By Naeisha Rose
A day after testifying in front of members of the House of Representatives last week about the importance of small businesses, New York City Small Business Commissioner Gregg Bishop announced his office will be giving away $1.8 million in grants to help 20 businesses.
Small businesses across the city that are eligible for the grant can receive up to $90,000 in grant funding as well as expert advice, according to Bishop’s June 21 announcement.
Seth Bornstein, the executive director of Queens County Economic Development Corporation, estimated that there are 45,000 small businesses in Queens.
“Unlike other city agencies that work with businesses, we do not enforce regulations, but rather provide the necessary services to help them start, operate and grow,” said Bishop.
The applications for local, non-franchise small businesses to apply for a share of the $1.8 million NYC Love Your Local grant and the expert advice has a July 17 deadline and will be open to businesses that have been operating for at least three years in any of the city’s five boroughs, according to SBS.
The selected businesses will receive up to 20 hours of in-depth consultations from industry specialists who will aid entrepreneurs in improving their operations, recruiting and training employees, updating technology, enhancing their business location, improving financial management skills and adapting to rising real estate costs.
“New Yorkers love their mom-and-pop shops, and the proof is in the overwhelming support for these businesses on our NYC Love Your Local interactive map and social media campaign,” said Bishop. “These grant awards are the next step in the city’s commitment to ensure that neighborhood businesses remain central to the New York City experience.”
The Small Business Service’s NYC Love Your Local initiative was launched in February 2017 and has an interactive map where New Yorkers can share their favorite local small business to promote shopping locally, according to SBS. There are nearly 2,000 businesses featured on it.
The Door, an elegant Jamaican restaurant in Jamaica; Viaroma a fashion boutique in the Murray Hill section of Flushing; and the Eastern Queens Boxing Club in Queens Village are just a few of some of the small businesses in the borough that are featured on the map.
The grant is partly funded by the city Economic Development Corporation and the awardees will be selected in September, according to SBS.
“New York City’s economy is thriving, and small businesses have always been critical to that success,” said James Patchett, NYCEDC President and CEO.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose