$1.5 Million Awarded to 48 Community-Based Organizations To Help Fund Commercial Revitalization Projects in Low to Moderate-Income Neighborhoods In All Five Boroughs

New York City — The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today announced the 48 recipients of $1.5 million in Avenue NYC funding for Fiscal Year 2016. Avenue NYC is a competitive grant program that provides funding for economic development and non-profit community-based organizations to implement commercial revitalization efforts in low and moderate-income neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

Avenue NYC grants for FY16 were awarded to local organizations committed to attracting and retaining community-serving small businesses, launching districtwide marketing and promotional activities, organizing merchants and communities, improving storefronts, and increasing the sustainability and effectiveness of local organizations. For the first time this year, Avenue NYC also provided 14 organizations across the five boroughs with funding to conduct a needs assessment of their commercial corridors through research analysis and public input. The successful completion of these corridor needs assessments will assist in framing and prioritizing community-based action plans for future neighborhood economic development projects.

"Avenue NYC funding allows local neighborhood organizations across all five boroughs to plan and execute targeted commercial revitalization projects that boost their commercial corridors, strengthen local businesses, and create jobs," said Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "We are excited this year for the first time to provide funding for organizations to better understand their neighborhood's specific needs and design future programming accordingly. I look forward to seeing the great work that comes out of this year's projects."

"Small businesses are the backbone of New York City's economy. The Avenue NYC grant awards go a long way to help uplift commercial corridors and strengthen communities across our City," said Public Advocate Letitia James.

"Grassroots, neighborhood-based development is how we empower communities," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "These local programs are key to building healthy, vital communities in neighborhoods across our borough."

"Business development is very important for the growth of The Bronx," said Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. "I want to congratulate Jerome Gun-Hill District Management Association, Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation, Mosholu Preservation Corporation, Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation, the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce, South Bronx Overall Development Corporation, Southern Boulevard District Management Association, Westchester Square District Management Association and the Women's Housing and the Economic Development Corporation for earning Avenue NYC awards. These organizations are perfect examples of the growth The Bronx is seeing and winning this award helps with our continuous economic growth as well as providing jobs and opportunities for those in need."

"It takes small businesses and organizations of many kinds to create a vibrant community. Through Avenue NYC, SBS helps community development organizations do the good work needed to attract businesses and help them succeed, by fulfilling the needs of residents and visitors alike. As Chair of the Council's Committee on Small Business, I offer my congratulations to all of this year's Avenue NYC awardees & the many neighborhoods that will benefit from their efforts," said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of New York City Council's Committee on Small Businesses.

Avenue NYC funding is available for the following five project categories: Business Attraction & Retention, Façade Improvement Management, Merchant Organizing, Placemaking, and Corridor Needs Assessments. This year's 48 Avenue NYC recipients and proposed plans include:


Jerome Gun-Hill District Management Association– Attract new businesses and investment on East Gun Hill Road by conducting a retail analysis to capture the unmet needs of local residents.

Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation – Continue to organize merchants and build the capacity of the Marble Hill Merchants Association.

Mosholu Preservation Corporation – Attract businesses along Webster Avenue, and continue to organize merchants of the East 233rd Street and White Plains Road Merchants Associations.

Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation – Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities on Castle Hill Avenue, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

New Bronx Chamber of Commerce – Continue organizing merchants along Allerton Avenue.

South Bronx Overall Development Corporation (SOBRO) – Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities on 138th Street in Mott Haven, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these projects.

Southern Boulevard District Management Association– Foster community engagement in the Southern Boulevard shopping district through discount loyalty cards and public festivals.

Westchester Square District Management Association – Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities in Westchester Square and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these projects.

Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation – Attract new businesses to Southern Boulevard and the Melrose neighborhood.


Alliance for Coney Island – Support local businesses along Mermaid Avenue through free public programming and shopping incentives to attract local residents to the corridor.

Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway District Management Association– Help business owners on Fulton and Nostrand Avenues attract new customers by addressing corridor concerns and implementing a visual merchandising campaign.

Bridge Street Development Corporation– Continue to market Bedford-Stuyvesant's secondary commercial corridors as destinations for high-quality dining options.

Brooklyn Alliance – Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities on Broadway in Bushwick and 8th Avenue in Sunset Park, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

Central Fulton District Management Association– Continue to activate Clinton Hill and Fort Greene public spaces and plazas by hosting "FAB Friday" promotional events to attract residents to Fulton Street.

El Puente – Organize and foster stronger merchant leadership and ownership in Southside Williamsburg.

East New York Restoration Local Development Corporation - Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities on Liberty Avenue in East New York, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

Flatbush Development Corporation ­– Create family-friendly events for local residents on Cortelyou Road to drive traffic to local businesses. 

Grand Street District Management Association– Leverage a formal market study to reduce vacancy rates and attract new businesses to Grand Street in East Williamsburg.

