New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert Walsh and Executive Director Michael Burke of the Downtown Brooklyn Council today announced the start of services of a new, City-funded clean-up initiative along Brooklyn’s Smith Street corridor. Beginning today, the DOE Fund—a nonprofit that offers job training and employment for individuals in transition out of homelessness—will be sending crews to Smith Street three days a week to provide sanitation services for the bustling commercial strip.
“Often, it is the small things that can make a big difference for a retail corridor, and this is one example of how the City can help make Smith Street cleaner, more inviting and more business friendly—not to mention a better environment for shoppers and pedestrians,” said Commissioner Walsh. “The Mayor made it clear from day one that he would champion the City’s neighborhoods and the organizations that serve them. By working with the Downtown Brooklyn Council—which has done so much to invigorate the area—this initiative is a win-win scenario for merchants, shoppers and residents alike.”
“Thanks to Commissioner Walsh and SBS this cleaning initiative will help beautify one of Brooklyn’s premier destinations, Restaurant Row on Smith Street,” said Burke. “SBS’ commitment to the development of greater Downtown Brooklyn will have a significant impact on the Smith Street businesses. This is undoubtedly an important part of the Downtown area’s revitalization and aesthetic transformation.”
The Smith Street initiative stems from a $20,000 Avenue NYC grant. Avenue NYC, managed by SBS, funds more than 60 organizations throughout the five boroughs to improve neighborhood shopping districts via business attraction, storefront improvement, real estate development and other program areas. The DOE Fund crew will be operating on Smith Street between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, giving the street additional resources when it encounters the highest volume of pedestrian traffic.
“The DOE Fund is very pleased to be able to offer our cleaning services to Smith Street and we look forward to our Ready, Willing & Able ‘men in blue’ becoming a vital asset to the busy commercial area,” said George McDonald, Founder and President of The DOE Fund. “Our program participants, all formerly homeless men working to rebuild their lives through paid work, have won the support of businesses and community residents throughout the many New York neighborhoods in which they clean and anticipate doing the same on Smith Street.”
SBS makes it easier for companies in New York City to form, do business and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, promoting financial and economic opportunity among minority- and women-owned businesses, preparing New Yorkers for jobs and linking employers with a skilled and qualified workforce.
The Downtown Brooklyn Council is an economic development advocacy organization devoted to promoting the growth of the greater Downtown Brooklyn area.