Dec. 2, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
The Queens Economic Development Corporation has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help revitalize and develop small businesses along Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.
The non-profit announced Monday that it received funding from the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to support businesses and vendors along Roosevelt Avenue between Junction Boulevard and 114th Street.
The QEDC will provide technical assistance to local merchants over the next three years in order to help businesses adapt to changes in the economy.
Training webinars, counseling and business assistance for new entrepreneurs will be provided along with COVID-19 related resources.
The grant will also be used to make the corridor more inviting for residents and tourists, thereby promoting commerce in the area.
SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris said the grant comes at a time when communities of color have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 economic crisis. Corona is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City.
“COVID-19 has had devastating effects on our Black, Asian, and Latinx communities and it is important we deliver the resources they need to recover,” Doris said. “These initiatives will help revitalize our commercial corridors and bring them back stronger than ever.”
The grant is part of the city’s “Neighborhood 360°” plan that aims to make commercial districts across the five boroughs more appealing. The initiative also helps local business owners upgrade their storefronts by offering funds for signs, awnings and lights.
The QECD has hired Sam Massol to oversee the Corona program.
Massol, who founded the non-profits Astoria Green and BridgeRoot, will analyze the various businesses along the corridor and then develop a revitalization plan to help merchants.
The QEDC has also hired Latin Women In Action and the Street Vendor Project as sub-contractors to help redecorate the area and help local workers.
Latin Women In Action, a non-profit group, will carry out cleanliness and beautification programs while the Street Vendor Project, which represents thousands of vendors across the city, will be tasked with helping vendors develop business skills.
QEDC said that this may lead to vendors opening brick-and-mortar stores in the future.
The Street Vendor Project also plans to carry out a placemaking campaign to create quality and attractive spaces for vendors to operate.
Correction Dec. 3, 2020: A previous version of this article listed the awarded grant as $4 miliion. That was reported in error. The correct amount grant QEDC was awarded is $600,000.