COVID-19 Info for Businesses

*Effective Friday 11/13 at 10 p.m., all bars, restaurants and gyms must close at 10 p.m. statewide. Learn more here.*

*To stop the spread, New Yorkers need to do their part. Participate in the new contact tracing app COVID Alert NY to help keep yourself and your community safe. COVID Alert NY is a* voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification app that notifies you if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested, and reduce the potential exposure risk to others. The app is available to anyone 18+ who lives, works, or attends school in New York or New Jersey, and it's available in seven languages. Download the app for iPhone or Android here. Read the FAQ on privacy and more here.*

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. *Information changes regularly. Please be sure to skim the full page on a periodic basis to ensure you are not missing new information, such as our recently added “reopening” section.*   

Know something we are missing? See something inaccurate? Please email us at  [email protected].      

This page was last updated on 1/14/21. Items 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.     

START HERE (Empieza aqui*)       


Additional Reopening Support  
Our BID has designed several templates you can insert in your window to alert customers of your COVID-19 opening hours, purchasing/ordering procedures and to remind shoppers of social distancing courtesies towards your employees.  Download the packet here.    

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES (Loans, Grants, Capital Raising Platforms)     

City of New York Loans and Grants for Small Businesses       

State Loans    

Federal Government Loans (Small Business Administration Loans)         

Private Grants    

Private Loans   

**For Restaurant-specific Grants/Loans, see restaurant section below.      

Organizations with Business Counselors that Can Help Businesses with Loan/Grant Applications (and more):        

Additional Financial Support for Business (Commercial Rent Relief)       

Financial Support for Businesses (Insurance Relief)       

Per Gov. Cuomo’s March 27 announcement: Small businesses experiencing coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.)       

NY State’s page on understanding Commercial Business Interruption Insurance.       



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



Property Owners/Facilities Management   


Virtual Compliance Consultations: Open Restaurants Program The NYC Department of Small Business Services offers one-on-one free virtual compliance consultations to help you understand how to comply with key City rules. Their virtual consultations will help you understand key City rules and common compliance challenges related to the Open Restaurants Program - they will not issue violations or fines. Business owners are encouraged to request a consultation if they have recently applied to Open Restaurants and are getting ready to provide food service, are actively participating in Open Restaurants but continue to have questions/concerns, are interested in applying to Open Restaurants but have not yet done so. Request a consultation here.

Details on Year-round Outdoor Dining

Outdoor Restaurants Made Permanent & Heater Guidance Released – Mayor de Blasio recently announced that the City’s Open Restaurants and Open Streets: Restaurants programs will be extended year-round and made permanent. Plans for additional expansions of the program and winter guidance were also announced, including the use of adjacent spaces, outdoor heating, and tent requirements. Detailed guidance regarding heaters was also released, and links can be found below and in this press release.  


Freelancers Unionhas a rolling list of resources and advice for 1099 workers and is regularly updating its membership on efforts to include freelancers in the various relief plans.. Freelancers/1099 workers are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program Loan and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans Grants (Advance) and Loans.       


On August 24, 2020, gyms were allowed to open but to a third of their total capacity, and people are required to wear masks at all times. The state also requires air filters that help prevent airborne transmission of viral particles and sign-in forms to assist with contact-tracing efforts. Local governments will also need to inspect gyms to make sure they meet the state’s requirements before they open or within two weeks of their opening. For up-to-date information for businesses and gyms visit the NYC Department of Health sitehere.   


Our organization, Jamaica Center BID, 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, takeout 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 [email protected] and we will help promote.      

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 list. Please email your details to [email protected]with the subject line – QUEENS BUSINESS CORONAVIRUS UPDATES.      

NYC +Co, the City of New York’s official tourism body, is gathering and publicizing info on local businesses, cultural organizations and more for citywide promotional purposes. Make sure your business is covered. Museums, theaters, performing arts organizations can submit a virtual experience for consideration here, Restaurants open for business can get listed 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.

Despite COVID-19, Jamaica Center Will Still Sparkle This Holiday Season

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

For Immediate Release:  


Jamaica, Queens, December 11, 2020 – Several new and established nonprofit organizations and two City agencies have partnered to make downtown Jamaica both a little cleaner and a little brighter for the community this Sunday, December 13th

From 2pm to 4pm Jamaica Center BID (JBID), in collaboration with Southeast Queens Cleanup (SEQ Cleanup Initiative), will host a socially-distanced cleanup, deploying 20 volunteers in picking up litter from 161st – 163rd streets between Jamaica Avenue and 89th Street. New York City Sanitation Department will help with removal of the waste collected by the volunteers.  “Our side streets are usually the first impressions shoppers have when arriving to shop on Jamaica Avenue because it is where many parking garages are located, so we wanted to target this area with a deep clean,” stated Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID. To undertake this task, the BID sought out the partnership of the newly formed and grassroots organization SEQ Cleanup Initiative which was founded by Southeast Queens resident leader Antoinette “DJ Nett” Lawson. DJ Nett formed SEQ Cleanup in July of this year in response to declining sanitation conditions she observed in her Southeast Queens community due to citywide budget cuts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Downtown Jamaica was my stomping grounds growing’s where I shopped, caught school buses and hung out with friends, and after a successful first year growing SEQ Cleanup, I am thankful to be doing our end of the year wrap up on Jamaica Ave,” stated DJ Nett.  

Immediately after the business district clean-up, Cultural Collaborative Jamaica (CCJ) will present its annual Holidays on the Avenue (HOTA) tree lighting event and community toy giveaway at Rufus King Park at 4 p.m.  Both SEQ Cleanup and another community nonprofit, Key Fundamentals, have stepped up, along with NYPD 103rd Precinct, to support the 2020 Holidays on the Avenue Event through toy solicitation and volunteer support.  “Holidays on the Avenue (HOTA) is one my favorite longstanding programs,” said Tyra Emerson, Executive Director of CCJ. “Presenting HOTA has been a challenge in 2020 with COVID for CCJ, but with the help of our 103rd Precinct’s Community Affairs and several dedicated community organizations, namely SEQ Cleanup and Key Fundamentals, we have been able to light the tree, distribute gifts and show the children of Southeast Queens our community’s resilient spirit.”  

The tree lighting event will be scaled down significantly this year because of the pandemic with reservations-only participation, temperature checks, masks and social distancing. There will be an opportunity for families to pick up a toy for their children at King Manor Museum through registration at Holiday on the Ave

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. For more info visit   

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 Cultural Collaborative Jamaica (CCJ)  
A non-profit organization whose mission is to unite cultural organizations, artists, local businesses, and the community in efforts to strengthen community and economic development in Jamaica, Queens. Since its inception, CCJ has successfully created and managed a wide collaborative program that support its members and greatly impact community knowledge of and access to local cultural offerings, services and tourism opportunities.

About Key Fundamentals 
Founded by Shewanna Owens in 2008, Key Fundamentals is a Cultural and Liberal Arts organization inspiring and cultivating individuals through Cultural & Liberal Arts programs to bridge better relationships within underserved communities. Always striving for excellence through spiritual growth, entrepreneurship, and positive engagement for the betterment of healthier lives. Access your key to “UNLOCK YOUR SUCCESS”! Check us on Instagram & Twitter @Fundamentalskey

Business Educational Outreach Day With DSNY

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. 

View the rest of our E-newsletter here.

Jamaica Center BID Holds Their 41st Annual Meeting

Jamaica Center BID
161-10 Jamaica Avenue, Suite 419
Jamaica, NY 11432

Media Contact:          

Trey Jenkins

Director of Marketing and Business Services

[email protected]


For Immediate Release:


Jamaica, Queens, November 12, 2020 – The Jamaica Center BID celebrated their 41st annual meeting today in a unique virtual setting. Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes, President of York College, CUNY was the keynote speaker for this special event.

Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID, Jennifer Furioli, highlighted the unique challenges that the BID faced throughout 2020 with the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic. During this time, the BID was forced to pivot their activities and operations, focusing less on shopping promotions and community events to implementing emergency programs to help businesses stay open and comply with government directives. The BID also decided to focus more on quality of life issues due to City budget cutbacks and their resultant emphasis on the commercial district.  

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, there were some early marketing successes that Jennifer Furioli pointed out in the virtual meeting. These included a holiday shopping initiative last December titled ‘Procrastination Station’ where the BID visited the Avenue with their mascot Snowman, created a last-minute Gift Giver’s Idea guide promoting 46 district businesses, activated empty storefront windows with ugly sweater contest decals and enlivened Jamaica Avenue with a live pop-up brass band. The BID also created an ‘I Love Jamaica Avenue’ campaign to encourage local shopping loyalty in tandem with Valentine’s Day where they adorned 75 businesses with “I Love Jamaica Avenue” decals and ran another online campaign promoting 27 local businesses.

In addition to these pre-pandemic marketing initiatives, the Jamaica Center BID also conducted a full analysis of tree pits and trees on the Avenue which resulted in a $10,000 allocation of funding from Council Member Rory Lancman to fix several tree pits on the Avenue, work that will take place this year.  The BID also invited a skilled horologist to examine the historic and landmarked street clock at the corner of Union Hall and Jamaica Avenue. The BID is now working closely with Council Member I. Daneek Miller’s office and NYC government entities to develop a plan to secure funding to restore the street clock to its historic glory. A generous seed grant has been provided by Council Member Miller towards this effort.

Jennifer Furioli highlighted the Jamaica Center BID’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic including the creation of a special Coronavirus webpage on the BID’s site ( that kept property and business owners abreast of coronavirus directives, loans and grants and technical assistance resources. The BID provided 25 of their district’s small businesses one-to-one help and referrals on matters such as PPP, EIDL grants, the NY Forward Loan, and the NYC Small Business Services small business grant and loan program and served as an official City of New York distribution partner for PPE supplies to Southeast Queens businesses, distributing 5,200 pieces of PPE to date. The BID also created a list of essential businesses that were open during the initial shutdown of NYC. Lastly was the launch of the BID’s ‘Shop Local Pledge’ reminding Southeast Queens consumers that local businesses need shopping dollars now more than ever and encouraging them to “sign-on” to supporting Jamaica Avenue retail and restaurants. This pledge was revealed at several events including the celebrations at the Black Lives Matter mural on Jamaica Avenue.

One of the key programs that was introduced to the Downtown Jamaica community this year was the creation of JBID Alerts! a cell phone notification program where the BID can easily notify businesses or property owners if there is a district-wide emergency on Jamaica Avenue or if timely coronavirus news affecting businesses is released. Currently there are over 100 businesses and property managers signed up for the alerts.

 “Jamaica Avenue is resilient. Queens is resilient. And New York City is resilient and open for business. Now is the time for us to safely support our local businesses community by giving them our patronage,” said Jennifer Furioli.

Jamaica Center BID also acknowledged their contracted Clean Team which provides cleaning services in the district. In the past year, the BID spent 16,655 hours on sanitation-related issues, removing 37,447 bags of trash from the 101 trash receptacles on Jamaica Avenue and cleaning up 24,337 incidents of graffiti, stickers, and illegally posted bills. In early October the Clean Team removed 150 bags of illegally dumped trash from two spots within a one block radius of one another.

The Annual Meeting concluded with final remarks from President Michael Hirschhorn.

To learn more about the Jamaica Center BID and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue, make sure to visit, 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. For more info visit


Gift Bag Giveaway THIS WEEKEND

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. 

View the rest of our E-newsletter here.

We Cleaned A BIG Mess

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.

View the rest of our E-newsletter here.

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:

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 hereNOW 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.)

View the rest of our E-newsletter here.

Let’s Make Downtown Sparkle

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 joint press release with QYJC here

View the rest of our E-newsletter here!

(Photo Credit: Odathrowback Festus)

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.