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More money, better business is the idea behind the Pathmark grants for some local Rosedale business owners.
&#8220With these grants, local stores will be better able to compete with the business of the Pathmark supermarket,” said City Councilmember James Sanders, who along with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), oversees the applications for the grants.
It all began when Pathmark first came to Merrick and Springfield Boulevards in 1995. &#8220They faced a huge amount of opposition from community leaders back then,” said Sanders.
With the addition of a huge store like Pathmark in Rosedale, members of the community feared that it would wipe out the business of smaller stores nearby.
As a solution, plans for a grant were proposed by former City Councilmember, Juanita Watkins. The deal was that Pathmark would set aside $400,000 over a period of 20 years for nearby businesses so they would be able to compete with the chain supermarket.
But before it could go into effect, the plans for the grant needed the approval of then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
&#8220He said that the grants were a huge infringement on free enterprise, and that Pathmark shouldn't have to make a contribution to enter the community,” Sanders recalled about the situation years ago.
Since then the grants have gone through, and have been codified into state law. Today the fund has a generated &#822085 percent of its full amount,” working out to $340,000 for local businesses in the three-mile radius of the supermarket.
For stores interested in the money to help boost business, an application must be filed with the councilmember's office or QEDC to be approved for receiving up to $7,000.
One requirement for approval is that the store must be legally incorporated as a business.
&#8220You don't want to give an unfair advantage to those who don't pay taxes,” Sanders said. Other important requirements include the business having three bids, which would validate the store's need for the grant, and that the application must be signed by the actual store owner.
Once approved, the money can be used towards beautification of the store's front and for the safety of the business.
&#8220We're just so happy to move this money to the businesses, it really bodes well for the people of southeast Queens.”

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