SBS Awards Over $4.8 Million In Multi-Year Grants For Neighborhood Revitalization From Harlem To Hollis

September 13, 2023

NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim announced today that the City will award a total of $4.8 million.

The amount will dispenated in a series of multi-year grants to 44 Community-Based Development Organizations (CBDOs) to facilitate innovative and community-focused solutions to improve New York’s commercial corridors.

Grants include the first-ever funding for Commercial District Lighting projects, a new grant program to fund CBDOs to address commercial district lighting improvements. The grants provide money to design, produce, and install customized and creative lighting projects in neighborhoods across the City. These grants will address neighborhood concerns of insufficient lighting at night while improving public safety and vibrancy in commercial corridors.

Commissioner Kim made the announcement alongside Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu, “New” New York Executive Director B.J. Jones, City Councilmember Chi Ossé, President of Bridge Street Development Corporation Gregory Anderson, small business owners, and other community leaders in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, which is one of the sites chosen for the first round of Commercial District Lighting Grants.

The multi-year grants, including SBS’s Avenue NYC and Neighborhood 360° programs, represent the longstanding commitment of the City to making its neighborhoods the best they can be for all New Yorkers, and fulfill a promise laid out in Mayor Adams’s Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery as well as recommendations from the December 2022 report issued by Mayor Adams’s and Governor Hochul’s “New” New York Panel.

“Our Administration is committed to implementing new, innovative ways to revitalize our neighborhoods, and the investments we are making through Avenue NYC, Neighborhood 360°, and now the Commercial District Lighting Grants will help strengthen commercial corridors citywide, including in areas that have historically not seen City investment,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “Partnership is the way we get things done, and I want to thank our community partners for their steadfast work in promoting thriving neighborhoods and equitable development.”

“I am pleased to announce the recipients of our next round of grants for our Avenue NYC and Neighborhood 360° programs, Strategic Development Grants, and the brand-new Commercial District Lighting Grants,” said SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “These grants aren’t just numbers with a dollar sign next to them—they are investments in people and in communities. They are critical to making New York the City of Yes, and to making our commercial corridors not just spaces for small businesses to be in, but spaces for them to thrive in.”

“This worthy initiative provides a new resource and a model for revitalization that specifically focuses on reducing crime throughout New York City,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “By leveraging the innovative ideas of our many community partners, these grants will help make our neighborhoods more welcoming, more safe, and more secure for everyone who lives, works, and visits here.”

“Commercial corridors with clean, well lit, and activated streetscapes improve the safety and quality of life for New Yorkers and contribute to the economic vitality of our neighborhoods,” said Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu. “Thank you to our community organizations who are investing time and energy to make their local communities better, and to SBS for providing the funds and support to these partners making a difference on our city streets.”

“With these grants, SBS is unlocking funding to support local organizations who are instrumental in caring for and enlivening public spaces enjoyed by all New Yorkers,” said “New” New York Executive Director B.J. Jones. “The additional support will enable grantees to activate, program, maintain, and further revitalize neighborhoods in every borough across the city.”

The following 17 organizations will receive a combined $1.5 million in new Commercial District Lighting Grants to enhance commercial corridors over the next year:

The following CBDOs will receive $2.7 million in both new and continuing grants through the Avenue NYC and Neighborhood 360° programs:

Avenue NYC:

Neighborhood 360°:

SBS’s Strategic Impact Grant will deliver $400,000 in funding to the following CBDOs to create Commercial District Needs Assessments (CDNAs) that will guide future investments in their neighborhoods:

An additional $300,000 in Organizational Development Grants will be provided to several nonprofits that provide technical assistance to SBS’s CBDO partners, including professional development, video storytelling, nonprofit management coaching, workshops, legal aide, and board engagement support. Those organizations are:

“Small business corridors now have an additional avenue to access much needed financial support through this commercial district lighting grant program,” said City Council Member Julie Menin. “By providing direct funding to BIDs and CBDO’s, we are investing in the future of our city and supporting our community partners in their efforts to create more secure and inviting neighborhoods. I extend our gratitude to Commissioner Kim and Small Business Services for allocating resources aimed at enhancing our lively commercial corridors through improved lighting and revitalization projects that will build a stronger business community.”

