COVID-19 Info for Businesses

This page was last updated on 7/15/21. Items are subject to change and we cannot guarantee up-to-the-minute updates. It is your responsibility as a business to follow government directives and stay abreast of the news and changing regulations.     

From the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 until March 2021, our BID administered a page of covid resources (grants, loans, regulations, etc. ) for our business community, which was updated at least biweekly, and more often as new information surfaced. Moving forward, please sign up to our e-newsletter at Jamaica.nyc and our social media accounts [Instagram: @jamcenterbid, Facebook: Jamaica Avenue, Twitter: @JamCenterBID] to receive this type of up to the minute information.

LATEST COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT INFORMATION

FREE BUSINESS COUNSELING

Many government and nonprofit organizations offer FREE counseling to businesses—both in terms of regular business operations as well as covid-19 business recovery:

New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS): SBS, the City’s own agency dedicated to helping New York City’s small business community has Small Business Solutions within each borough dedicated to helping businesses start, operate and grow. The Queens Small Business Solutions Center is located in downtown Jamaica on Sutphin Boulevard. They can assist minority and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) get City-certified and compete for contracts, connecting entrepreneurs to free resources ranging from business courses to legal services, explaining government rules and regulations, and helping entrepreneurs apply for funding to launch or grow a business. Call 311 to schedule an appointment with the Jamaica location.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on the York College Campus: SBDC’s are federally-funded/run small business support centers that provide a wealth of counseling services. Right now the York campus SBDC has a robust training program to help businesses bridge the digital divide and get their business online. They can also help apply for forgiveness for PPP loans, identify other loans and grants, create a business plan and more.

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) is a nonprofit community development corporation and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that can help Queens businesses navigate government programs, apply for loans and alternative financing, create a business plan and more. They have special expertise in working with MWBE and industrial businesses as well.

Additional resources for free business advisory, classes and advocacy in Queens:

Queens Chamber of Commerce

Queens Economic Development Corporation

BUSINESS COVID-19 SITES

Skim these sites regularly for updated information on loans, grants and regulations related to covid-19 and running your business:

NYC Small Business Services Covid-19 Business Assistance Page

NY Forward: The state’s covid-19 and business reopening webpage

SBDC’s Recovery Resources for Small Businesses

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation’s Covid-19 Business Resource List

Open Storefronts Have Been Extended Through September 30, 2021

The Open Storefronts program assists existing ground-floor storefront businesses who want to use outdoor areas on a temporary basis. The program allows eligible businesses to conduct activity on sidewalks, on roadways in the Open Streets: Restaurants program, or a combination of both. In addition to businesses engaged in retail trade, repair stores, personal care services, and dry-cleaning and laundry services are able to use outdoor space for seating, queuing, or display of dry goods. The program also allows businesses to sell pre-packaged food on sidewalks and restaurants to use sidewalks for take-out orders. For a list of eligible retail activities, please visit Open Storefronts FAQ 2.

The Open Storefronts program extended through September 30, 2021.

Downtown Jamaica Storefront Improvement Grant Applications

We are happy to share that the Department of Small Business Services' phase 2 of the Downtown Jamaica Storefront Improvement Grant applications are now open. If you are a small business or property owner in the Downtown Jamaica area who is interested in this grant opportunity, please visit the Downtown Jamaica Storefront Improvement Application & Guidelines pages.

You can find more information about the program on the SBS website here

If interested, please direct all questions to [email protected]The deadline for this grant opportunity is September 30.

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