The Sutphin BID was one of five local organizations across the city to be awarded the grant, which encourages urban renewal efforts.
BID President Simone Price was the one who entered her organization into the competition after a community survey the BID carried out last year found that shoppers would respond very strongly to more attractive front window displays.
“The Sutphin Boulevard BID is excited to be selected to participate in the city’s Neighborhood Challenge initiative,” Price said. “These improvements will increase patronage and provide a more attractive, consistent, and welcoming environment for consumers.”
Currently, the BID is accepting applications from businesses wanting to participate in the façade improvement project. The grant will cover as much as 70 percent of any single project’s costs, with business owners responsible for the difference.
Councilmen Rory Lancman and I. Daneek Miller and Assemblyman William Scarborough attended a press conference last week to show support for the initiative.
“As you know, Jamaica is built on small businesses,” said Scarborough, who is also chair of the Assembly Committee on Small Businesses. “This to me represents another example of the statewide and citywide recognition that Jamaica is on the move.”
Miller gave high praise to Price and her team for bringing additional funding into the district.
“Simone Price and her team have done an incredible job here,” he said. “Their commitment to serve Jamaica and its surrounding communities is a benefit to all who frequent and live in the area.”
Lancman was similarly positive.
“This grant will be transformative in attracting more economic interest, investment and development in a booming neighborhood in Queens,” Lancman said. “Downtown Jamaica has an incredibly bright future, and this is just the latest in a line of great news for the community."
Elizabeth Pilarte, owner of Party Moments at 90-24 Sutphin Boulevard, said that façade improvements are much needed in her neighborhood, and that a cleaner look would go a long way to attract shoppers to the Jamaica corridor.
“We're so excited because this program will give our community and our business more opportunity to bring customers in,” Pilarte said.