Leadership Development

We offer leadership development programs that train emerging and established professionals in new ways to lead change in their organizations and communities and enhance the vitality of the city's commercial districts:

Neighborhood Leadership Program
Neighborhood 360° Fellows

2016 Neighborhood Leadership Cohort Graduation

Neighborhood Leadership Program

We partner with the Coro New York Leadership Center to help staff from community-based organizations across New York City develop leadership skills, learn new approaches to commercial revitalization, and connect to key stakeholders and resources critical to leading change in their organizations and communities. The Neighborhood Leadership Program is made possible by Community Development Block Grant funding through the Avenue NYC program.

The nine-month program teaches innovative management strategies, how to support small businesses and strengthen commercial districts, and provides access to a network of over 2,000 engaged alumni making positive change in New York City.

Learn more about the latest Neighborhood Leadership cohort and past participants.


How to Apply

Applications have closed. Check back for updates on when applications open for next year's program.

 Neighborhood 360° Fellows

Neighborhood 360° Fellows

Neighborhood 360° Fellows help community-based organizations complete commercial revitalization projects and connect local stakeholders to City resources. The fellows are paid by SBS and are full-time community development professionals, community organizers, or planners. We aim to build a network of leaders prepared with commercial revitalization expertise and experience in New York City neighborhoods.

Meet the Neighborhood 360° Fellows and learn about their projects.


Who Can Apply

Host Sites selected to participate in the 2019-2020 cohort will meet these minimum criteria:

  • Nonprofit community-based organization (Business Improvement Districts, local development corporations, merchants associations, and other organizations) that implement commercial revitalization projects and are operating in New York City and incorporated in New York State
  • Able to assist in recruiting candidates and interviewing finalists
  • Able to provide the fellow with a desk and supporting equipment (i.e. computer and access to organization's phone)
  • Time and willingness to act as a mentor for the fellow
  • Applications to host a 2019-2020 Neighborhood 360° Fellow have closed.

Fellows selected to participate in the 2019-2020 cohort will meet these minimum criteria:

  • New York City resident (within 90 days of the start date);
  • One or more year(s) of community outreach, organizing, and/or planning experience;
  • Have an interest in economic development and working with the placement neighborhood/community;
  • Please note, applications to become a fellow will open in January 2019.

Read the complete Neighborhood 360° Fellows program guidelines for details on projects and how to apply.


What Fellows Will Do

Neighborhood 360° Fellows are placed in New York City community-based organizations for 10 months to implement commercial revitalization projects and connect stakeholders to City resources. Types of projects include:

  • Business Attraction/Retention: Attract new businesses or retain existing businesses to ensure commercial districts have a diverse retail mix that serves the community and reduces the retail vacancy rate.
  • Merchant Organizing: Lead the strategic planning, outreach, and organizing efforts to create a new or revitalize an existing merchants association.
  • Placemaking: Cultivate a sense of place that capitalizes on the unique characteristics of the commercial district, incorporating key traits of the neighborhood and activating public space for the community.

An overview of the 2018-2019 host sites and projects can be found below.


How To Apply

Applications to become a fellow are currently closed. Applications to become a 2019-2020 Neighborhood 360° Fellow will open in January 2019.

Applications to become a host site have closed. Applications to host a 2020-2021 Neighborhood 360° Fellow will reopen Fall of 2019.


2018-2019 Host Sites

Neighborhood(s) Served: Coney Island

Mission Statement: The Alliance for Coney Island, Inc., founded in 2012, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to continuing to improve and revitalize the "The People's Playground." We bring together Coney Island businesses, community organizations, and residents to work towards a better future for a neighborhood that is home to some 50,000 residents and attracts millions of visitors each year. 

Organization Website: https://www.allianceforconeyisland.org

Project Information: Using the key findings and opportunities highlighted in the Coney Island Commercial District Needs Assessment (CDNA) and the branding campaign developed through the Neighborhood Design Lab program, the fellow will determine how to enhance community pride and connect community stakeholders and visitors of the amusement area with the array of businesses along Neptune, Mermaid, Surf Avenues, and the Boardwalk. Project activities include engaging business owners and consumers; cultivating relationships with businesses to determine how to provide needed services; implementing the district marketing campaign; spotlighting the variety of legacy businesses and available vacant retail space; and developing a Neighborhood Walk campaign.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Language:
- Background in Urban Planning, Business, Urban Studies or other related field
- Graphic design experience (preferred)
- Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Suite, social media platforms, Adobe Creative Cloud, and email marketing platforms
- Self-motivated and results-driven; willing to take initiative and ownership of a project
- Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin language skills are a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill

Mission Statement: Representing nearly 400 businesses in Brooklyn's vibrant Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill neighborhoods, the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District is dedicated to promoting the Avenue's long-term economic development thereby creating a thriving boulevard that attracts both residents and visitors to its vast array of services, shops and dining, while preserving the Avenue's rich history and diverse character.

