We have temporarilysuspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April, when National Grid will evaluate their continued need. Customers looking for more information on payment assistance programs, in general, can click here. 

Workplace Health and Safety: 

Below are updated resources to help you and your business stay safe and prevent the spread of germs.  

  • NYC Department of Health website: Up-to-date information for businesses, including FAQs for employers.  
  • Federal Center for Disease Control “CDC”: The CDC has created a special portion on their website for businesses with interim information for business and employers and special workplace cleaning and disinfection tips.  
  • United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration “OSHA” Office: OSHA has just published Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19Their homepage, osha.gov has other helpful resources. 
  • Notify your employees that they can get help finding a physician by dialing the City’s 311 line. 
  • If you or your employees require mental health support during this time, 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) is a free, confidential helpline for New York City residents. You can call 24 hours per day/7 days a week. The staff of trained mental health professionals help callers find mental health services. NYC Well is multilingual and multicultural. More information about this program can be accessed here.  

Business Closures Employee Reductions/Layoffs 

  • NYS Department of Labor Information provides information about the Shared Work program to avoid layoffs, and the WARN Act responsibilities for businesses with over 50 full-time workers that need to conduct layoffs. 
  • Burglary Prevention During Closures: NYPD’s tips for businesses to ensure your site stays secure while you are closed for extended durations. f you’re temporary closing due to lack of foot traffic, please send us an e-mail at info@jamaicacenter.orgso we can help keep an extra eye on your storefront while you’re out. 
  • Restaurant Closure Checklist (recently published on the NYC Hospitality Alliance site—thenycalliance.org 

Resources to Provide Laid Off Employees: 

  • Bartender Emergency Assistance Program: Bartenders who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 can click here to learn about an assistance program to help. 
  • NY State Department of Labor Unemployment website. 

Workplace Cleaning and Sanitation 

  • Queens Chamber of Commerce has several Queens-based companies that offer professional cleaning and sanitizing services. Please contact the chamber to be connected to a local company if your workplace needs professional disinfection/deep cleaning services. 

Promotional Support 

Our organization can help your business pass on important information to our 15,000 social media followers and 2,000 e-newsletter subscribers. 

  • If you offer delivery or curbside pick-up, let us know and we will promote it. 
  • If you sell gift cards, let us know and we will encourage our followers to purchase them so that you can have a continued cash flow. 
  • If you offer online shopping, facetime shopping or other innovative methods that customers can utilize to keep spending money at your establishment, let us know. 

Email Trey Jenkins at tjenkins@jamaicacenter.org and we will help promote. Note that we are NOT promoting events at this time, as we are trying to support our local and federal government’s directives to encourage social distancing. 

Have an update your business would like to share with the Queens eco-system? Queens Chamber is accepting business updates on its rolling Covid-19 announcement listPlease email your details to info@queenschamber.org with the subject line – QUEENS BUSINESS CORONAVIRUS UPDATES. 

Procrastination Station!

Tuesday, 17 December 2019 by

Relief for last-minute holiday shoppers!

Delayed in your Holiday Shopping? We’re here to help! We’ve all been guilty of procrastinating at one time or another. If you didn’t get around to shop for your Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza or Festivus celebrations yet, no matter! Jamaica Center BID is a safe space for last-minute holiday shoppers. From December 14-25 we are offering a slew of shopping support services crafted specifically with procrastinators in mind!
Procrastinator Bonus Bags: Sunday, December 15 – 24 (All Day Long):
Shop or dine at any business on Jamaica Avenue* from the 15th – 24th and YOU just might be the lucky person handed a Jamaica Avenue Seasonal Swag Bag packed with fun winter surprises and a gift card for extra shopping on the Ave! In this case, procrastinating pays off! 
*Bonus bag promotion applies within BID boundaries of Jamaica Ave from 169th to Sutphin Ave and Union Hall between Jamaica Ave and Archer. One bag will be given to a randomly-selected local shopper daily.
Ugly Sweater Selfie Jam:
Visit our two Ugly Sweater selfie stations at 159-26 Jamaica Avenue and show us your ugly sweater game. Snap a pic, then post to social media tagging @jamcenterbid on Instagram or Jamaica Avenue on Facebook with hashtag #UglySweaterJam. In early January we’ll post all ugly sweaters on our Instagram story soliciting votes for the best pic. The winner gets a $50 gift card for even more shopping on Jamaica Avenue! What a great way to start the new year!
Last-Minute Gift Ideas:
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. From December 14 -23 we will be posting a curated list of gifts you can purchase on the Ave!
Ultimate Hour Shopping Directory:
Alright. You’re really pushing it with the belated shopping aren’t you? Download our promotional flyer with a listing of stores open on the 24th to meet your *truly* last-minute needs.
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