“Community-driven innovation is the heart of neighborhood revitalization,” said Bridge Street Development Corporation President and CEO Gregory Anderson. “The Commercial District Lighting Grant, together with our AvenueNYC and Strategic Impact Grant awards will enable Bridge Street to enhance and expand our role as a catalyst for economic revitalization and growth throughout Central Brooklyn. We are especially honored to be among the first recipients of the new Commercial District Lighting Grant that will empower us to illuminate the path towards a brighter and safer future for Bedford-Stuyvesant, one light at a time.”

“The 161st Street Business Improvement District is ecstatic to be part of the 2023 Avenue NYC cohort,” said 161st Street Business Improvement District Executive Director Trey Jenkins. “Having a Program Manager dedicated to surveying our small businesses and the community not only in our district but throughout the South Bronx will do wonders for our area and will allow our BID to continue serving our stakeholders at a high level.”

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. believes in the mission of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, the leadership of Commissioner Kim, and Mayor Eric Adams in focusing on creating opportunities for small businesses to thrive in the City, and the creation of local employment opportunities for New Yorkers,” said HCCI President Malcolm A. Punter, “The work of local nonprofit organizations such as HCCI in executing this mission is essential to the success of the SBS mandate. HCCI, its board of directors, and affiliated organizations serving the Bradhurst neighborhood of Harlem in New York City for 38-years is looking forward to revitalizing the small business community with the support of our coalition of affiliates, elected officials, businesses owners, and residents with the funding received through the AvenueNYC program. A thriving small business community makes for a thriving city.”

“The Avenue NYC grant empowers Woodside On The Move to better serve our diverse community and boost the local economy,” said Woodside on the Move Executive Director William Jourdain. “With this grant, we’re expanding our services to support economic development and justice. Our vibrant community is home to people from all over the world, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with local businesses to identify their needs. Many of our local businesses, run by hardworking New Americans and undocumented families, face challenges without adequate support. We’re bridging the gap between these small businesses and city agencies, ensuring they access the resources needed to thrive. Together, we’ll preserve our beloved community’s unique identity and prevent it from being overshadowed by major corporations.”

“We are proud to be the recipient, along with the QEDC, of the Neighborhood 360° grant for Astoria, and grateful to NYC SBS for the opportunity to revitalize our commercial corridors,” said Central Astoria LDC Executive Director Marie Torniali. “When commercial districts thrive, the entire neighborhood benefits. We look forward to partnering with QEDC, stakeholders, and agencies, to address local needs and assist our commercial corridors to flourish.”

“QEDC is thrilled to have been chosen to collaborate with Central Astoria LDC on the Neighborhood 360° grant in the dynamic neighborhood of Astoria,” said Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein. “We view this as an extraordinary opportunity to dedicate the resources required to enhance the vibrancy that define one of New York City’s most electrifying communities.”

“La Colmena is excited to have received the SBS Strategic Impact Grant which will guide future investments in our own backyard, our neighborhood,” said La Colmena Programs Manager Emili Prado. “Our Port Richmond is an area that is growing, flourishing, and contributing to the Staten Island economy and that of New York City overall. We hope through this initiative to highlight the diversity, contributions, and impacts of Port Richmond.”

“Red Hook Business Alliance is grateful and excited for this investment in the wealth and health of our community,” said Red Hook Business Alliance Program Manager Carly Baker-Rice. “We look forward to partnering with organizations, businesses, individuals, and government to create a positive economic impact for the people and businesses of this unique and deserving neighborhood. We see it as an enormous opportunity to listen and learn from others who have done this work for so long, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborating to find new ways of doing inclusive, just, sustainable, and inspiring economic development in New York City.”

Lighting and safety go hand in hand…” – Barbara Askins

“Lighting and safety go hand in hand,” said 125th Street BID President Barbara Askins. “The 125th Street BID jumped at the opportunity to seek funding to bring additional lighting in an innovative and engaging way to our district. We intend for the lighting to create a safer musical experience on 125th Street for 6 months a year over the next five years. This lighting opportunity is a multi-faceted approach for us to infuse the many genres of Harlem’s musical culture into the economic landscape for the future development of 125th Street.”

“We’re thrilled that Long Island City Partnership was selected to receive the Commercial District Lighting Grant, which will directly improve the streetscape and quality of life within our neighborhood,” said Executive Director of the LIC BID and President of the Long Island City Partnership Laura Rothrock. “Additional lighting, especially along the Business Improvement District, will bring attention to our small businesses, attract more foot traffic, and enhance safety for all. SBS has shown a true commitment to community by providing neighborhood-based organizations resources to expand our services and capacity. We look forward to installing creative lighting projects that will further illuminate our dynamic thoroughfares and help us celebrate our diverse community.”

