The calendar has flipped to 2021 and as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic in our community, we are asking our readers to resolve to support their local businesses. Now, more than ever, it’s important to adapt the “I Love Jamaica Avenue” mindset and help local retail survive. Local shopping creates local jobs and activates our local streets. Invest in downtown Jamaica. Here’s a few tangible suggestions for you:
Make purchases locally instead of ordering from online warehouses outside of your community. This ensures that jobs and valuable services remain close to home.
Write a positive review on Yelp, Google, Facebook or other public forums for your three favorite businesses.
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.
Jamaica Center Cleans Up For The Holidays
Did you know that our organization removes litter, stickers, bills and graffiti from Jamaica Avenue seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.? Our regular sanitation services keep Jamaica Avenue clean, but we have long been aware that the side streets leading to Jamaica Avenue are in need of some TLC, as these roadways serve as a common artery to our shopping district and are often the first impression visitors receive when approaching our main shopping corridor. That’s why last weekend our BID partnered with local community group SEQ Cleanup for a pop-up Clean-Up event to remove litter from 161st – 162nd Street between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Avenue.
In a collaborative effort to keep our downtown clean and our walkways clear and in compliance with City code, the Jamaica Center BID, Sutphin Boulevard BID and the 165th Street BID, along with Council Member I. Daneek Miller and his staff conducted a Business Educational Outreach Day on Tuesday with two community outreach representatives from NYC’s Department of Sanitation. Businesses were provided information about the City’s new Open Storefronts Initiative, reminded of their responsibilities to keep the area in front of their storefront clean and were able to ask any sanitation-related questions to the DSNY team.
This Halloween Saturday we have a fun promotion that’s no tricks, just all treats! Shop or dine at any business in the Jamaica Avenue BID* and YOU just might be one of five lucky winners handed a Jamaica Avenue Halloween Goodie Bag packed with fun surprises and a $25 gift card redeemable at all stores accepting credit cards within our BID boundaries. 2020 has been a pretty frightening year for our business community, with foot traffic down to unimaginable numbers due to the pandemic. Please support Jamaica Avenue’s bricks and mortar businesses and remind your friends to do the same by hashtagging #ILoveJamaicaAvenue and #ShopJamaicaAvenue whenever you shop downtown.
On Wednesday, our BID and our Clean Team removed approximately 150 bags of trash illegally dumped in two different locations on the Avenue. Next time you see our organization’s sanitation workers please give them thanks for their hard work!
We already sweep and remove tens of thousands of bags of trash from our corridor annually as part of our seven-day-per-week cleaning. We will continue to monitor the Jamaica Avenue business corridor, and whenever we see an abundance of trash throughout the district, we will notify our Clean Team as soon as possible to take care of it.
Businesses, please remember that you are required to use a private carter for all of your commercial trash and that fines apply for those that do not follow City regulations on this matter.
Jamaica Avenue Falls in the Yellow Cluster: What this Means for Business
If you haven't heard, precautionary measures have been put into place to stop the spread of COVID in hot spots throughout NYC per Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio. Jamaica has been designated as a Yellow Zone — Precautionary Zone which means the following:
Businesses: All businesses may remain open but must follow COVID-19 requirements for their sector.
Food Service Establishments: Indoor and outdoor dining is allowed. There is a four-person maximum per table.
Schools: All New York City public schools and nonpublic schools may remain open.
Houses of Worship: Houses of worship may remain open at 50% maximum capacity.
Gatherings: Non-essential gatherings must be limited to 25 people maximum for both indoor and outdoor settings. Any individual who encourages, promotes or organizes mass gatherings may be fined up to $15,000/day
We encourage all businesses to read up on the zones and the different guidelines you will have to follow if we are elevated to orange or red here. NOW is the time to prepare. Sign up for our BID’s emergency cell phone alert system JBID-Alerts! so that we can reach out to you if our zone or regulations change (see next article for more info).
Next, enter NYC’s Department of Small Business Service’s business hotline into your phone—you can call them for assistance regarding closing, reopening and compliance guidelines: 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692). You should also visit NYC’s Department of Small Business Service’s webpage for a variety of resources and news regarding coronavirus business support (PPE Marketplace, info on reopening rules and regulations, etc., list of financing resources, and so on.)
Queens Youth Justice Center (QYJC) Partnership We are excited to announce a new partnership with one of our neighborhood nonprofits, the Queens Youth Justice Center to remove litter from our downtown. Every Saturday, starting this month, youth enrolled in workforce development programming at the Justice Center will help sweep litter from north-south cross streets bisecting Jamaica Avenue between Sutphin Boulevard and 169th Street. The youth will also remove litter from a portion of Archer Avenue. Litter collected by the youth will then be transported out of the district by our own Jamaica Center BID Clean Team (which cleans Jamaica Avenue from Sutphin Boulevard to 169th Street seven days a week.) The partnership is expected to provide an additional 2,430 hours of community benefit services to Jamaica’s downtown over the next three years. You can read our jointpress release with QYJC here.
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.
Storefront Improvement Program
Storefronts are important to New York City neighborhoods. They house local businesses, are a visible part of the street, and define the character and feel of a community. Well-designed storefronts enhance and give identity to local businesses and encourage potential customers to walk in the door.
The Jamaica Center BID is helping the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to notify property and business owners that storefront improvement funding is available in FY2020 in Jamaica.
Administered by SBS, the Downtown Jamaica Storefront Improvement Program provides funding to local property owners and businesses to complete exterior building renovation projects. The program reimburses up to 75% of the cost of eligible improvements with a maximum grant of $20,000 per property. Learn more here.
Jamaica Center BID Names Jennifer Furioli as New Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2019
Jamaica, Queens, New York City
Jamaica Center Business Improvement District Names Jennifer Furioli as New Executive Director
The Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, the BID covering the commercial area along Jamaica Avenue from Sutphin Boulevard to 169th Street and Union Hall Street, has appointed Jennifer Furioli as its new Executive Director.
Ms. Furioli most recently served with the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (NRBID), where she was responsible for overseeing the New Rochelle Grand Market, NRBID events and external NRBID communications. Partnering closely with NRBID’s Executive Director, Jennifer also worked on placemaking initiatives and providing additional advisory to the IDEA New Rochelle (Arts and Technology district) initiative. In 2018, she was a key member of the City of New Rochelle’s Mayors Challenge team: an interdisciplinary group of New Rochelle City executives, New Rochelle BID employees and technologists from IDEA New Rochelle competing against other cities nationwide to develop innovative solutions to city problems. New Rochelle’s team was one of nine cities to win the Mayors Challenge, resulting in a $1 million dollar implementation grant for the City of New Rochelle to utilize augmented and virtual reality as a tool to increase citizen engagement in the city planning process.
Prior to joining NRBID in 2016, Jennifer worked for one of New York City’s flagship BIDs, the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District in Manhattan. While at Lincoln Square, worked on a city-wide committee to make the UWS and Lincoln Square more age friendly District, raised sponsorship dollars for Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square, authored external BID communications, including, but not limited to the organization’s website, dining guide, annual reports, required City impact reports, and weekly constituent communications, and helped advocate for a newly-designed Dante Park. Her past experience also includes time at New York City’s Department of Small Business Services, which oversees the City’s network of 76 Business Improvement Districts.
“Our board is grateful to outgoing Executive Director Whitney Barrat for her leadership and service, and equally pleased to welcome Jennifer Furioli to the Jamaica Center BID,” said Board Chair Michael Hirschhorn. “More than ever, our board is committed to fostering strong community ties and partnerships with our retailers, community-based organizations, governmental entities and anchor institutions, and building a culture of organizational excellence. Jennifer is equally committed to our vision and we look forward to working with her and our many local partners to support this thriving retail and cultural hub in Jamaica.”
Ms. Furioli holds a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish Language from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
“There were so many things that attracted me to this position,” stated Jennifer: I’m excited by the new development and retail that’s bringing a fresh sense of excitement to Jamaica, and also enthusiastic about the committed long-term retailers that have called Jamaica Center BID home for many years. What ultimately reeled me in was the community: the network of committed businesses, property owners, economic development, cultural, educational, governmental, and religious institutions that have invested in Jamaica for decades. My staff and I are committed to maintaining and growing those partnerships for the benefit of the Jamaica Center BID and overall Downtown Jamaica neighborhood and I can’t thank the BID’s Board of Directors enough for providing me the opportunity to serve this organization and community in the coming years.”
The Jamaica BID's Public Art Opportunity
The Jamaica Center Improvement Association was awarded an Active Arts Public Art Grant, and is inviting artists to submit their qualifications for consideration. The selected artist will engage with the community to produce a one-year long temporary, large-scale ground mural installation for the newly-activated Parsons Blvd. Public Space, (btw. Jamaica Avenue & Archer Avenue) in Downtown Jamaica.
Submissions of qualifications are due to the Jamaica Center BID by July 11th, 2018. Please send submissions to [email protected]