Organization Website: http://www.atlanticavebid.org

Project Information: The Atlantic Avenue commercial district has a relatively high retail vacancy rate. To prevent future vacancies and ensure continuity on the district, the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) would like to inform brokers, property owners, and tenants of the realities of the changing rental and retail markets. As part of the project, the Fellow will compile data on the commercial rental market in the BID's area and comparable commercial districts to develop a series of reports that give stakeholders a more accurate picture of the local rental market. The fellow will also conduct research on best practices for adapting to the changing nature of the brick-and-mortar retail market to develop at least three educational seminars, a practice guide, and merchant success stories that can be shared through the BID's digital platforms. Potential seminar topics include: methods for selecting and evaluating a long-lasting commercial tenant, tax and government incentives, selecting the right space for long-term tenancy, and tools for retail success and longevity.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Familiarity/comfort with using public data tools to make meaningful conclusions, including Census FactFinder, DOT data tables, etc.
- Ability to synthesize data and written material to determine trends
- Desired but not required: proficiency in Adobe Illustrator
- Arabic (both spoken and written) highly desired

Neighborhood(s) Served: Flatbush, Ditmas

Mission Statement: The Flatbush Avenue BID and Church Avenue BID provide supplemental sanitation, marketing and events, business development, streetscape improvement, and advocacy services for the properties and businesses of each BID. The Flatbush Avenue BID also provides security. 

Organization Website: http://www.flatbushavebid.com and http://www.churchavenue.org

Project Information: The fellow will work with both BIDs to develop a new district marketing campaign for Flatbush Avenue that represents the Caribbean and African heritage of the community. As part of the project, the fellow will design and implement a community art competition to attain a new design for the Flatbush Avenue BID's banners and a compatible "Welcome" holiday light display, and use that program to design a sponsored banner program for the Church Avenue BID. Activities for the project include performing outreach to businesses, volunteers, and artists; creating the timeline and parameters for the art competition; creating a banner sponsorship program, which would be usable in both BIDs; managing vendors to develop the winning proposal; and planning a launch event. The fellow will also manage and update the BIDs' digital presence; develop and execute two member events to increase business collaborations within and across the two BIDs, and research the feasibility of a text marketing campaign to allow the BID to relay time-sensitive information to members.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Experience effectively managing simultaneous projects with shifting deadlines
- Experience planning and implementing multi-faceted marketing and/or art projects
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to quickly form relationships with stakeholders
- Comfortable working independently in the office and in the field. At least 60% of the work will be doing outreach in both BIDs, at meetings, and on the phone
- Local ties in Flatbush/Ditmas a plus
- Proficiency in Haitian Creole or Spanish, a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: Flushing

Mission Statement: The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce fosters the economic growth, inclusive diversity, and shared prosperity of our community through advocacy, networking, and education.

Organization Website: http://www.flushingchamber.nyc

Project Information: The fellow will contribute to the Chamber's overall community planning, neighborhood revitalization, small business development, and business promotion activities along four commercial districts in downtown Flushing: Prince Street, Roosevelt Avenue, Union Street, and Northern Boulevard. The fellow will lead an assessment of the existing businesses, consumers, and vacant spaces, to prospect potential businesses, expand membership, advocate for neighborhood improvements, and connect local merchants and community residents with the Chamber's services. The fellow will also increase the publicity developed through Flushing Fantastic, a district-wide initiative to promote the best of Flushing, by launching a walking tour program that highlights the hidden gems of the district. The goals and objectives of the walking tour program include connecting businesses to a wider audience and creating opportunities for collaboration between small businesses and cultural, recreational, and historic assets. Key activities of the project include meeting with community stakeholders, recruiting and managing volunteers, and creating a work plan, budget, and media strategy.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Excellent communication (verbal and written) and people skills
- Experience in community outreach or business development
- Experience with data collection and analysis
- Experience recruiting and managing volunteers
- Project management skills (experience developing work plans and budgets)
- Fluency in Mandarin or Korean. Other languages a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: West Village

Mission Statement: To provide innovative and effective programs and services to support businesses throughout our service area in four key ways - Advocacy, Education, Networking, and Promotion.

Organization Website: http://www.villagechelsea.com and http://www.shopbleecker.nyc

Project Information: The fellow will contribute to the organization's community revitalization activities aimed at stimulating economic growth and community development in commercial districts experiencing high-rent. The fellow will assist the Chamber to execute an initiative to increase commerce and reinvigorate the neighborhood surrounding the targeted commercial district. The first goal of the project is to organize and implement a month-long event series to encourage consumers to shop locally. This event series will culminate with Small Business Saturday. The second goal of the project is to conduct research on policy initiatives that assist small businesses operating in neighborhoods experiencing rapid increases in commercial rents. As part of the project, the fellow will survey the commercial district, collect and analyze data on vacant and occupied storefronts, serve as an advocate for the effort in garnering community and local business support, develop a business inventory of the district, create a CRM system to track the challenges and needs of the businesses, work with community boards and block associations, and research elected officials' long-term policy solutions.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Experience conducting data and policy research
- Event planning experience
- Excellent verbal/written communication skills
- Interpersonal skills and the ability to converse with diverse constituents in a variety of settings
- Proficiency in Spanish or other languages is a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: Marble Hill

Mission Statement: Founded in 1981, the Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVC), a not-for-profit organization, aims to encourage and support local initiatives that will build and enrich our community through social, cultural, environmental, health, housing, educational and business enterprises. Our target area is the business and residential community comprised of Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights, Marble Hill, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Fieldston, Woodlawn and Van Cortlandt Village. KRVC expands our work to other programs and communities when appropriate.

Organization Website: http://www.krvcdc.org

Project Information: KRVC works with merchants to help identify and solve the individual needs and issues of each business and brings people together in the communities it services. The fellow will assist KRVC expand its reach in Marble Hill and gain a better understanding of how KRVC can address the concerns of businesses and implement the ideas of merchants to improve the safety, sanitation, and beautification of the neighborhood. As part of the project, the fellow will help to increase the visibility of the district and individual merchants through developing and implementing branding ideas from the merchants and implementing a calendar of events. The annual events the fellow will assist in implementing include Truckin' with KRVC, Small Business Saturday, a Town Hall held with State Senator Marisol Alcantara, Marble Hill Holiday Trolley of Fun, and a rooftop concert.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages
- Creative, outside-the-box thinker
- Commitment to engaging diverse constituents in underserved communities
- Experience developing community relationships, especially with merchants and small business owners
- Familiarity with Bronx neighborhoods
- Experience in event planning and designing visual promotional materials
- High level of proficiency in Spanish (written and verbal)

Neighborhood(s) Served: Mott Haven, Jamaica

Mission Statement: Renaissance's mission is to transform low-to-moderate income and immigrant communities in New York City by providing low-interest small business loans, training and counseling services. Renaissance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution.

Organization Website: http://www.renaissance-ny.org

Project Information: The fellow will survey approximately 150 business owners across two commercial districts: Southern Boulevard in Mott Haven, Bronx, and Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens. The majority of the fieldwork and outreach will be completed in the South Bronx. This information will be used to determine how Renaissance can strengthen, adapt, and implement its portfolio of business services to address the greatest needs of the business owners in these areas. The fellow will determine the greatest needs of the business owners through a combination of one-on-one outreach, focus groups, and workshops. This information will be used to write a market analysis comparison for business services across these new target areas and Renaissance's existing service areas. The fellow will also identify approximately 30 community stakeholders as potential partners for capital access programs in the commercial districts surveyed. The fellow will prepare a written analysis of these potential community partners, identifying what the organization does to help small businesses, and the potential of forming mutually beneficial partnerships with Renaissance.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
Mixed methods research; experience developing a written report and actionable recommendations
- Demonstrated experience in customer service, the ability to communicate clearly and firmly
- Good interpersonal skills and ability to work well with diverse constituents
- Familiarity with at least one of the service neighborhoods
- Superior organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail
- Fluency in Spanish preferred

Neighborhood(s) Served: Bushwick

Mission Statement: We unleash the potential of communities to thrive, no matter the odds. Our unique model of holistic community revitalization works by developing neighborhood assets, like affordable housing, to create the foundation for a more vibrant and diverse community. We build upon this foundation with programs designed to connect people to resources to help everyone in the community thrive, especially our most vulnerable populations. This inclusive approach helps unleash the potential of the community and ensures that nobody is left behind in times of growth.

Organization Website: http://www.riseboro.org

Project Information: Riseboro Community Partnership recently completed a commercial district needs assessment of Bushwick, which highlighted the existing business landscape of the neighborhood shopping districts and opportunities for commercial revitalization. The commercial landscape of Bushwick provides a variety of offerings, with each shopping district having its own distinct character. The fellow's project will focus on Knickerbocker Avenue, a key residential shopping district. The fellow will utilize the findings from the CDNA to support the merchants of Knickerbocker Avenue to address challenges in the district and establish a public identity for the commercial area. As part of the project, the fellow will lead efforts to build intra-merchant communications, help merchants address key business needs, and co-develop a visibility/marketing campaign with the merchants to re-establish a strong sense of place and activate the public spaces that frame Knickerbocker Avenue.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Strong communication skills and experience helping diverse groups define a common goal
- Familiarity with Knickerbocker Avenue, the Bushwick community, or gentrifying neighborhoods
- Experience working with small business owners or entrepreneurs
- Design thinking and/or visual design capabilities
- Fluency in Spanish preferred

Neighborhood(s) Served: St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton

Mission Statement: The Chamber acts to improve the economic climate and expand business opportunities on Staten Island. It is the largest and most influential business organization on Staten Island. The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. was created to:
- Provide continuing educational and training resources to the existing business community on Staten Island.
- Facilitate the creation and success of minority businesses.
- Foster the development of emerging technologies and companies.
- Provide business-related internships for high school and college students.
- Promote Staten Island as a place to visit and do business.
- Coordinate cooperation between Staten Island's business, cultural and charitable organizations.

Organization Website: http://www.sichamber.com

Project Information: The fellow will play a crucial role increasing public awareness of the businesses, shopping, and entertainment options in Downtown Staten Island, and subsequently help to increase merchants' sales and attract and retain merchants and property owners in the commercial area. As part of this initiative, the fellow will be involved in extensive fieldwork to execute two projects. The first project will be to implement the digital aspects of a newly established marketing plan for Downtown Staten Island. Activities for the project include connecting and engaging businesses and consumers; developing and writing engaging content; effectively scheduling digital content; and establishing a metric tracking system for marketing campaigns. The second project will be to design a merchant organizing structure. Activities for the project include launching regular merchant meetings; developing a survey and gathering information about merchant needs; and creation of a merchant database and customer relationship management (CRM) program.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Experience in marketing (i.e. digital, social media, and brand management strategy) and creating social media tracking systems
- Ability to interpret web and social media trends to come up with practical applications and solutions
- Exceptional communication skills, including excellent writing, editing, and proofreading
- Functional understanding of web design, multimedia production, photo editing, and GIS mapping
- Fluency in Spanish is a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: Melrose, Mott Haven, Port Morris, Grand Concourse South, Morrisania

Mission Statement: The Third Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) promotes the growth, vitality and visibility for the Bronx's most trafficked commercial district. The organization is the Bronx's oldest BID and serves over 200,000 individuals daily. Our mission is to keep one of NYC's most trafficked shopping districts clean, safe, and attractive to businesses, workers, community residents, and visitors. Our programs include economic development and retail services, sanitation and security departments that augment the city's own services, streetscape improvements, horticulture installations, event planning, and visitor services.

Organization Website: http://www.thirdavenuebid.org

Project Information: In conjunction with the Senior Associate for Public and Private Partnerships, the fellow will gather information on the individual challenges for businesses within the BID's proposed expansion area and harness the power of open data and the Citiesense platform to inform the BID's business development strategy. The fellow will lead the data collection, interpretation, community visioning, and stakeholder engagement sessions to attain individual success stories and chart out BID outreach strategies to complete the district's expansion initiative. Data will be used to implement customized business development programs and the Third Avenue BID Strategic Plan. In addition, the fellow will assist the team to design and implement three business development programs, including customized small business workshops, digital tools, and a better small business practice guide.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Strong interest in cities and community development, urban planning, and retail development
- Ability to analyze, visualize, and communicate data to a diverse audience
- Commitment to the South Bronx community
- Strong project management skills
- Proficiency in Spanish or other languages is a plus





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