By Bill Parry
The city wants to put your neighborhood business on the map — literally.
The Department of Small Business Services has launched “NYC Love Your Local,” a new grassroots approach to celebrate and promote small businesses throughout the five boroughs. The program encourages New Yorkers to share their favorite independent, non-franchise businesses, which will be added to an interactive map that is now available online.
“Independent, small businesses are the backbone of our neighborhoods, and the ‘NYC Love Your Local’ initiative recognizes and supports their vital role in the fabric of New York City,” said Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop. “New York City is full of unique neighborhoods that are given character by local merchants and entrepreneurs. New Yorkers should share their favorite neighborhood business and be sure to share their love.”
The interactive map is now available online at nyc.gov/loveyourlocal. Shared businesses may also apply for a share of $1.8 million in grant funding and expert advice to help them better meet competitive pressures from the big chains.
“Providing opportunities for New York City’s small businesses to grow and thrive is pivotal for creating jobs and a stable economy,” said City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D–East Elmhurst). “The ‘NYC Love Your Local’ initiative is a creative way to engage consumers to show support for local shops, all while helping these businesses access capital, improve their operations, and gain recognition.”
The Queens Chamber of Commerce endorsed the city’s new small business promotion.
“As the most diverse county in the U.S. and the largest geographic borough in New York City, Queens and our small businesses will be served by this unique initiative,” said Queens Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Thomas Grech. “Queens has nearly 47,000 business entities spread across 14 City Council districts, so this project will truly spread the love across the borough.”
The Department of Small Business Services has launched a $400,000 advertising campaign to promote the “NYC Love Your Local” campaign and encourage New Yorkers to shop locally. The ads will be running in subway cars, LinkNYC terminals, on radio stations, and in other print and digital forms around the city.
“The ‘NYC Love Your Local’ initiative is a great way to spread the word and shine a light on our small businesses here on Steinway Street,” said Steinway Astoria Partnership Executive Director Marie Torniali. “These businesses help Astoria thrive and are an integral part of what makes Astoria great.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr