What's Happening This Week in
Downtown Jamaica
Home Depot and Jamaica Center BID Partner to Decorate Small Business Storefronts for the Holidays 

Perhaps while walking down the Avenue you noticed that many of our small business storefronts have a little extra holiday flair this year. That’s all thanks to Home Depot, located at 92-30 168th St which partnered with our BID to add pizazz to the storefronts of 13 businesses. 

Earlier this month, a large team of volunteers from Home Depot, armed with strings of holiday lights, garlands of greenery, ribbons, and wreaths joined our BID team to visit Pretty Women (165-09 Jamaica Ave), MA Perfume (165-12 Jamaica Ave), Blue Angels Bridal (166-01 Jamaica Ave), Make Me Over Beauty Bar (166-11 Jamaica Ave), European Wax Center (166-16 Jamaica Ave), Don’t Panic (164-09 Jamaica Ave), DJ Electronics (161-11 Jamaica Ave), Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar (166-21 Jamaica Avenue), M&M Fashion (155-29 Jamaica Avenue) and Rincon Salvadoreno (92-14 149th Street) for an outdoor (and in some cases, indoor) holiday makeover. The team even filled an unsightly empty tree pit with a temporary holiday tree (we hope to fill the tree pit with a *real* tree later this year, thanks to the generous continued support of our tree planting efforts in collaboration with The Horticultural Society of New York by Council Member James Gennaro’s office).  

We’re grateful to Home Depot for its community-minded outlook. The store was helpful earlier this summer when we partnered with SEQ Clean-Up, Linden Studios, and Cambria Heights Florist to beautify Parsons Public Space’s 39 planters by providing mulch, cleaning supplies, and leagues of volunteers to green the area. Now, in addition to their Holiday storefront efforts, Home Depot is also planning on participating in our ‘Tis the Season local shopping events taking place on Saturdays 12/4 and 12/11 with a hands-on activity table.  
Jamaica Avenue Historic Clock Renovation Is Nearing Completion 

It’s almost time (pun intended). The historic Jamaica Avenue street clock, which has been safely housed in the Electric Time Company’s studio in Medfield, MA receiving a full repair and historic restoration bringing it back to its original glory, is set to be reinstalled on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Union Hall in early December. We have received a lot of emails inquiring when this beloved timepiece will return home, and we are happy to report that after seven months we can finally gather once again at this important landmark. The renovation and restoration of this timepiece is a partnership between Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and our Jamaica Center Business Improvement District, with funding from Council Member I. Daneek Miller and New York City’s Department of Small Business Services. Horological expertise was provided by the nonprofit Save America’s Clocks. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled to take place on December 11 at high noon! Details to follow soon.  
Save the Dates: ‘Tis the Season on Jamaica Avenue—December 4 and 11 

Shop local this holiday season and we will make it worth your while with a whole lotta fun. On Saturdays December 4 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., our BID will enliven the sidewalk of our downtown shopping district with joyful pop-up surprises, ranging from fun giveaways, magician appearances, live music, and character photos with Jammy the Snowman and friends. Several stores will offer discounts on these two days and our local cultural organizations Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and King Manor Museum will also have fun activities in store.
And per community tradition, we can all come together at the end of the festivities on the 11th at Cultural Collaborative Jamaica's Holidays on the Avenue tree lighting ceremony which always takes place at Rufus King Park.  
As part of the ongoing fun downtown, we are also bringing back our ugly sweater selfie contest. Very soon three locations on Jamaica Avenue will be adorned with an ugly sweater backdrop. Snap a selfie in front of one, or all, backdrops and upload to social media and tag us for a chance to win a $50 gift card.  

‘Tis the Season is made possible by financial support from the JFK International Air Terminal. Stay tuned for more details!
What’s a Business Improvement District “BID” and What Do You BID People Do? 

We hope our constituents are still not asking that question, but in case anyone is curious about how our organization has served our local business and shopper community in the past year, we invite you to review our most recent Annual Report for our Fiscal Year 21 and watch the recording of our most recent Annual Meeting of the Membership, which took place earlier this month.  
Business News Section
Jamaica Center BID Helps Merchants Dialogue with DOT and Elected Officials About New Busway 

Since the implementation of the new pilot priority busway on Jamaica Avenue, our office has received numerous calls from merchants seeking more clarification or expressing concerns about the new traffic patterns. For that reason, our organization co-sponsored a forum for dialogue with New York City’s Department of Transporation with Greater Jamaica Development Corporation at the Harvest Room on November 18. (A special thank you GJDC for providing the venue!).

In advance of the forum, the BID also hosted two drop-in letter writing clinics for our local business community where any business wishing to provide feedback on the busways could receive technical assistance composing a letter to their local electeds or DOT regarding their concerns or suggestions for improvement to the pilot.
The Jamaica Center BID remains committed to helping ensure that our business community is heard and appropriately considered in large-scale city projects. In terms of advocacy, we have also been active in ensuring that businesses fronting the soon-to-be construction site of the Parsons Public Plaza project have ample opportunity to dialogue with NYC’s Department of Design and Construction through monthly check-in meetings hosted by our organization and that our businesses are aware of their existing (and newly-elected representatives).
Resorts World Small Business Hurricane Ida Grant 

This grant program provides up to $2,000 to small businesses for damage caused by Hurricane Ida. To learn about the qualifications and how to apply, click the survey link below. Learn more and apply here.
Owe City-Issued Fines? Get Them Reduced 
NYC Department of Finance is offering a temporary program allowing businesses to pay a reduced amount for eligible Environmental Control Board (ECB) judgments, including those issued by the Sanitation, Fire, and Buildings departments. 
You can save up to 75% with the FAIRER Program (Fine and Interest Reduction Enabling Recovery). To find out if your judgments are eligible, visit nyc.gov/fairer or call 311. The deadline to apply is December 20, 2021.
Get Your Business Online 

The NYC Department of Small Business Services is now offering a new service to get your business online with free help from NYC tech professionals. 

The NYC Small Business Tech Corps Pilot helps small businesses reach customers online by connecting them to no-cost tech professionals who can create or upgrade their web presence. In this first stage, this program will specifically target small businesses looking to join an existing eCommerce platform or improve their operations using technology.  

Eligible businesses must: 

  • Be located within the five-boroughs 

  • Have at least three months of consistent revenue prior to applying 

Businesses can expect to spend an average of 5 hours with a tech professional spread over 2-4 sessions, depending on the solution needed. 

Applications for this program are being accepted now on a rolling basis. Apply through the Digital Services Application here.  
New Restrictions on Distribution of Plastic Straw, Splash Sticks, and Stirrers 

Beginning November 1, 2021, New York City food service establishments may no longer provide single-use plastic beverage straws that are not compostable, except upon request. Additionally, food service establishments may no longer provide single-use beverage splash sticks or stirrers made of plastic. 

All food service establishments must maintain a sufficient supply of single-use plastic beverage straws that are not compostable and provide these, free of charge, to any person who requests one. 

Food service establishments with self-serve stations must display a sign at each station that states: “Plastic straws available upon request.” These signs must be unobstructed in their entirety, be at least two inches by seven inches, and no less than 20-point font. 

Affected businesses, agencies, and nonprofits will have a one-year warning period lasting through October 31, 2022. For more information on this law, the exceptions, and to download a sample sign, please visit nyc.gov/straws
General Community News
Sutphin Blvd BID Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway 

Join the Sutphin Blvd BID on Thanksgiving Day, November 25 at 10am as they celebrate the holiday season by giving back to the community. The Sutphin Blvd BID will be giving away over 800 hot, pre-packaged Thanksgiving meals to anyone who may be in need. The giveaway will be taking place at 90-67 Sutphin Blvd and will be first-come, first serve.
Cultural Collaborative Jamaica's Holidays on the Avenue

Mark your calendars for Cultural Collaborative Jamaica's annual Holidays on the Avenue happening Saturday, December 11 at Rufus King Park. Follow Cultural Collaborative Jamaica on Instagram and Facebook for more information!
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.