What's Happening This Week in
Downtown Jamaica
Don’t Miss These Great Events!

Downtown is bustling with exciting events this month, starting this weekend when Cultural Collaborative Jamaica’s JAMS Fest returns to the Ave! JAMS will be celebrating its 25th anniversary kicking off with JAMS Under the Stars at Rufus King Park tonight (Friday 8/6) from 6-10pm. Tomorrow (Saturday, 8/7) 11am - 7pm, JAMS Fest begins with a 10-block open air festival with entertainment, music, shopping and more. Follow #jamaicafestival2021. Our team will be present soliciting community input on beautification desires for Jamaica Avenue with an opportunity to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant—so be sure to stop by!

Meanwhile, King Manor Museum’s (153-03 Jamaica Avenue) Hands on History month continues, with a focus on curiosity cabinets (miniature early museums of the 18th century that helped early Americans learn about nature and culture). Join King Manor Museum in the making of your own curiosity cabinet. Learn more and register here

On Saturday, August 21, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning’s (JCAL) VITALS (a free outdoor health and wellness festival highlighting organizations and entrepreneurs advancing health equity amongst communities of color) will take place at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (153-10 Jamaica Avenue). Enjoy live musicians from The Dream Unfinished and the Harlem Chamber Players. RSVP here

Speaking of live performances, we were pleased to sponsor and be in attendance at JCAL’s most recent Mic Drop last Friday which featured tap dancer and instructor, Omar Edwards and Carlos Noel, David Sincere Aiken and Lyle Omolayo at Parsons Public Space. Don’t miss the next Mic Drop which will take place on August 27.
Rincon Salvadereno Featured on PIX 11

To celebrate New York City Restaurant Week, PIX 11 News has been trying dishes from some of the best restaurants across the five boroughs, and they elected to feature New York City’s first Salvadoran restaurant, Rincon Salvadreno (in the heart of Jamaica, Queens at 92-15 149th Street). Congrats to owner Elena Barcenes! You can watch her interview and taste-testing of dishes with PIX 11’s news crew here. Elena was also one of several businesses featured in a series of videos we developed with videographer Alan Goldsher this spring and summer to promote local business. Catch that video here.  
Business News Section
Business Feedback Critical: Jamaica Avenue Busway Pilot

New York City’s Department of Transportation is proposing the conversion of Jamaica Avenue to a busway starting at Sutphin Boulevard and ending at 168th Street. This proposal will also convert the eastbound direction of Archer Avenue to a busway starting at 150th Street and ending at 160th Street. The latest details on this particular proposed busway can be found here. More information on busways in general and current bus priority projects can be found here and here

Last fall, our BID ensured that our business community’s delivery and parking needs were taken into account with this plan by connecting DOT with our local merchants for 1-1 onsite and in-person interviews. Now, it is important that all businesses take the time to review the revised proposal based upon business feedback and then submit any further input to the Department of Transportation. On Wednesday, August 18 and Thursday, August 19, the Department of Transportation will host in-person, outdoor, informational open houses in Downtown Jamaica regarding these projects.

First Meeting
  • Wednesday, August 18, 2021 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Parsons-Archer Pedestrian Plaza (Parsons Blvd. at Archer Ave.)

Second Meeting:
  • Thursday, August 19, 2021 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Ave., Queens

Questions/Comments can be directed to the Queens Borough Commissioner’s office at 212.839.2510 or email aarcese@dot.nyc.gov with any questions. 

Businesses: our BID wants to know your concerns, questions or support for this initiative as well so that we can best advocate for you and ensure your needs and concerns are heard by the Department of Transportation. Please contact Jennifer Furioli jfurioli@jamaicacenter.org with any thoughts you’d like to share regarding this initiative. 
Friendly Reminder: Your Business Sanitation Responsibilities
We recently visited every storefront business to distribute a flyer regarding individual business responsibilities in keeping the sidewalk and curbs clean and the removal of business waste. You can review that flyer here. Remember, our BID provides supplemental services to help enhance the district. We do not replace what a business is supposed to do in terms of sweeping and trash removal using a private carter. Please review this flyer carefully. If you have further questions, reach out to our office. 
NY State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program 

The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and apply here.
NYC LMI Storefront Loan Reopened
Applications for the NYC LMI Storefront Loan are open again and will be due by Tuesday, August 17. This program offers zero-percent interest loans up to $100,000 for storefront businesses located in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. The eligibility criteria has changed, and the geographies have expanded to include additional Census Tracts. Learn more and apply here.
NYC Means Business
You can download NYC Small Business Services PDF titled ‘NYC Means Business: Resources to Successfully Reopen Your Business' here. You can learn all that you need to know for reopening and pivoting to the ever-changing pandemic environment in the city. 
PPP Loan Forgiveness
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that businesses that received $150,000 or less through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are eligible for loan forgiveness. 

The application opened this week and you can apply through a special portal SBA has created. You can read more about this opportunity from the press release that SBA published, and If you have questions about how to fill out the application, SBA's Business Services Group can help you. Learn more here
Upcoming Webinars For Small Businesses 

NYC SBS Business Services: 
  • Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE) Certification webinar on August 9. Register here.
  • Applying for Grants and Loans (Zoom) on August 19. Register here.

Queens Chamber of Commerce
  • Getting Your MWBE Certification with The Port Authority of NY & NJ (Zoom) on August 17. Register here.

US Small Business Administration:
  • PPP Forgiveness Application: Forms, Calculation and Documentation (Zoom) on August 6, 9, 11 and 18
  • PPP Forgiveness Application Updates (Zoom in Mandarin) on August 12. Register here
General Community News
Local Employment Opportunities

There will be a job fair on August 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Harvest Room (90-40 160th Street). Over 100 positions will be available with the Queens-based certified NYS/Port Authority Minority-Owned and operated company that provides services in JFK and LaGuardia airport. They are currently looking to hire 100 plus people for positions that include customer service, ramp, baggage, cargo warehouse drivers and much more. This event is open to all with complimentary admission. 

In addition to the job fair, the Cookies Department Store (166-21 Jamaica Avenue) is hiring cashiers, sales associates and stockpersons. Flexible schedules are available for part-time or full-time associates. Pay will be $15 an hour. For more information reach out to the Human Resources Department at 718-291-7700
Vaccination News 

This past Tuesday Mayor de Blasio announced that New York City will require proof of vaccination for customers and workers participating in indoor dining, gyms, entertainment, and performances. You can watch the press conference here
Key to NYC Pass is a first-in-the-nation approach that will be phased in over the coming weeks. The final details of this policy will be announced and implemented the week of August 16. Inspections and enforcement will begin the week of September 13
To show proof of vaccination, you can show your paper vaccination card, the Excelsior pass, or the NYC COVID Safe app.  

As the new Delta variant continues to spread, there has been an increase in the number of residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to an uptick in the overall infection rate.

This makes it even more important that if you have not received a vaccine yet that you get one in order to keep you, and those around you, safe.

There are still several places to receive a vaccination and to find one, use the COVID-19 vaccine finder here.  
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

Learn more and apply here
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.