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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 9, 2013


DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES AND MASTERCARD HELP REVITALIZE COMMERCIAL CORRIDORS IMPACTED BY HURRICANE SANDY

Grant Program to Help Strengthen Neighborhoods As Part of Rebuilding Efforts.

The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and MasterCard have announced the activation of a grant program designed to revitalize commercial corridors in five neighborhoods severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

In the weeks following the unprecedented storm, MasterCard worked with SBS and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to create the Hurricane Sandy Commercial Revitalization Initiative, a new program that maximizes both resources and expertise to reinvigorate businesses in these areas. Following an assessment of the impacted areas and an expedited application process, grants were identified for community organizations in Staten Island, South Brooklyn and Red Hook, while helping to create new merchant organizations for the Rockaways and the South Street Seaport.

“With MasterCard’s help, existing organizations can do an even better job of attracting new businesses to their neighborhoods and helping small businesses in need after Hurricane Sandy,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “In places like the Rockaways and South Street Seaport, we are also seeing merchants come together to make their commercial corridors even stronger, thanks to the help from Mastercard.”

“The storm made the competitive landscape even more challenging for smaller businesses in these areas,” said Jay Singer, senior vice president, U.S. commercial products, MasterCard.  “We’re glad to contribute to the larger efforts and combine this grant program with our broader efforts to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed and grow.”

“MasterCard’s generous assistance will promote the ongoing recovery of businesses and communities most impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the local organizations supported by MasterCard to ensure that these neighborhoods not only rebuild what was damaged during the storm, but emerge even stronger than before.”

The projects supported through by MasterCard-SBS grant program include:

Brooklyn: Developing and executing a Web site to help attract visitors to Brighton Beach Avenue.

Brooklyn: Revitalizing the Van Brunt Street commercial corridor of Red Hook through a new business development initiative.

Manhattan: Organizing a merchants association for the South Street Seaport neighborhood to help increase foot traffic to the area.

Queens: Helping merchants along Beach 116th Street in the Rockaways form a merchant organization that will attract new businesses and improve the design of the commercial corridor.

Staten Island: Developing and executing a new vision for Midland Avenue, including retail and business attraction.

Hurricane Sandy impacted approximately 13,000 businesses in the hardest-hit business corridors across New York City. Grants provided through the Hurricane Sandy Commercial Revitalization Initiative will help strengthen these neighborhoods by reducing vacancies, strengthening local small businesses, and encouraging continued economic growth.

About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New
York City to start, operate and expand by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS’ services, go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.



  Contacts:
Merideth Weber (Small Business Services) 212-513-6318, mweber@sbs.nyc.gov
Seth Eisen (MasterCard) 914-249-3153, seth_eisen@mastercard.com
 

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