“We applaud Mayor Adams and the Department of Small Business Services for making this creative and unprecedented investment in lighting for our communities,” said Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation Executive Director Michelle Neugebauer. “Lighting is a constant topic of discussion among the 300+ mom-and-pop, immigrant-owned businesses on Fulton Street in Cypress Hills/East New York. Without adequate lighting, businesses and shoppers feel unsafe. Investing in innovative lighting strategies will help our commercial strip and neighborhood thrive!”

“This kind of funding lets us experiment and bring incredible art to our community! For Dumbo, it couldn’t come at a better time,” said DUMBO Improvement District President Alexandria Sica. “Major construction all over the neighborhood can take a toll on our small businesses. These projections will bring people to the neighborhood and keep them coming back all winter long.”

“The Flatbush Development Corporation is grateful for the generous investment from SBS in support of our lighting grant for Newkirk Plaza,” said Flatbush Development Corporation Executive Director Robin Redmond. “Thank you for empowering FDC to create a more vibrant and inviting Newkirk Plaza that will benefit everyone who calls our neighborhood home.”

“With this generous support of the NYC Department of Small Business Services Lighting Grant, we will further illuminate and accentuate the new NoMad Piazza along our district’s Broadway Vision corridor,” said Flatiron NoMad Partnership President James Mettham. “By installing canopies of overhead LED string lighting to these spaces, we will address requests from local businesses, residents, and visitors alike for enhanced street lighting while creating a more attractive and vibrant evening streetscape. We’re grateful for the vision of SBS in supporting and committing to the vitality of commercial corridors throughout New York City.”

“We are so excited by this unique opportunity to collaborate with local artists, small businesses, and organizers at Cooper Square Committee to literally illuminate the creativity and entrepreneurship of the East Village/Loisaida community,” said Fourth Arts Block Executive Director Ryan Gilliam.

“Morris Park BID is grateful for the opportunity to enhance the Morris Park Avenue commercial corridor with a new light installation, and we thank SBS for opening this innovative approach to supporting vibrant and thriving business corridors and communities in the Bronx,” said Morris Park BID Executive Director Dr. Camelia Tepelus.

“For too many years, the temporary lighting options available in too many New York City neighborhoods has been limited to NYPD light towers, which are often too bright, glaring and not good for the environment,” said Uptown Grand Central Director Carey King. “We’re excited for this opportunity to create lighting for our corridor that both enhances public safety and adds beauty to one of our main intersections.”

“Our team at Urban Design Forum can’t wait to help illuminate our city. We’re excited to connect neighborhood partners with outstanding designers to develop lighting projects that drive foot traffic, support small businesses, and reflect the unique character of our neighborhoods,” said Urban Design Forum Executive Director Daniel McPhee. “We’re grateful for SBS’s support of these important projects across New York City and we’re ready to get to work.”

“Mayor Adams and SBS’s continued commitment to building vibrant commercial corridors across the five boroughs has provided our organization a unique opportunity to rethink outdoor lighting as a blend of placemaking and function,” said West Village Business Improvement District Executive Director Zach Owens. “With this award from SBS, we are excited to implement an innovative outdoor lighting design concept that will not only improve local quality of life, but also celebrate the rich social history of the West Village and enhance its present atmosphere for visitors and shoppers alike.”

Avenue NYC

SBS’s Avenue NYC program is a competitive grant program that funds and builds the capacity of CBDOs, including business improvement districts (BIDs), local development corporations, merchants associations and other locally serving nonprofits operating in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, to execute commercial revitalization projects. Avenue NYC is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. More information on Avenue NYC can be found at

Neighborhood 360°

SBS’s Neighborhood 360° program identifies, develops, and launches commercial revitalization projects in partnership with local stakeholders. Through proactive planning and targeted investments, Neighborhood 360° supports projects that strengthen and revitalize the streets, small businesses, and community-based organizations that anchor New York City neighborhoods. For more information on Neighborhood 360°, please visit

The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Harlem World Magazine, 2521 1/2 west 42nd street, Los Angeles, CA, 90008, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
We're your source for local coverage, we count on your support. SPONSOR US!
Your support is crucial in maintaining a healthy democracy and quality journalism. With your contribution, we can continue to provide engaging news and free access to all.
accepted credit cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles