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

We are grateful to our supporters who make our work possible:

NYC Department of Small Business Services: Avenue NYC Grant, Strategic Impact Grant, and Support for Revitalization of the Jamaica Avenue Clock

Council Member I. Daneek Miller (District 27): Support for Revitalization of the Jamaica Avenue Clock

JFKIAT and Partners (4GOOD Community Philanthropic Program): Programmatic Support for FY22

City Council District 24: Tree Pit Revitalization Support

Office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards: General Operating and Programmatic Support

Additional In-Kind Support, Friends, and/or  All-Around Helpful Partners and Colleagues Making Jamaica Great. We Appreciate YOU!

Home Depot-Support of Parsons Clean Up

Mattone Investors-Support of Parsons Clean Up

Golden Krust, Popeye’s and Dunkin at Parsons Public Space-Support of Parsons Clean Up

SEQ Clean UP-Multiple Downtown Clean Up Initiatives

Cambria Heights Florist-Support of Parsons Clean Up

Lindon Studios-Support of Parsons Clean Up

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning

York College and the SBDC

Queens Chamber of Commerce

King Manor Museum

Cultural Collaborative Jamaica

A Better Jamaica

Our World Media

Sutphin Boulevard BID

165th Street BID

Jamaica Center BID Partners With Local Organizations To Beautify Parsons Public Space

Media Contact Jamaica Center BID
Trey Jenkins
Director of Marketing and Business Services
[email protected]
718-873-2506

For Immediate Release:

JAMAICA CENTER BID PARTNERS WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS TO BEAUTIFY PARSONS PUBLIC SPACE

Jamaica, Queens, June 11, 2021 – On Sunday, June 13, the Jamaica Center BID (JBID) in collaboration with Southeast Queens Cleanup (SEQ Cleanup Initiative), Linden Studio 17 and Cambria Heights Florist will be hosting a Jamaica Avenue Community Clean-Up and Beautification event at Parsons Public Space in downtown Jamaica. Parsons Public Space was constructed by NYC DOT in downtown Jamaica several years ago as a temporary public space and is scheduled to become a permanent public plaza after additional work by NYC’s Department of Design and Construction is complete (timeframe TBD.).  

Although Parsons Public Space does not fall within the Jamaica Center BID’s boundaries, the BID decided to coordinate a clean-up and beautification initiative there this summer due to its prominent location and importance to the downtown community.

“We noticed that many of the original shrubs in the 35 planters at Parsons had died or toppled over, and no decorative greenery or flowers remained,” said Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID. “Parsons Public Space is one of Jamaica Avenue’s “front yards” and first impressions for those coming to  shop . By providing a clean sweep to remove litter and planting some new greenery, we hope to provide a better experience this summer for downtown Jamaica’s returning workers and shoppers as we fully reopen downtown for business.”

The event is the second community clean-up event the BID has done in collaboration with SEQ Cleanup Initiative, a new grassroots nonprofit in southeast Queens. The first, a “side-street clean up” this past December removed litter from the high-trafficked 162nd Street, a side street leading from a popular parking lot to Jamaica Avenue in order to give shoppers a more positive first impression as they approached downtown for holiday shopping.

Antoinette “DJ Nett” Lawson, founder of SEQ Cleanup Initiative will provide volunteers to help clean up and plant greenery at Parsons Public Space. “SEQ Cleanup's mission is to inspire Southeast Queens residents to "do their part" to be proactive when it comes to the revitalization and beautification of this community. When we all do our part, we are one step closer to reaching our intended goal,” said founder of SEQ Cleanup Initiative DJ Nett.

The Jamaica Avenue Community Beautification event will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday. Additional community partners involved in the event include  Alana Simmons, founder and owner of Linden Studio 17, who is providing project management and promotional support for the event,  Cambria Heights Florist, who will provide expertise and guidance on the planting portion of the event, and the 103rd Precinct’s Community Affairs division. The Home Depot store located at 92-30 168th Street donated soil and cleaning supplies for the event and the three restaurants fronting Parsons Public Space: Golden Krust, Popeye’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are providing meals for the volunteers. Once planted, the flowers and greenery will be watered during the summer by the adjacent landlord, Mattone Investors.

“This is truly a community-led initiative with established and new nonprofits, local business, property owners and every day volunteers pitching in to make this happen,” said Jennifer Furioli. “We’re thrilled to work with SEQ Cleanup again and are grateful to Linden Studios and Cambria Heights Florist for their community leadership in this particular event.”

In addition to the cleaning and greening, volunteers will begin construction on a Little Reading Library, which the coordinators of this event hope to install near Rufus King Park later this summer.

The BID expects to clean-up Parsons Public space again in the fall and to do other activations at Parsons Public space thanks to a recent grant received by the JFK International Air Terminal.

To learn more about the Jamaica Center BID and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue, make sure to visit www.Jamaica.nyc, sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID)
Founded as the Jamaica District Management Association in 1979, the Jamaica Center BID is central to one of New York City’s fastest growing communities. Jamaica Center BID is the proud home to national and regional retailers, several major cultural and educational institutions as well as City, State and Federal Offices, and more than 400 businesses. The Jamaica Center BID seeks to maintain Jamaica Center as a thriving business hub and premier destination to shop, work, live and play.

About Southeast Queens Cleanup Initiative   
Founded by DJ Nett, SEQ Cleanup engages local volunteers to assist with picking up litter in the local parks, potting and planting in local community gardens, as well as helping with painting of murals to add to the beautification of Southeast Queens. SEQ Cleanup's motto is "DO YOUR PART... When each member of the community does their part, we are one step closer to our collective goal." Instagram: Seqcleanup

About Linden Studio 17

Founded by Alana Simmons, Linden Studio 17 Inc. is located in St. Albans, Queens. Linden Studio 17 was established to be a service to the community. As an event space for rental services, Linden Studio 17 have sponsored multiple organizations and programs to use the studio at little to no cost and sponsor outside projects and organizations as well. Instagram: lindenstudio17

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Where’s the Jamaica Center Clock?! Don’t panic. The clock is in good hands :)

Don’t panic. The famous Jamaica Center clock is in good hands! Thanks to generous support from Council Member I. Daneek Miller, NYC Small Business Services; Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, our BID and Save America's Clocks have teamed up to restore this historic landmark street clock back to its former glory! We’ll have updates as we move forward but we’re hoping the clock will be back up sometime in the summer! For Additional Information visit the full NY Times article on the clock's history and renovation here. See the below photos from last Thursday's removal of the clock and view the Instagram story here!

Jamaica Avenue: Not Just Surviving…But Thriving!

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated retail across the city and nation, but downtown Jamaica serves as a beacon of hope as new businesses, independent and national, continue to open on the Avenue.

Most recently we welcomed the long-awaited Target, located in the lower-level of (160-08 Jamaica Avenue), just below Burlington. Here you’ll find a nice selection of groceries (plenty of organics too!), games, cute lamps, general home goods and a new CVS pharmacy.

Just a couple blocks east at the corner of Union Hall and Jamaica Avenue is another newcomer—Jamaican Flavors (162-02 Jamaica Avenue), selling patties, coco bread and some delectable looking desserts (look for the blue awning). Of course our team is eagerly awaiting the opening of Jollibee (skip to our article below to read our detective work regarding what we can expect when the Jamaica Avenue location finally opens).

And, in case you missed the pics a few weeks ago, we’re resharing photos from our BID’s ribbon-cutting parade last month, when we celebrated five new businesses that have opened, survived, and thrived on the Avenue since the start of the pandemic. Our BID, along with several of our elected officials, stopped by Dunkin Donuts (163-18 Jamaica Avenue)Diamond Braces (166-16 Jamaica Avenue)European Wax (166-16 Jamaica Avenue)MA Perfume (165-12 Jamaica Avenue) and Hook and Reel (161-21 Jamaica Avenue), allowing each store owner or manager to cut the ribbon, meet their local representatives and get the warm welcome they deserve, all set to background music by brass band Underground Horns.

You can view coverage of the ribbon-cutting parade here and here and view the photos of the event here. Special thanks to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards from coming out to our special event along with Council Members Adrienne Adams, I. Daneek Miller, and Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman. 

View the rest of our e-newsletter here.

The Wonder Women of Gotham To Be Honored for Women’s History Month + International Women’s Day

The Wonder Women of Gotham To Be Honored for Women’s History Month + International Women’s Day

29 NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE FIVE BOROUGHS BAND TOGETHER TO SALUTE WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES

New York City, March 2, 2021 – Nearly 30 business improvement districts (BIDs), neighborhood associations and merchants’ groups from New York City’s five boroughs are coming together in March to honor Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Their focus is women-owned small businesses in the city, which have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic.

New Yorkers can participate in the campaign (#smallbusinesswonderwomen) by taking a photo of a woman small business owner in front of her store and posing the question: What makes you a small business wonder woman? Then post the photo and caption on social media/blog using the hashtag #smallbusinesswonderwomen.

The cross-borough collaboration came together when a group of Brooklyn BIDs met last month to plan local Women’s Day programming that would work throughout the city. The group decided to honor Small Business Wonder Women as their communities’ heroes. “United by their ability to survive and thrive, these women deserve special recognition during Women’s History Month,” says Joanna Tallantire of the Park Slope 5th Avenue BID.  "On #theother5th, we see the creative ways women-owned businesses work together during difficult times, everything from providing a women-owned marketplace during Open Streets Restaurant Saturdays to working with women-owned restaurants on mutual aid projects and buying from women-owned businesses".

Groups from all five boroughs are standing tall for Small Business Wonder Women.

Brooklyn’s Lynette Battle, Interim Executive Director, Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway BID, says “This Women’s History Month we salute the mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces who make things better for us all." She is joined by Kate Chura of the Atlantic Avenue BID and Montague St. BID, who says that in both neighborhoods “the women-owned businesses work tirelessly to supply goods and services the neighborhood needs.”

The Bronx’ Yasmin Cruz, Executive Director, Westchester Square District BID says, "I am proud to have our women-owned businesses in our district. They are definitely "Wonder Women.”

In Queens, Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director Jamaica Center BID, says “Many of the most active businesses and civic leaders in downtown Jamaica are women and their importance to this community is immeasurable.”

Janet Dugo of the Downtown Staten Island/SI Chamber of Commerce says “Every day, but especially in March, we salute the women running businesses on Staten Island.  These 'Small Business Wonder Women' help keep our neighborhoods alive and humming!  Even through the pandemic, they've worked tirelessly to support our community's needs. So, let's remember to show our thanks for all they do by shopping local all year long.”

In Manhattan, Jennifer Falk, Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership, says “Union Square-14th Street's incredible line-up of female-owned small businesses includes small business powerhouse players like Julie Gaines of Fishs Eddy, Nancy Bass Wyden of Strand Bookstore, and Daryl Roth of Daryl Roth Theatre, as well as our incredible Greenmarket partners. We are so proud to celebrate these strong women and many more during Women's History Month this year." 

Regina Myer, president of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, adds, “Honoring our female-owned small businesses to coincide with Women’s History Month, is so important now – a year after NYC went into lockdown. Downtown Brooklyn business owners such as Chi Sum, of Coffee Project, Sarah McNally of McNally Jackson Books, and Michelle Cadore from DaSpot, are leading the way in these challenging times, and we can’t wait to celebrate them.”

Participating organizations:

BROOKLYN - Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, FAB FULTON, North Flatbush Avenue BID, Atlantic Avenue BID, Montague St BID, Pitkin Avenue BID, Bed-Stuy Gateway BID, Cortelyou Road Merchants Association (CoRMA), Newkirk Plaza Merchant Association, Flatbush Development Corporation (FDC), Church Avenue BID & Flatbush Avenue BID, Alliance for Coney Island, Bayridge 5th Avenue BID, Grand Street BID

MANHATTAN - Village Alliance BID, East Village Independent Merchants Association, Columbus Amsterdam BID, Union Square Partnership, Times Square Alliance, Chinatown BID/Partnership, NoHo BID

STATEN ISLAND - Forest Avenue BID, Castleton Avenue Merchants Organization (CAMO),

Downtown Staten Island - SI Chamber of Commerce

BRONX - BJTBronx Merchant Association, Westchester Square BID

QUEENS - Jamaica Center BID

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PR Contact: Carol Klenfner, [email protected], 917-860-0211

I Love Jamaica Ave Campaign

We are excited to kickoff our ‘I Love Jamaica Ave’ campaign where each day of February we will feature a profile on a well-known person in downtown Jamaica and Southeast Queens. This campaign aims to show love to downtown Jamaica for the businesses, culture and history of our great community. Below are each of the profiles we have done this month. Please visit the link on the photo to visit our Instagram account to read up daily on each of our featured profiles.

February 1

Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director at the Jamaica Center BID

February 2

Tyra Emerson, Executive Director at Cultural Collaborative Jamaica

February 3

DJ Nett, Founder of SEQ Cleanup Initiative

February 4

Al Reynolds, Project Director of Neighborhood Initiatives at Literary Inc.

February 5

Natasha Morales and Candita Semone, co-owners of Make Me Over Beauty Bar

February 6

Dawn Kelly, Owner of The Nourish Spot

February 7

Greg Mays, Executive Director of A Better Jamaica

February 8

Jennifer Delatour, Program Director at Jamaica Community Partnership (Sheltering Arms)

February 9

Courtney Ffrench, Interim Artistic Director at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning

February 10

Yvonne Reddick, District Manager of Queens Community Board

February 11

Aleeia Abraham, Founder of BlaQue Resource Network

February 12

Elena Calderon, Owner of Rincon Salvadoreno

February 13

Heron Hargrave, Founder of Ballin4Peace

February 14

Nat Valentine, Independent Photographer

February 15

Dianna Rose, Founder of the Laurelton Farmers Market

February 16

Melva Miller, CEO at the Association for a Better NY

February 17

Norman Fairweather, COO at First Presbyterian Church and a Jamaica Center BID Board Member

February 18

Khadijah Faison, Sergeant at the NYPD 103rd Precinct and Community Affairs

February 19

Lady Pauline Swift, Founder of Our World Media
Carl Clay, Founder of the Black Spectrum Theatre
Kerri Edge, Founder of Edge School of the Arts
Henry Arroyo, Owner of Henry's Carrot Cakes
Adrienne Whaley, Founder of Queens Underground Film Fest
Bryan Atkins, Branch Manager at Chase and a Jamaica Center BID Board Member
Lance and Camille Morgan Founder and Co-Founder of the Jamaica Bulldogs

Multi-Store Ribbon Cutting Event Planned for New Business on Jamaica Avenue

Media Contact Jamaica Center BID 
Trey Jenkins  
Director of Marketing and Business Services  
[email protected] 
718-873-2506  

For Immediate Release:  

MULTI-STORE RIBBON CUTTING EVENT PLANNED FOR NEW BUSINESSES ON JAMAICA AVENUE

Jamaica, Queens, February 11, 2021 – This Friday, February 12, the Jamaica Center BID (JBID) will host a multi-business ribbon cutting event for several businesses that have opened on Jamaica Avenue in the past year. Despite the COVID pandemic, Jamaica Avenue recently welcomed several new businesses, including two seafood restaurants: Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar and Aloha Krab, MA Perfume, Dunkin’ Donuts, European Wax Center and Diamond Braces. In addition, Jollibee, a quickly-growing Filipino fast-food restaurant with a strong following is also expected to open this spring.

