What's Happening This Week in
Downtown Jamaica
We Cleaned A BIG Mess

On Wednesday, our BID and our Clean Team removed approximately 150 bags of trash illegally dumped in two different locations on the Avenue. Next time you see our organization’s sanitation workers please give them thanks for their hard work! 

We already sweep and remove tens of thousands of bags of trash from our corridor annually as part of our seven-day-per-week cleaning. We will continue to monitor the Jamaica Avenue business corridor, and whenever we see an abundance of trash throughout the district, we will notify our Clean Team as soon as possible to take care of it.

Businesses, please remember that you are required to use a private carter for all of your commercial trash and that fines apply for those that do not follow City regulations on this matter.
Code Yellow - JBID Prepares for an Emergency

This week we continued our efforts to prepare our local business community for another potential coronavirus shutdown or any other emergency that could temporarily halt or disturb normal business operations.

As of today, we have enrolled 90 businesses in our new JBID-Alerts! emergency cell phone notification program. If you’re a business owner, property manager or building owner within our BID boundaries that would like to be enrolled in this program, please contact Trey Jenkins at tjenkins@jamaicacenter.org. We will never share your cell information. We will only notify you with critical information that we feel is time sensitive and important to your business’s survival.

How else can you prepare for an emergency? Here are a few ideas: 

  • Enter NYC’s Department of Small Business Services business hotline into your phone—you can call them for assistance regarding closing, reopening and compliance guidelines: 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692)

  • Ensure you have a way to communicate with customers if you need to temporary close, change your hours, etc. Think about how customers can find that information online and at your place of business (Make sure your contact information is updated online. Think about signage for your storefront windows communicating how customers can reach you. Download our template here).
More Business Outreach: Look for Us on the Ave Next Week

Next week our team will be on the Avenue again, this time canvassing our small businesses alongside the Queen’s Chamber of Commerce’s new Business Recovery Specialist George E. Hadjiconstantinou to assess Covid-19 small business recovery needs and identify follow-up free resources and technical assistance to help. If you are a small business in our district that would like to receive one of these initial consultations, email us at tjenkins@jamaicacenter.org, fill out an assistance request form at NYC Small Business Resource Network page or email George E. Hadjiconstantinou, our zip code’s Business Recovery Specialist directly at ghadji@queenschamber.org
Jamaica Center BID Annual Meeting

We invite our property owners and businesses to participate in our 41st Annual Meeting. Please RSVP to jaluri@jamaicacenter.org. Property owners (registered and unregistered): please learn more about how you can vote and submit proxies by visiting the Annual Meeting section of our Membership page here.
Business News
Important Information for Restaurants 

NYC City agencies Department of Buildings (DOB), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) recently released guidance for NYC restaurants planning to stay open and serve customers outdoors with heating devices this fall and winter. The City’s press release with concrete information can be found here. For additional restaurant-focused support, we also suggest that restaurateurs in our district also visit the NYC Hospitality Alliance website and Queens Together (a new borough-focused restaurant advocacy and technical assistance nonprofit).

Additionally, the NYC Department of Small Business Services offers one-on-one free virtual compliance consultations to help you understand how to comply with key City outdoor rules. SBS's virtual consultations will help you understand key City rules and common compliance challenges related to the Open Restaurants Program and they will not issue violations or fines. 

Business owners are encouraged to request a consultation if they:  

  1. Have recently applied to Open Restaurants and are getting ready to provide food service 
  2. Are actively participating in Open Restaurants but continue to have questions/concerns 
  3. Are interested in applying to Open Restaurants but have not yet done so 

Visit here to request a consultation.
Helpful Webinar Round-Up 

Here’s the latest round-up of webinars we think may be of interest to our local business community: 

  • Guidelines for Reopening Phase I, II, III and IV Businesses in NYC - Learn about State requirements, recommendations and resources available to help Phase I, II, III businesses to reopen. Tuesday, 10/20, 12 - 1 p.m. Register here

  • Lease Negotiations: Maintaining and Restructuring to Stay in Business - Join Queens Chamber of Commerce's experienced professionals as they break down different types of lease negotiations that can potentially save businesses and jobs. Register here

  • The Future of the Paycheck Protection Program: What’s next for your business? - Learn about your current loan and whether or not your loan is automatically deferred with a panel of industry experts led by panel moderator Thomas J. Grech, Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO on Monday, 10/26. Register here.

  • Learn Social Media Marketing - Participants will learn about the important role social media influencers play in helping to reach your audience, and how to work with them. It will be taking place on Wednesday, 10/21 and you can register here.  

  • Get Certified as a M/WBE - Becoming a certified Minority Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE). Monday, 10/26 at 1 p.m. Register here.  

Columbia University's COVIDWatcher Small Business Survey

The Columbia University CovidWatcher Small Business Survey is a research, advocacy and policy tool. Its purpose is to identify and understand the challenges facing small business owners as a result of COVID-19 and learn about what they are already doing to ensure their economic viability and the health and safety of their customers and employees. Their ultimate goal is to improve policies impacting small business, ensure that resources are targeted to the needs identified, and help small businesses survive and thrive during these challenging times. You can take the survey here.
Business Grants & Loans
Simpler PPP Forgiveness for $50K Loans or Less

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Learn more and apply here

Need help navigating these guidelines? Don't forget - the Downtown Jamaica community has plenty of business support centers nearby for all of your small business needs. Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, York College Small Business Development Center, Queens EDC and the NYC Small Business Solutions Center located at 90-27 Sutphin Boulevard can help.
General Community News
Trunk or Treat Halloween Event

Join the 103 Precinct and Whip Finatic as they put on a Halloween event on Saturday, 10/31 in the parking lot at 90-01 168th Street. Our BID will be in attendance with giveaways for kids, photos with our Jamaica Avenue skeleton and brochures reminding shoppers of all of the new businesses that have recently opened on Jamaica Avenue in the past year. For FREE tickets visit here.
Men's Health Awareness Day

Join Ballin4Peace at King Manor Museum (150-03 Jamaica Avenue) this Saturday,10/17 from 11am-2pm for a socially distanced Men’s Health Awareness Day. They’ll be giving out masks and other products for healthy choices in your lives. There will also be some live music with food and drink. Register here.
Request Your Absentee Ballot: Deadline Tuesday, 10/27

The 2020 election is less than two-months away and if you have not already, make sure to request your absentee ballot. The deadline to do so is Tuesday, 10/27 and it can be done either online, email, or fax. 

To learn more about how to request your ballot visit the NYC Board of Elections website here
COVID Guidance for New Yorkers

All New Yorkers can take some simple steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:  

  • Stay home: Stay home, especially if you are sick unless you are leaving for essential medical care or other essential errands. 

  • Physical distancing: Stay at least 6 feet away from other people. Do not attend large gatherings, especially indoor gatherings. Remember to keep a safe distance between you and others even when wearing a face covering.  

  • Wear a face covering: Protect those around you. You can be contagious without having symptoms and spread the disease when you cough, sneeze or talk. When worn correctly (covering both your nose and mouth), face coverings can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Practice healthy hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; clean frequently touched surfaces regularly; avoid touching your face with unwashed hands; and cover coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hands. 

  • Get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, visit nyc.gov/covidtest or call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319). Testing is free at many sites, including all sites operated by Health + Hospitals and the NYC Health Department. 

For general information on COVID-19, visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus or text “COVID” to 692-692. Message and data rates may apply.  
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.