FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 27, 2016
NYC SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES LAUNCHES NEIGHBORHOOD 360 PROGRAM TO STRENGTHEN AND REVITALIZE COMMERCIAL DISTRCITS ACROSS ALL FIVE BOROUGHS
$3 Million Annual Grant Program Will Fund Solutions To Address Needs Identified By Community-Based Organizations
New York – Commissioner Gregg Bishop of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today announced the launch of Neighborhood 360°, a new program that strengthens and revitalizes commercial corridors that anchor New York City neighborhoods. The program, a first-of-its-kind partnership between SBS and community stakeholders, develops customized, commercial revitalization programs tailored to specific neighborhood needs as identified through a series of Commercial District Needs Assessments (CDNAs) conducted across the five boroughs. The local needs assessments may be found at: nyc.gov/neighborhood360.
Community-based organizations (CBOs) will be able to tap into approximately $3 million in program grants per year to develop and staff revitalization projects that address identified needs in the CDNAs, including, merchant organizing, business attraction & retention, business support, cleaning & beautification, district marketing, placemaking, public safety, storefront improvements, and other quality of life enhancements. The published CDNAs cover: Downtown Flushing, Downtown Staten Island, East Harlem, East New York, Inwood, and Jerome Avenue. More information on the program can be found at: nyc.gov/neighborhood360.
"Small businesses are the backbone of neighborhoods across New York City and the partnership announced today will identify challenges facing commercial corridors and provide grant money to achieve real solutions," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "Mayor de Blasio is committed to working with community partners to enhance shopping districts in our city and support the small businesses that have fueled their success."
Created by SBS, Neighborhood 360° is the first ground-up community engagement and planning process that proactively partners with local stakeholders to identify commercial district challenges while providing direct resources to follow-through on community-led solutions. In addition to the CDNAs and the annual $3 million grant funding, the program also places paid, full-time community development Fellows at 10 CBOs citywide to provide further support in executing commercial district projects. More information on the Fellows program can be found here: nyc.gov/360fellows.
Winners of the Neighborhood 360° grants will also have the ability to unlock additional funds for storefront improvement and retail attraction/retention provided by Citi Community Development and LISC, which have together contributed $525,000 to the initiative. This unprecedented co-investment will allow organizations to make visible and meaningful change in their communities in a relatively short time period.
"An inclusive city requires strong local businesses that can provide critical services and products for the community," said Eileen Auld, Director, Citi Community Development "SBS, LISC NYC, and Citi are collaborating to empower communities around the City by strengthening small businesses, improving their commercial districts and supporting vibrant and resilient neighborhoods."
Neighborhood 360° Completed Commercial District Needs Assessments
The CDNAs, designed in partnership with LISC, provide a snapshot of the local business environment in six neighborhoods and specify community-identified strengths, challenges, and opportunities for revitalizing individual commercial corridors. The assessments, completed by local CBOs with funding provided by SBS, are based on door-to-door surveys of merchants and customers, a physical study of the storefronts, interviews with community stakeholders, and meetings with community members.
The six CDNAs were completed by local CBOs in the following neighborhood commercial districts:
Neighborhood 360° Grants
The Neighborhood 360° grants allow CBOs to apply for funding to develop, implement, and sustain commercial revitalization projects and staffing that actively address the strengths, challenges, and opportunities identified in CDNAs and other community planning efforts. In the six neighborhoods where CDNAs have been completed, up to $500,000 per year in grants for each neighborhood will be available to fund projects that address local shopping district needs identified in the CDNAs.
Additionally, SBS is now recruiting partner organizations to conduct new CDNAs of neighborhood commercial districts in Bushwick (Brooklyn), Coney Island (Brooklyn), Corona (Queens), and Longwood / Crotona Park East (the Bronx).
CBOs that are interested in applying for Neighborhood 360° grants or partnering with SBS on the completion of new CDNAs should visit nyc.gov/neighborhood360.
Neighborhood 360° Fellows
The Neighborhood 360° Fellows are paid, full-time community development professionals who will facilitate increased collaboration with SBS and help coordinate and implement commercial district improvements, including those recommended in CDNAs.
SBS is now accepting applications for 10 new host organizations for 2017. CBOs from across New York City are encouraged to learn more about the types of projects Fellows can take on and apply to host a Fellow by visiting nyc.gov/360fellows.
The first cohort of Fellows began their placements this past summer, following a comprehensive orientation training conducted by SBS. Fellows have been placed at the following CBOs through March 2017:
"Neighborhood 360° is a wonderful program that will help spur innovation and increase economic opportunities within our communities—including parts of my district in East Harlem," said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "I am proud to support the efforts of the New York City Small Business Services to strengthen the thousands of small businesses that make our communities so unique and vibrant."
"The East New York Commercial District Needs Assessment and the Neighborhood 360 program are important tools to support the needs of existing businesses, and those that are looking to locate to the East New York area," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. "We must do all we can to support our neighborhood businesses as economic pressures intensify, and the cost of doing business grows as well. I thank Commissioner Bishop for his years-long effort to bring this data to the forefront, and look forward to working with him to utilize this data in order to strengthen our East New York business and neighborhood development community."
"Planning for healthy neighborhoods can’t be done in a vacuum – it has to start with a view from street level and engagement with residents and community organizations," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I’m pleased to see the Dept. of Small Business Services take this approach to commercial corridor revitalization, and I look forward to working with SBS and community-based organizations to benefit residents and small businesses throughout Manhattan’s neighborhoods."
"It is my firm belief that all Queens residents should be able to find employment without having to cross a bridge or go through a tunnel," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. "Neighborhood 360° will serve to help spur job growth here by strengthening and revitalizing our borough's commercial districts, and the initiative will help small business community boost our borough's prosperity. The de Blasio administration and the Department of Small Business Services, led by Commissioner Gregg Bishop, deserve to be commended for launching this innovative program."
"In order to revitalize the North Shore Corridor along the waterfront we need to look not only at improvements to roadways and accessibility, but creative design and innovative commercialization that will draw people to the area," said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. "I am confident that SBS, the Chamber of Commerce, my office and the community at large will respond in large measure to the needs assessment and see to it that this area gets every component necessary to see it thrive for local business owners, residents and visitors."
"Support from Citi Community Development will allow us to participate in NYC SBS's Neighborhood 360 program, directing LISC's national platform of technical and programmatic expertise to retail corridors in New York City neighborhoods," said Sam Marks, executive director of LISC. "This program deepens our partnership with NYC SBS that began last year with the development of the CDNA tool, and we are excited to be collaborating further to implement ideas that are emerging from the assessment phase."
"I’m excited about this revitalization program for commercial corridors like Jerome Avenue, which anchor communities," said New York City Council Member Fernando Cabrera. "By creating a partnership among SBS, community-based organizations and other stakeholders supported by grant funds and professional fellowships, Neighborhood 360 can help us reach our goals for Jerome Avenue – commercial vibrancy, improved public spaces, sustainable economic and job growth - an inviting place at the heart of our community’s commercial life."
"Every commercial district, just like every neighborhood, has its own unique character that we want to preserve," said New York City Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. "As part of the East New York Community Plan, I was clear that we have to do what we can to protect our mom and pop stores and ensure they have the tools to thrive in our neighborhoods. The Neighborhood 360 program recognizes that when it comes to revitalizing our commercial corridors, one size does not fit all, and the needs of each neighborhood are very different. Working with the local business owners and community groups allows for decisions about the future of our neighborhoods to be made by those who actually live in them, rather than by City Hall, and I commend Commissioner Bishop for his leadership on this program and look forward to seeing the work continue in East New York and Cypress Hills."
"Flushing is a thriving and competitive business community that is continuing to grow and evolve, so it is important that the city works together with Community Based Organizations to not only assess the needs of the business community, but to provide resources and opportunities for them to contribute to the successful community they helped to build," said New York City Council Member Peter Koo.
"Our small businesses uptown are struggling, facing higher lease renewal prices than ever before," said New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "Through the Neighborhood 360 program and the Commercial District Needs Assessment in Inwood, we’ve been able to identify where we see challenges, as well as what leads to successful businesses and corridors. I’m excited to see how the revitalization grants will help businesses become more resilient, helping keep our mom and pop shops in place. I am pleased by the work SBS has been doing uptown and applaud Commissioner Bishop and his team for their dedication, with the expectation that we’ll see real progress made soon."
"Over the past 25 years, WHEDco's work to revitalize the South Bronx has depended on a strong network of partners and supporters, and a ground-level understanding of the neighborhoods we serve," said Nancy Biberman, President & Founder of the Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco). "NYC’s Department of Small Business Services and its Neighborhood 360° Program embody that critical combination, and have provided us valuable resources to better understand the landscape of the Jerome Avenue commercial corridor, as well as the needs and preferences of shoppers, merchants and property owners in the neighborhood."
"The Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation is proud to partner with the NYC Department of Small Business Services and other community based organizations to produce the Commercial District Needs Assessments for neighborhood commercial corridors," said Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director of the Cypress Hills LDC. "The CDNAs demonstrate the multiple strengths of these shopping areas, especially the commitment and enthusiasm of local small businesses operators to stay and expand their businesses during a challenging time of rising rents and demographic changes. We are confident that with the CDNAs, as the blueprints for future action and investment, that these commercial corridors will thrive for many generations to come."
"Union Settlement has been delighted to be part of the Neighborhood 360 program," said David Nocenti, Executive Director of Union Settlement in East Harlem. "Thanks to funding from SBS and working with other non-profit partners and a terrific SBS Neighborhood Development Fellow, we have been able to develop a comprehensive needs assessment for the primary commercial corridors here in East Harlem. This assessment provides a strong base for future projects to benefit East Harlem’s many small businesses, and I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio and SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop for their leadership on this initiative."
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