Jamaica’s Three Downtown Business Improvement Districts are joining forces!
To streamline services, reduce unnecessary administrative overhead, maximize efficiency and better serve our business community, Jamaica’s three downtown BIDs are joining.
How? In June of 2022, City Legislation was passed to create one singular business improvement district for downtown Jamaica. One nonprofit organization will administer services within the newly-united district. This organization will have a Board of Directors comprised of local property owners, businesses, residents, and City-appointed officials as dictated by local NYC Business Improvement District (BID) Law.
When? Right now! The legislation will go into effect on 1/1/23 and the prior BID boundaries will dissolve. NYC’s Department of Small Business Services (also known as SBS - the City agency that creates and oversees the City’s BID network) will be assembling a Board of Directors. SBS will assist this new Board through the process of developing bylaws, a new budget, and program priorities to benefit the business district.
For more information on this process and SBS’s timeline, please contact the agency directly here.
Who is Providing Supplemental Sanitation? Sutphin Boulevard BID now holds the current City contract with SBS to provide supplemental Sanitation Services on Jamaica Avenue from 169th Street to Sutphin Boulevard and on Union Hall from Jamaica Avenue to Archer. Contact Sutphin Boulevard BID for more information: www.sutphinblvdbid.org.
How Can I Stay Connected/Learn More? More information will be shared as it becomes available.
COVID-19 Info for Businesses
This page was last updated on 12/27/21. 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, 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
Vaccination Requirement: Key to NYC
Children ages 5 to 11 are now required to have proof of vaccination for the public indoor activities described further below. They must show they have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
On December 27, people 12 and older participating in the below public indoor activities will be required to show proof they have received two vaccine doses, except for those who have received the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Starting January 29, 2022, children ages 5 to 11 must also show proof of full vaccination.
People 5 and older are required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for:
Indoor dining Includes restaurants, catering halls, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, grocery stores with indoor dining and other indoor dining spaces
Indoor fitness Includes gyms, fitness centers, fitness classes, pools, dance studios and other indoor fitness studios, such as yoga or Pilates
Indoor entertainment and certain meeting spaces Includes movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums, aquariums and zoos, professional sports arenas, indoor stadiums, convention centers, exhibition halls, hotel meeting and event spaces, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, pool and billiard halls, recreational game centers, adult entertainment and indoor play areas
People 18 and older are also required to show identification along with their proof of vaccination. These requirements — called the Key to NYC — also means employees working at these locations must be vaccinated.
To report a location that is not following these requirements, call 311.
Information for Businesses
Businesses must verify each worker’s proof of vaccination starting December 27. Learn about the options for checking and recording proof of vaccination at nyc.gov/vaxtowork.
Non-employee workers, such as contractors, must provide vaccination proof to their employers. Businesses may request that a contractor’s employer confirm proof of vaccination. Businesses must then keep a log of these requests and the confirmations they receive. More information about the types of records that are permitted can be found at nyc.gov/vaxtowork.
By December 27, businesses must complete a certificate affirming they are in compliance with this requirement and post it in a public place. You can find a downloadable certificate at nyc.gov/vaxtowork.
Businesses should be prepared to make their records available for inspection.
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:
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 & Guidelinespages.
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.