You can help your favorite local businesses across Queens get some serious funding thanks to the new “Love Your Local” initiative, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop.
The “Love Your Local” initiative allows community members to share their favorite independent, non-franchise businesses, which will have them appear on a new interactive map, so more people can find and visit them. New Yorkers can also share their love for local business on social media by using the hashtag #LoveYourLocalNYC.
“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,” Bishop said. “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 show their love.”
Businesses that are shared and featured on the interactive map will have the chance to apply for a portion of $1.8 million — up to $90,000 — in grant funding, as well as important expert advice to help them better their businesses.
The winners will be able to use the funding for any changes they want to make to their businesses. Although the community has the power to share a business on the map, the business owners are responsible for applying for the chance to win funding.
“New York City thrives on the energy, culture and diversity of small businesses,” de Blasio said. “The NYC Love Your Local program gives New Yorkers a chance to support their favorite businesses by bringing the local establishments they love into the limelight and giving them the chance to cultivate business through a nomination to win a $1.8 million grant.”
Applications for funding will be open through April and grant decisions will be made this fall.
Local elected officials and Queens business organizations praised the “Love Your Local” initiative.
“The Queens Chamber of Commerce is thrilled about this initiative,” said Thomas Grech, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “As the most diverse county in the U.S. and the largest geographic borough in New York City, Queens and our small local businesses will be well served by this unique initiative. Queens has nearly 47,000 business entities spread across 14 NYC City Council District so this project will truly spread the love across the borough.”
To add your favorite local business to the map, visit the Love Your Local website.