What's Happening This Week in
Downtown Jamaica
Jamaica Center BID Makes an Appearance at Queens High School for Sciences' Career Day

This week, Jahnavi Aluri, our Program Manager, and Fred Green, our Admin and Operations Manager, participated in the Queens High School for the Sciences’ Career Day to share their professional and educational experiences with these gifted high school students. Jahnavi and Fred answered questions on a broad range of topics ranging from retail on Jamaica Avenue to how our BID partners with city government. Fred’s prior experience serving in both FEMA and the Special Services sparked a lot of excitement. Additional inquiries were made by curious students as to whether our office provides free lunch to BID employees. The answer to that, dear reader, is no. All of our nonprofit’s funding is used to support district services such as supplemental sanitation, beautification and small business support, rather than our growling stomachs (check our annual report which contains a financial statement breakdown of our expenses here ). However, all of us on the team love to purchase our lunches from the many great restaurants on Jamaica Avenue. Lately we have been traipsing to the newly-opened Plaintain Werks at 147-21 Jamaica Avenue . If you missed the article about this cute restaurant’s recent opening, check our past article here
Our BID is more convinced than ever that our future is in great hands after liaising with these bright stars at the Queens High School for the Sciences. We hope our team helped inspire a new generation of potential BID managers, planners, and policy makers. Founded in 2002, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College is one of the nine specialized high schools in New York City, which admits students in NYC that based on scores attained on the Specialized High School Admissions Examination. 
2020 Census and Business Event
Our BID, along with our neighboring organizations, Sutphin Avenue BID , 165th Street BID, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Queens Chamber of Commerce , gathered with Association for a Better New York (ABNY) and members of our local business community to learn about the importance of the 2020 Census, the impact of Census participation in Downtown Jamaica and how we can collectively take action to ensure that our community is fairly and adequately counted.

Key learnings: 
  • SE Queens historically has low Census response rates. Census data informs how much of the federal pie each community receives in terms of funding for important services (think: education dollars; infrastructure; services for youth, older adults and more). To ensure we receive the funding we deserve, we need to show our true population count. Census data also determines congressional seats. Let’s not lose important political voices for our community.

  • This is the first year the Census will be available online. Filling out the census is convenient!

  • The proposed citizenship question in the Census was removed. Immigration status will not be questioned.

  • The Census does not require a donation, nor will it ever ask for a bank account or social security number. Don’t be scammed by unscrupulous individuals claiming to work for the Census. 
As a daily touchstone in the lives of New Yorkers, you can help spread the word about the importance of the Census to your employees and customers. ABNY and the Census bureau have prepared a document with actionable steps below.
We would like to thank Melva Miller, Executive Vice President at ABNY for organizing the Jamaica community organizations and presenters for this event. Prior to her position at ABNY, Ms. Miller served as the Deputy Borough President of Queens. She was instrumental in the creation of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, a stakeholder-driven strategy to increase quality employment, economic diversity and financial security in Downtown Jamaica.

Have You Picked Up Your Guide?

Don't forget you can access our new winter event guide on our website under the "Seasonal Events Guide" section , download it below, or you can pick one up throughout Jamaica Avenue over the next couple of months to find out what's happening. Copies are currently available at local retailers , King Manor Museum , Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning and the Jamaica Market .
Black History Month Cultural Gala Weekend

Head over to the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) for a night of exciting African dancing and drumming by the FANIKE! African Dance Troupe Artists! Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

On Sunday, March 1st the Black History Month Cultural Gala Weekend continues with a 'Day of Culture' with children and adult cultural workshops including a storytelling workshop, dance classes and vendors.

The AirTrain Jazz Festival with Takeshi Ogura Trio

The AirTrain Jazz Festival series continues next week with Takeshi Ogura Trio on the AirTrain Jamaica stage. 

FRIDAY NIGHTS @ JAC Featuring Aaron Edgcomb

The Erato Series is a collection of compositions for improvising chamber ensemble that deal with frenetic musical movement, improvisation, and musical permeability, drawing on compositional techniques developed by György Ligeti and John Zorn. Aaron is a composer, drummer, and percussionist whose work appears in many contexts including improvisational music, jazz, new music, noise, and song. Aaron is very interested in the way music creates and changes social and political identities.

District Deals
Jamaica Center BID Value Card

Sign up for our Value Card and we'll send you a digital version of the card to use in participating stores on Jamaica Avenue.

Below are the stores that are accepting the Value Card with 10% discounts! Check them out when you're out and about.

Jamaica Center BID businesses: Have a district deal you want to share with over 3,000 people? Send it to us, and we'll post it in our newsletter! Email us below!
Raymour & Flanigan

  • Save up to 30% on Living Rooms
Downtown Jamaica Business Resources
Investors Bank Kicks-Off New Year with Competition for Small Businesses

Investors Bank is committed to helping businesses grow and support those that share their key ideals of creativity, competitiveness and community.

The Investors Bank Movers & Shakers Small Business Competition was created to celebrate businesses that share these ideals. From ten finalists, two grand prize winners will be named and awarded prizes valued at over $100,000 .

  • Who may enter: Businesses with revenues between $2MM and $20MM with 100 employees or fewer, and headquartered or doing a majority of operations in the NY/NJ Metro area.

  • How to enter: Applicants must submit a short statement of up to 1,000 words describing how their business aligns with the Investors Bank key ideals of creativity, competitiveness and community.
Entries must be received by 2/28/2020
NYC Plastic Ban: BEGINS MARCH 1, 2020

Starting March 1, 2020 , single-use plastic bags are banned, with limited exceptions, in New York State. In addition, businesses must collect a five-cent fee on paper carryout bags in New York City. NOTE: This fee will not apply to any customers using SNAP or WIC. If you're a business, learn how to implement this new law below.
New Business Regulations

Certain businesses are required to separate their organic waste, such as food scraps, for beneficial use in New York City. These requirements were recently expanded to include additional food service establishments, retail food stores, food prep locations, catering establishments, and temporary public events.
Storefront Registration Requirements for Property Owners

A new law requires that property owners of ground floor or second floor commercial premises file an annual registration statement providing information about these spaces.

Storefront space includes ground-floor or second-floor commercial areas that are:

  • Visible from the street and accessible to the public using a street or interior entrance AND

  • Used for selling retail goods, food, or beverages, or for providing personal or financial services. This includes restaurants and service-sector firms operating in storefront spaces.
Property owners will register their storefronts as part of the Real Property Income & Expense (RPIE) statement. Most property owners should already be familiar with the RPIE. Business owners are not responsible for this new requirement.

The 2020 RPIE filing period ends June 1, 2020.
Restaurant Loan Program

Jamaica Center BID's recent Commercial District Needs Assessment identified that local residents and workers want more restaurants in the neighborhood. Now is an opportune time to open a restaurant: Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is looking to help restaurant entrepreneurs open restaurants in Downtown Jamaica with a loan program offering up to $150,000! Learn more and apply below.
Downtown Jamaica Leasing Opportunities
Community Assistance & Resources
2020 Summer Internships with Port Authority NY/NJ

The Port Authority offers 12-week paid summer internships to students that provide the opportunity to work with knowledgeable and experienced professionals on assignments critical to operating, maintaining, and expanding the transportation infrastructure for one of the greatest economies in the world. All applications must be submitted by February 28 .
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.