What's Happening This Week in
Downtown Jamaica
A Quick Note for Our Readers

Getting clear and accurate information quickly is more important than ever. That’s why we have divided our newsletter into two sections to make it easy for our readers. 

Businesses—you'll find need-to-know bulletins crafted especially for you at the top of this e-newsletter. 

Residents/General Public—The second half of today’s newsletter has information for the general community that focuses more on health, well-being and, yes, even a little bit of entertainment to hopefully brighten your day.  

One item we would like to bring to everyone’s attention this week, whether you are a business owner, or a neighborhood resident trying to weather this storm—is the free mental health line available to New Yorkers who are feeling stressed, depressed, isolated, fearful, or simply in need a listening ear during these uncertain times. Your well-being is important. Please call this number (run by NY State) for free confidential support... and share widely with anyone else you feel may benefit. 1-844-863-9314.  

Our Jamaica Center BID staff continues to send you thoughts of hope and health during this time.  

Jennifer Furioli 

Executive Director 
New Business Loans and Grants Announced

We continue to actively monitor loans and grants available to help businesses weather the Covid-19 situation. Here are a few updates since our last e-blast: 

  • The new Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) will provide loans of up to $10 million to support small businesses and other eligible entities to pay workers, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, insurance, paid sick or medical leave, utilities, and payroll related costs incurred from Feb. 15, 2020 – June 30, 2020. These loans will be available and distributed through the SBA’s network of pre-approved lenders soon (we have heard as soon as this Friday). In the meantime, we present FAQ’s here
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (“EIDL”) provides small businesses and non-profits with low-interest loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to COVID-19. The EIDL application went live last week. Now, the EIDL program is also providing advances (“emergency grants”) up to $10,000 that must be distributed by the federal Small Business Administration within three days. EIDL FAQ here. Apply for the emergency grant advance and larger loan here.  

  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (“LISC”), a national nonprofit that supports neighborhood, community and small business development just launched the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund application today. LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Applications are due April 4th! Learn more and apply here.  

* Remember: we have created a new COVID-19 resource page specifically for businesses on our website, Jamaica.nyc . Please bookmark this page and check it daily…we try to update it as frequently as possible with the latest information regarding new grants, loans and other items that can be of help to businesses during this time.  
The State of Small Business Tele-TownHall

Are you a small business that needs some help navigating relief and help during this time? Please join Queens Electeds, Thursday, April 2 hosted by Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman to discuss with some experts & ask your questions. If you do not plan to join you can ask your questions at the link on the flyer and they will be asked at the tele-townhall.
  • Thursday, April 2 at 6pm
  • Call in Number: 646-558-8656
  • Zoom Webinar ID: 243-355-668
  • Send questions here
Support Jamaica Avenue's Essential Retail

At least forty of our local businesses are considered “essential” and therefore are still open. If possible, please support these brave workers and your neighborhood economy by buying local when making food or essential purchases. As of our last poll, Jamaica BID's “open” list included 22 eateries and 19 additional businesses, including, but not limited to: Health and Comfort Pharmacy , Jackpot Savings , our local grocer Food World , the UPS Store , and Original Herbal Remedies . Almost all of our open restaurants, plus seven of our other essential stores offer delivery. If you know of a business that has closed during this time, please send us an email at covid-19@jamaicacenter.org . You can visit the full list on our website here .  
Community Resources for
Individuals and Families
Four Things to Do At Home During Social Distancing 

  • To Do Good: Complete the 2020 Census. Getting counted is a strong way to advocate for your community and its public infrastructure needs (like hospitals and ambulances). The Census can be filled out online here.

  • To Feel Strong: Blink Fitness located at 163-02 on Jamaica Avenue is offering daily online workouts here. Once COVID-19 is over, please consider becoming a member at their brick and mortar gym located on The Ave. 

  • To Stay Sharp: Our two local cultural organizations have stepped up their game with activities to see and do indoors. Our friends at King Manor Museum prepared a vintage “selfie” portrait indoor art activity that anyone—parents or teens, or kids--can do while at home. Get instructions on our Instagram page here. (First person to upload a vintage style self-portrait and tag our Jamaica Center BID will get an I Love Jamaica Ave coffee mug mailed to them...as soon as it is safe for us to return to our office.) 
  • Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning are offering #jcalPOPUPclasses online on their YouTube channel throughout the month of April starting this Saturday. Learn more and get the scheduled here.

