What's Happening This Week in
Downtown Jamaica
Gift Bag Giveaway THIS WEEKEND

This Halloween Saturday we have a fun promotion that’s no tricks, just all treats! Shop or dine at any business in the Jamaica Avenue BID* and YOU just might be one of five lucky winners handed a Jamaica Avenue Halloween Goodie Bag packed with fun surprises and a $25 gift card redeemable at all stores accepting credit cards within our BID boundaries. 2020 has been a pretty frightening year for our business community, with foot traffic down to unimaginable numbers due to the pandemic. Please support Jamaica Avenue’s bricks and mortar businesses and remind your friends to do the same by hashtagging #ILoveJamaicaAvenue and #ShopJamaica Avenue whenever you shop downtown. 

For additional Halloween fun on Saturday, swing by the 103 Precinct’s and Whip Finatic’s Truck or Treat socially-distanced Halloween event (90-01 168th Street). The Jamaica Center BID team will be there with giveaways for kids, photo ops with our resident skeleton “Mr. Bones” and brochures reminding shoppers of all the new businesses that have popped up on The Ave this past year. You can register for the event here.

*Bonus bag promotion applies within BID boundaries of Jamaica Ave from 169th to Sutphin Blvd and Union Hall between Jamaica Ave and Archer. Bags will be given to five randomly selected local customers on Halloween between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Weekly Accomplishments

Last Thursday our team undertook 15 intake consultations with small businesses located within our BID to identify their most pressing needs during this challenging time of Covid. We were accompanied by George Hadjiconstantinou, the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s appointed small business recovery specialist for Jamaica. George is one of many talented professionals representing the City’s NYC Small Business Resource Network — a city-wide initiative spearheaded by all five Borough-wide Chambers of Commerce. The NYC Small Business Resource Network is designed to bring technical assistance and business recovery support to NYC small businesses. After visiting with our varied businesses last week, George will be researching grants, programs and other sources of technical support to bring back to each entity to help them in their recovery. If you are a small business that would like to learn more about this program and how it can possibly assist your small business, visit www.nycsmallbusinessresourcenetwork.org where you can sign up for a consultation. You can also email George directly at recovery@queenschamber.org.  

Our team also treated our sanitation Clean Team to a delicious lunch at seafood outpost, Hook & Reel (161st Street and Jamaica Avenue). Thank you to Hook & Reel for treating these hard-working Clean Team workers like royalty. After keeping the district clean and sanitized during the height of Coronavirus and their amazing job cleaning up not one, but TWO illegal dumping incidents on the Avenue two weeks ago, our Clean Team definitely deserved a moment of celebration.  

Last, but not least, our team surveyed the entire district, logging and reporting dozens of streetscape and quality of life issues to be addressed by our Clean Team and various City partners.  
Jamaica Center BID Annual Meeting

We invite our property owners and businesses to participate in our (remote broadcast) 41st Annual Meeting to learn about our activities and accomplishments from the past year. To receive the log-in information, please RSVP to jaluri@jamaicacenter.org. Property owners (registered and unregistered: learn more about how you can vote and submit proxies by visiting the Annual Meeting section of our Membership page here.) 

We are pleased to share that Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes, newly appointed President of CUNY’s York College campus will be joining us as a special guest to provide an update on the latest capital improvements to the campus.  
Business News
“Open Storefronts”: City Releases Outdoor Retail Guidelines  

Similar to how NYC Government made it possible for restaurants to administer outdoor dining through its Outdoor Restaurants initiative, the City has just released guidelines for retailers wishing to sell merchandise outdoors through its new program billed “Open Storefronts”. Businesses will be able to display merchandise, complete transactions, and provide areas for customers to line up, as long as the business meets eligibility criteria identified by the City, which will be made available at nyc.gov/openstorefronts

The program will be available to all ground-floor storefront businesses after the completion of a short online form acknowledging their understanding of the program’s criteria and restrictions.  

Are you a business considering participating? Start by perusing the program’s FAQ’s here. Have further questions? Call the City of New York’s Small Business Services dedicated hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC. If you plan on participating, please let our office know.   
PPE for Local South East Queens Small Businesses

This summer we partnered with the City of New York and Queens Chamber of Commerce to distribute 5,000 masks and see-through face guards to our local businesses. Our PPE stock is soon to be replenished by the City, allowing us to distribute thousands more to businesses needing a refill. As a reminder to any business wishing to receive masks, requests must be made to Fred Green via 718-873-2508 or fgreen@jamaicacenter.org. Businesses are limited to 50 masks per business, or 20 per small business employee (regardless of their employment status), whichever number is greater. For example, a 1- or 2-person business would receive 50 masks; a 10-person business could receive 200 masks. If you need more masks for your employees, contact Fred quickly, as supplies go fast.
Sign up for JBID-Alerts!

We continue to enroll our local 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. Our first test of this system occurred when Jamaica Avenue was designated as part of the yellow Covid cluster by NY State’s Governor. Businesses enrolled in our system were the first to hear of this designation and receive the link to the State’s business compliance guidelines for our zone.  

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 (ex. Make sure your contact information is updated online, think about signage for your storefront windows, etc.)  
Restaurants Update

Two new initiatives to help local restaurants that have come to our attention: 

  • EatNom, a new Queens-based startup providing weekly subscription meal delivery services is looking for restaurants wishing to build an additional revenue stream to provide meals to their customer base. For more information about this opportunity, visit here.

  • FREE Scannable Menus for Local Restaurants in NYC: Handless Menu is an initiative by NYC high school student Iskander Khan to place handless menus in NYC restaurants by helping restaurants transition to QR code menus. To contact Handless Menu visit here

  • Notice from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs: Cashless Establishments: Notice details here
General Community News
Visual Art Event at JCAL

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning is thrilled to announce two impactful visual arts events . From 10/29 - 12/15, A Way of Learning From Everything will be on view by appointment at JCAL's Miller Gallery. The exhibition will showcase the works that the two ARTWorks Residency Fellows, Cody Ann Herrmann, and Patrice Robinson, have produced over the past year during their residency. The two artists will also take part in an online artist talk 11/18 at 7PM (RSVP here).
Stop the Spread of COVID with NY's Contact Tracing App 

To stop the spread, New Yorkers need to do their part. Participate in the new contact tracing app COVID Alert NY to help keep yourself and your community safe.  

COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification app that notifies you if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested, and reduce the potential exposure risk to others.  

The app is available to anyone 18+ who lives, works, or attends school in New York or New Jersey, and it's available in seven languages.  

Download the app for iPhone or Android here. Read the FAQ on privacy and more 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.