What's Happening This Week in
Downtown Jamaica
Weekly Business Grants and Loan Updates - Business PPP is Back!

After funds were extinguished from the first round, the federal Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program “PPP” reopened this week. You can access more information about the PPP from the Small Business Administration here .

One of the common complaints about the initial PPP funding round was that many small businesses were not able to access the funds through traditional lending methods. The current round of PPP is designed to help solve this problem by allocating some funds to be distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFI’s, in addition to regular banks. What is a CDFI? CDFI’s are organizations that ensure that under-represented communities get a fair chance at accessing loans. The good news is that Jamaica, Queens qualifies as the type of neighborhood where businesses can receive loans from a CDFI. The nationwide nonprofit National Development Council (NDC), is a CDFI that has stated its preference for PPP applications coming from low and moderate income districts (LMI’s), of which Jamaica is one. Consider reaching out to NDC here.  

Also, just a reminder that applications for the second round of grant funding from the national nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation “LISC” Rapid Relief Resiliency Fund closes today. Apply here . (This is a grant program that opens and closes regularly—be sure you don’t miss the next application opening. Sign up for email updates from LISC to be notified of the next round.)
Additional Resources for Businesses

Our BID continues to comb the internet for resources that our local business community may find helpful to our business community. Our finds this week:  

Webinar of the Week: New York City Hospitality Update: State of the Industry & Looking Forward - Wednesday, April 29 at 4 p.m.
A team of specialists will discuss the pros and cons of the PPP loan; business affairs pertaining to preparing for a return to work (e.g., I-9 compliance, rate of pay forms); WARN Act liability; issues pertaining to paid sick leave; operational changes to implement in the workplace post-COVID; and mitigating the risk of litigation in a post-COVID workplace. Register here

Toolkit of the Week: Streetsense - Pandemic Response Resources
Streetsense, a design and strategy firm specializing in retail, restaurant, hospitality, and real estate solutions has developed a series of free pandemic response resources. Their latest? A toolkit designed to help restaurants get back on their feet and prepare for a relaunch which can be downloaded here . As a reminder, we have also been reading the Thryve.com blog , which is also uploading a series of articles designed to help businesses adapt to the current virtual environment and prepare for the next economic reality. This article about re-engaging your customers before you reopen was a good one .

Website of the Week:
 The website of the week is....drumroll please....yours! If you are a business that wants to create a website (or improve the one you’ve got), please sign up for Go Daddy and Greater Jamaica Development Corporation’s FREE four-module Empower course . Being able to sell and connect with consumers digitally is more important than ever—don't turn down this free resource. And to make this more enticing, if you’re a business located in the BID that wants copy writing or editing help with your website text while working on this project, reach out to our BID. We’ll help you.  
Plantain Werkes is Back

Last week we announced that Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Restaurant had reopened for takeout and delivery. More good news....this week, Plantain Werkes ( 147-21 Jamaica Avenue , Instagram ) is opening back up for takeout on Thursday, April 30 . Plantain Werkes is a Dominican Restaurant on the Ave that opened this past winter. (Fred from our BID office is obsessed with their lentil soup.) Plantain Werks is just the kind of business we want on Jamaica Avenue, so let’s all rally around them with their reopening and be sure to support them with takeout orders. As a reminder, people can view what eateries and shops are open on our website .
Hometown Hero

Many of you already know Kelsey Brow, the Executive Director of King Manor Museum, located in the center of our downtown Jamaica shopping district. But....did you know that she is also a talented seamstress? Because the museum has been closed to visitors as of late, Kelsey has taken it upon herself to whip out her sewing machine and start sewing personal protective equipment (PPE) for our local hospitals. Our NYC medical professionals are awesome, and so is Kelsey. Thanks for being amazing!

We’re looking for more Jamaica-based hometown heros to feature. Send us nominations ( tjenkins@jamaicacenter.org ) and we’ll write about them in an upcoming e-newsletter and gift them a Jamaica Center BID reusable shopping bag (when its safe for us to return to our office, of course).   
Thank you State Senator Sanders!  

Our Executive Director Jennifer Furioli enjoyed being one of three guests on Senator James Sanders Jr.’s recent live Facebook gathering about what life may look like post covid-19. You can catch the replay here .  
A Fresh Batch of Coloring Books

NY State has developed a batch of coloring pages featuring famous sites across NY State. Download them here . This past summer, we also developed our own set of Jamaica, Queens coloring pages in collaboration with Queens artist Brittany Baldwin. Brittney, as you may recall, was the artist who created the ground mural at Parsons Public Space one year ago which featured shapes reminiscent of Jamaica’s unique history and today’s vibrant environment. Brittney was kind enough to help us develop some coloring pages based off of her temporary ground mural for last summer’s Weekend Walks street event, which we are re-purposing again as fun and educational at home entertainment. You can see Brittany’s original ground mural as it appeared in Parsons Public Space here , visit her Instagram page to see more of her work here , and then put your own spin on Brittney’s artwork by downloading the coloring pages here .
Friendly Reminders

Our Jamaica Ave store clerks love their customers, but several have had experiences where their customers are getting a little too close to them. Remember—clerks are humans too and susceptible to this disease. We need them to stay healthy for their families and so that their business can stay open and continue serving our community. Please remember to keep adequate distance from everyone, including essential retailer store clerks, when shopping on Jamaica Avenue. We guarantee that they can still help you with your needs within a safe margin.

Also don't forget to complete the 2020 Census. Getting counted is a strong way to advocate for your community and its public infrastructure needs (like hospitals and ambulances). The Census can be filled out  online here.
For More Coronavirus Information from the City of New York

If you would like to receive regular text alerts from City government regarding the novel Coronavirus, you can sign up by texting COVID to 692-692 .  
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.