You are reading

Queens Small Business Program is Launched, Provides Grants of Up to $20K

74th Street in Jackson Heights on March 31, 2020 (Photo: Queens Post)

Jan. 19, 2021 By Christina Santucci

City and borough officials announced a new $15 million grant program Tuesday to help Queens small businesses that are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Queens Small Business Grant Program was launched today and provides up to $20,000 to each recipient, with the funding provided by Steve Cohen, the new owner of New York Mets.

To be eligible, a business owner must have a storefront or be a street vendor and be located in one of the borough’s low-to-moderate income zip codes — or in an area designated as one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. Applicants must have employed 20 or fewer full-time workers in 2019.

“No borough has been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic and its disastrous economic fallout than Queens, where countless small businesses…are facing unprecedented uncertainty through no fault of their own,” said Donovan Richards, Queens Borough President, in a statement. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and no expense must be spared to prevent even a single closure.”

The program is focused on small and micro businesses. Applicants must show that in 2019 their gross revenue was no more than $1 million, for restaurants no more than $3 million.

Steve Cohen, who purchased the Mets in September, donated the funds for the program.

“We are proud to support small business owners during this difficult time, just as they have supported the team and the community over the years. We hope this donation brings them some relief,” he said in a statement.

Richards said the program also aims to help minority-owned businesses and street vendors, who have been disproportionately impacted over the last nine months.

Mohamed Attia, director of the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center, said in a statement that previous aid packages had left out street vendors. “Street vendors are part of the culture and fabric of NYC but unfortunately they have suffered mightily during this current pandemic and have been all but abandoned by COVID-19 recovery efforts,” he said.

The program will see 30 percent of the grants dedicated for restaurants and street vendors.

Pursuit, which provides business lending, is administering the grant program and will partner with local community organizations including the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation,  Renaissance EDC and Queens Chamber of Commerce to initially offer $15 million worth of grants.

An additional $2.5 million is being set aside for small business support later in the year.

Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Grech applauded the city for the program.

“Sadly, too many small businesses in Queens have closed their doors to customers for good due to the pandemic, and those that have survived face an uncertain future without immediate help,” Grech said. “This is a grand slam that will resonate across the entire borough.”

Additional information is available on the Queens borough president’s website.

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Cyclist sought for endangering the welfare of a child in Richmond Hill: NYPD

Police from the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill are looking for a cyclist who rode up alongside a 9-year-old girl and tried to engage her in conversation at around 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 13.

The encounter occurred in the vicinity of Jamaica Avenue and 104th Street while the youngster was walking to school. When the man asked the girl to join him on his bike, the girl sensed danger and took off, running to her school where she alerted authorities of the incident.

Ex-building inspector pleads guilty to official misconduct for accepting bribes from southeast Queens homeowners: DA

A College Point man pleaded guilty on Monday to taking bribes while working as an inspector for the city Department of Buildings (DOB) in exchange for not issuing violations from January 2023 through January 2024.

The city’s Department of Investigations conducted a probe after receiving allegations about Zabihullah Ibrahimi from homeowners and the DOB. The office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz prosecuted the case.

Richmond Hill man gets 4-12 years in prison for DWI collision that killed a city worker last year: DA

A Richmond Hill man was sentenced in Queens Supreme Court on Thursday to 4-12 years in prison for a drunken collision that killed a 36-year-old city worker during an early morning crash nearly a year ago.

Errick Persaud, 25, of 104th Street pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the second degree before Justice Michael Aloise on May 8. According to the charges, at approximately 2:30 a.m. on July 6, 2023, video surveillance footage showed Persaud behind the wheel of a black Mercedes-Benz speeding through a steady red light at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill.

Rapper Remy Ma’s son arrested with Queens Village man for 2021 murder of Astoria drug kingpin: NYPD

The son of hip-hop star Remy Ma was arrested Tuesday along with a Queens Village man for the murder of a reputed drug kingpin from Astoria just over three years ago.

The rapper’s 23-year-old son, Jayson Scott, of Tier Street on City Island in the Bronx, and Richard Swygert, 22, of Springfield Boulevard, were booked at the 113th Precinct in Jamaica on first-degree murder and related charges in the 2021 fatal shooting of 47-year-old Darius Guillebeaux on the afternoon of June 7, 2021.

Queens DSNY worker busted for allegedly filling his pool with water from a fire hydrant: NYPD

A Southeast Queens off-duty NYC Sanitation worker was arrested on Tuesday morning and booked at the 113th Precinct in Jamaica, where he was charged with theft of city services, according to the NYPD.

Rodolfo Jiminez, 41, was taken into custody just before 10:30 a.m. after he allegedly opened a fire hydrant on his street and then used a garden hose to run water to fill his backyard pool, police said, after a neighbor tipped off the cops.

Rep. Grace Meng delivers major funding boost to local preschool in Jamaica

Jun. 20, 2024 By Athena Dawson

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-6) presented a check for $850,000 in federal funding to a local preschool in Jamaica on Tuesday, June 18. Meng was joined by parents, local government leaders, teachers, school board members and students at Queens Centers for Progress’ Apple Preschool for an early morning celebration. Apple Preschool provides specialized services to children with developmental disabilities to give them a positive learning environment and school experience.