  • To Keep the Kids Quiet: Families that may have children at home because of COVID-19 can download a free coloring book from the NYC Department of Sanitation here
COVID-19 Health Notes

  • Per the City of New York, emergency rooms are for emergencies only: If you're experiencing mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms, the best thing you can do for yourself and others is to stay home. Monitor your health and reach out to your doctor after 3-4 days if you have shortness of breath.  

  • New York City’s Family Justice Centers are still available by phone to provide vital services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, including legal consultations, counseling sessions, safety planning, case management, and FJC updates. For emergencies, call 911. NYC’s 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-4673
Food Access During COVID-19

If you or someone you know is in need of food, please visit the NYC Emergency Food Assistance Program or call the Emergency Food line at 1-866-888-8777 . Learn more here

For NYC Students : Grab-and-go is now available for three meals a day by the New York City Department of Education from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM. ANY student can pick up breakfast and lunch at ANY school building. Learn more and find a location here

Did you know that you can now use your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to shop online for fresh produce and groceries? Participating online stores now accept SNAP benefits for online orders and will deliver to you. Use your EBT card to shop securely for fresh produce and groceries at these participating stores in the New York City area.  
Protect Your Finances

Con Edison reminds customers to remain aware of would-be scammers during the Coronavirus emergency. Tips on how to avoid being scammed by those posing as utility workers can be found here .  

Scammers may trick consumers into believing they are applying for federal relief for Coronavirus. Read some tips by Attorney General Leticia James to ensure you protect yourself.  
Information for Essential Workers (and a new Essential Worker Job Opportunity)

Critical Workers needing care for their children can learn more about regional enrichment centers here , which provide care and hot meals for youth.  

In partnership with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Department of Transportation , Citibike has launched the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program, providing the first responder, healthcare, and transit workforce with a free month of Citi Bike membership .  

If you are a person with a disability with questions or concerns regarding NYC's COVID-19 response

NYC Well Seeking Volunteers

NYC Well is experiencing a surge in calls, texts and chats from New Yorkers seeking emotional support, information and referral to ongoing behavioral health services during this COVID-19 pandemic. They are looking to expand their dedicated team of counselors and peer support specialists with volunteers. Volunteers could work remotely and would receive all appropriate training. Please consider this opportunity for yourself or share it with your networks. 
The first step is to complete the NYC Well volunteer survey, which can be accessed via the link below.
Price Gouging Complaint Form

Per New York State Attorney General Letitia James , please use the 'Learn More' link to the right to submit complaints about sudden price increases of essential goods and services (like water, ice, food, generators, batteries, flashlights, lodging, home repair materials and services, and snow and tree removal services). If a merchant took advantage of you or others by charging unconscionably high prices for essential goods or services during a major weather event, natural disaster or other emergency situation, please submit the form to the right.
Helpful COVID-19 Information for the General Public

  • NYC’s Health Department is regularly updating information about the Coronavirus here.

  • Remember that you can call 311 to have many of your novel Coronavirus questions answered as well. 311 can also help you locate a health care provider.

  • If you feel that you, or someone you know, needs counseling to help cope during this time, 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) is a free, confidential help line for New York City residents. You can call 24 hours per day/7 days a week. The staff of trained mental health professionals help callers find mental health services. NYC Well is multilingual and multicultural. More information about this program can be accessed here.

  • If you would like to receive regular text alerts from City government regarding the novel Coronavirus, you can sign up by texting COVID to 692-692.
About Business and Event Promotions in this Newsletter : Businesses and organizations located in the Jamaica Avenue Commercial District between Sutphin Blvd and 169th Street are invited to submit promotional information for possible inclusion in our newsletter. Events happening near or immediately adjacent to the Jamaica Avenue Commercial District may also be considered for inclusion on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to reject or edit materials for length, style, timeliness, and appropriateness. This newsletter serves to inform our community about events, opportunities and commercial activity in Downtown Jamaica, within specifically the Jamaica Center BID boundaries.