In a nod to NYC’s traditional ticker tape parades which celebrated laudable achievements, be it a World Series win or the installation of the Statue of Liberty, the BID is coordinating a socially distanced “ribbon cutting” parade to honor the many businesses that have decided to open on Jamaica Avenue during one of the most challenging years for retail in modern history. The event will also acknowledge the support of local leaders and business support organizations who have worked to ensure that downtown Jamaica thrives, both pre, during and post COVID-19.

The promotion will kick off at 10 a.m. in front of the new Dunkin’ Donuts at 163-18 Jamaica Avenue with opening remarks and a traditional ribbon cutting. The BID, downtown business leaders and elected officials will then walk (or “parade”) to several other recently opened businesses to allow them to cut a ribbon and be acknowledged for their new presence on Jamaica Avenue.  The brass band Underground Horns will play celebratory music in front of each store. Due to the pandemic, the event itself will not actually be a “traditional” parade that involves street closures or hosts large crowds, but rather a concerted effort by business and elected leaders to visit each new business on the same day in a coordinated and celebrated fashion. 

“Downtown Jamaica is all about community, and when you join our business community, we are going to support you—in the best of times and in the most challenging of times. We’re excited to acknowledge those businesses that have chosen to invest in our downtown. This warm welcome is just the first of many touchpoints these businesses can expect to receive from our organization and our broader community,” said Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID.

The event will kick off at the new Dunkin Donuts location (163-18 Jamaica Avenue), followed by ribbon cuttings at MA Perfume (165-12 Jamaica Avenue), European Wax Center and Diamond Braces (166-16 Jamaica Avenue) before concluding at the new restaurant Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar (161-21 Jamaica Avenue).

In addition to having the opportunity to cut a ribbon and meet their local business and community leaders, the new businesses will also have the chance to offer a special promotion to customers.

Dunkin’ Donuts

“We’re happy to be part of the downtown Jamaica community and look forward to continuing to invest into the community. We’ll be offering a free donut with any purchase this Friday.” - Yazeen Rowzani, Owner

Diamond Braces

“Diamond Braces is happy to be in downtown Jamaica. We take all insurance, and we offer a complimentary consultation on your first visit. We look forward to serving you.” - Denis Zubov, Manager

European Wax Center

"We are so excited to be part of this vibrant community. Customers that stop by on the ribbon cutting day can receive complimentary eyebrow servicing. You'll love the way you look...We guarantee it!” – Angel-Leah Ramkalawan, Manager

Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar

“We are so excited to have indoor dining at Hook & Reel return this Friday in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. We’re also now operating a full bar for our customers. Hook up with your perfect boil and Reel in your friends to Jamaica Hook & Reel!” - Wendy He, Owner

MA Perfume

“We look forward to building our perfume and cologne clientele on Jamaica Avenue with great prices, trust and convenience with the support of all our loyal customers. We will be having a sale on all perfume and cologne gift sets as well as 50% off select fragrances.” - Monica Chawla, Owner

Each new business will also be provided with five ‘I Love Jamaica Avenue’ tote bags to hand out to customers of their choice on the celebratory day, along with a balloon bunch to post outside of their door and special signage provided by the Jamaica Center BID indicating that they are a new business on the Avenue.

To learn more about the Jamaica Center BID and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue, make sure to visit www.Jamaica.nyc, sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID)
Founded as the Jamaica District Management Association in 1979, the Jamaica Center BID is central to one of New York City’s fastest growing communities. Jamaica Center BID is the proud home to national and regional retailers, several major cultural and educational institutions as well as City, State and Federal Offices, and more than 400 businesses. The Jamaica Center BID seeks to maintain Jamaica Center as a thriving business hub and premier destination to shop, work, live and play.

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In Honor of Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Here are a handful of ways you can support our Black businesses and cultural community and honor their contributions and legacy right here in downtown Jamaica:

View the rest of our e-newsletter here.

What’s YOUR New Year’s Resolution?

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: 

Although these ideas are widely known, it’s a good idea to be reminded of how you can help.  

View the rest of our E-newsletter here.

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.  

View the rest of our E-newsletter here.

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