Local Development Corporation of East New York– Strengthen and retain existing neighborhood retail establishments in East New York through a business retention initiative called "Business House Calls."

Midwood Development Corporation– Implement a shop local campaign along Coney Island Avenue, Avenue M, Avenue J, and East 16th Street.

Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Local Development Corporation– Continue to blend business attraction and retention strategies to sustain a diverse retail mix along Myrtle Avenue, and improve the facades of commercial buildings.

Pratt Area Community Council­– Continue organizing merchants along Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation – Build a stronger connection between businesses on Van Brunt Street and local residents in Red Hook, and identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities on Lorraine and Clinton Streets.

Brownsville Collaboration:
Center for Court Innovation – Execute a marketing and event strategy to highlight the historic and culturally rich narrative of the Belmont, Rockaway and Pitkin Avenue business corridors in Brownsville.

Community Solutions – Enhance the programming offered at the MGB POPS pop-up market, identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities in Brownsville, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District – Implement a marketing strategy to diversify retail choices on Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville by leveraging the findings of an existing trade area study.


Bradhurst Merchant Association – Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities in the Bradhurst neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

Community League of the Heights – Develop a strategic plan and business attraction campaign for merchants along Broadway from 155th to 179th Streets.

Good Old Lower East Side – Leverage the results of a market analysis to promote vacant storefronts, as part of a retail attraction strategy for Clinton Street between East Houston and Delancey Streets.

East Village Community Coalition – Strengthen the East Village network of businesses owners, and provide necessary resource training for merchants.

Harlem Park to Park– Execute "Harlem Restaurant & Retail Week," "Harlem Harvest Festival" and "Welcome to the Neighborhood" events, as well as develop marketing collateral and a social media campaign for Central Harlem.

Lower East Side District Management Association– Promote the Essex Street Market and its diverse community of small vendors by supporting marketing efforts and increasing awareness in the community.

New Harlem East Merchants Association – Continue the summer and fall Park Avenue Farmers' Market at 125th Street and Park Avenue Plaza, identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities in East Harlem, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these projects.

Two Bridges Neighborhood Council – Continue a local healthy food guide and food ambassador program to promote local businesses, focused on the East Broadway commercial corridor in Lower Manhattan.

Union Settlement – Organize East Harlem merchants and support local businesses and jobseekers through the "Hire, Buy, Promote East Harlem" initiative.

Washington Heights Business Improvement District– Continue to promote fashion and beauty businesses along 181st Street, Broadway and St. Nicholas.


82nd Street District Management Association– Strengthen the ability of local Roosevelt Avenue merchants to attract, retain and meet the demands of local residents and consumers through small business betterment workshops.

Downtown Flushing Transit Hub District Management Association – Continue organizing merchants in Downtown Flushing for potential business improvement district expansion.

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation – Develop a series of cultural placemaking events along Jamaica Avenue to attract shoppers to local businesses during different times of the day.

Jamaica Center Improvement Association– Conduct an assessment of current market conditions in Downtown Jamaica, develop business attraction strategies and materials, and create a pop-up store platform for temporary and seasonal opportunities.

Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation – Conduct an assessment of current market conditions on Beach Channel Drive, and implement business attraction strategies for the Arverne and Edgemere neighborhoods.

Queens Chamber of Commerce – Conduct merchant organizing efforts on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica. 

Queens Economic Development Corporation – Continue interactive programming of Corona Plaza to connect residents with businesses, and identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities in Woodside.

Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation– Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities in Downtown Far Rockaway, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

Sunnyside Shines District Management Association– Promote and celebrate the diverse array of independent restaurants and cultural activities on Queens Boulevard through a series of local events that showcase the neighborhood as a hub for food, art and culture.

Sutphin Boulevard District Management Association– Augment the organization's new storefront improvement program to complete façade enhancements along Sutphin Boulevard.

Staten Island

Staten Island Economic Development Corporation - Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities along North Shore, Staten Island and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

Mt. Sinai Center for Community Enrichment – Identify commercial revitalization needs and opportunities on Jersey Street in New Brighton, and develop tools and internal capacity to execute these initiatives.

Organizations receiving Avenue NYC funding enter into a registered contract with the City of New York. The contract term begins on July 1, 2015 and ends on June 30, 2016. The length of time required from the start of the contracting process to contract registration varies and is contingent upon the timeliness and completeness of contracting materials submitted by organizations. Funding is provided through Community Development Block Grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

SBS and Avenue NYC supports the growth of community based organizations and their ability to execute impactful commercial revitalization initiatives by offering grantees a variety of skill-building trainings and workshops over the course of the grant term, including non-profit operations and project management coaching. Organizations can visit for more information.

About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to start, operate and expand by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS' services, go to

Follow the SBS Neighborhood Development Division on Twitter @SBSNeighborhood or on their blog,

Contact: Merideth Weber (SBS),, 212-513-6318