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Several storefronts along Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park will be able to stay open until the end of the year.

Several small businesses at the north end of the Beach 116th Street business corridor in Rockaway Park will not be forced to close down next month.

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and state Senator Joseph Addabbo announced they had come to an agreement with the MTA which would extend their occupancy until at least the end of the year. 

After negotiating for nearly two years, the MTA agreed to delay their issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) for the commercial spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the business owners were sent letters stating that they would have to vacate their premises by June 19.

“I would like to thank the MTA for being good partners and understanding that during these times keeping businesses open benefits the entire community,” Pheffer Amato said. “These businesses have been a staple in this community, and it would have been particularly unfair to make them shut their doors during a global health pandemic. I’m glad that Senator Addabbo, myself and the MTA were able to come to a reasonable conclusion that gives the businesses enough time to prepare for next year’s RFP while keeping their staffs employed and the space occupied until the end of the year.”

The businesses include Last Stop Gourmet, Joseph A. Otton Tac and Accounting and A & J Jewelry. Beach Cleaners and Tailors closed on its own last year when the owners decided to retire.

“Having the MTA allow these local businesses remain in place, especially during this health crisis when many businesses are not allowed to operate, is a positive step for the Rockaway community,” Addabbo said. “Our local businesses are the backbone of our communities, and I want to thank the MTA for this decision and for listening to the concerns Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato and I expressed for these storefronts. I support the safe reopening of these businesses and it will be great to see them flourishing again soon.”

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