161-10 Jamaica Avenue, Suite 419, Jamaica, NY 11432
Director of Marketing and Business Services
For Immediate Release:
JAMAICA CENTER BID HOLDS THEIR 41st ANNUAL MEETING
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 (jamaica.nyc) 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 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. For more info visit www.Jamaica.nyc.