By Rebecca Henely
The city Department of Small Business Services honored the Long Island City business Brooklyn Grange Farm and Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Queens Theatre at its annual awards ceremony last week.
The 2012 New York City Neighborhood Achievement Awards, which recognized 15 other organizations from across the city, spotlight businesses and cultural entities that create economic development and jobs but also strengthen the neighborhoods in which they are located.
“They’re really giving back to the city and the Queens community,” said Meredith Weber, spokeswoman for Small Business Services.
The organizations received their awards at Gracie Mansion July 10 from Deputy Mayor Robert Steel and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh.
Brooklyn Grange, a commercial organic farm, won the Queens Small Business of the Year Award. It is on a rooftop at 37-18 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City. Despite the name, which the company picked before its original planned Brooklyn location did not work out, the farm opened in Queens in 2010 to a positive reception.
The farm sells a variety of vegetables to restaurants in Queens and Brooklyn, as well as residents of both boroughs.
Weber said Brooklyn Grange was chosen not only for growing products locally but connecting and educating city residents about the experience of farming.
“They expanded to Brooklyn a few months ago, and they’re just really doing great things with the rooftop farming,” Weber said, “which is really becoming a popular effort these days, especially for local farming and eating local products.”
Queens Theatre, situated in the 1964 World’s Fair Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, won the department’s Cultural Award. The theatre holds 300 performances a year and is dedicated to providing arts entertainment that is economically and geographically accessible to Queens’ unique population.
“They work really hard to have a diversity of cultural events they have to offer,” Weber said. “Since Queens is such a diverse borough they really want to reach out to all different communities with their performances and what they offer.”
The department sent out a call for nominations in January, Weber said. About 86 nominations for various organizations and small businesses came in and the 17 that were recognized were selected from that pool.
“New York’s network of diverse and thriving neighborhoods is the engine that powers the city’s economy, and under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, neighborhood commercial districts are stronger than ever,” Steel said in a statement.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.