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NYC Small Business Services
Press Release

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Thursday, August 22, 2013


New Program Supported by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Will Provide Grants to Help Improve Storefronts Damaged By Hurricane Sandy.

Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel, SBS Commissioner Rob Walsh, and Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City President Megan Sheekey have announced the Small Business Storefront Improvement Program to help repair storefronts along commercial corridors impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The initiative is modeled after a pilot program that was launched in May 2013 and supported by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and a grant from Citi Community Development to improve storefronts and create a cohesive image for Beach 116th Street in the Rockaways. The new citywide program, funded by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will help local businesses in neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy repair their storefronts, create a cohesive image for commercial corridors, and help draw customers and attract new investment to neighborhoods impacted by Sandy.

“As businesses reopen their doors after Hurricane Sandy, this program will help make improvements to their storefronts, repair damages, and create a cohesive feel to impacted commercial corridors across the City,” said Robert K. Steel, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “By improving their storefronts, businesses impacted by Sandy can send out the message that they’re back, and attract customers and new businesses to their neighborhood.”

“We have received an outstanding response to the Storefront Improvement pilot program on Beach 116th street in the Rockaways, and construction is already underway along the commercial corridor,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “The City has been helping small businesses with loans, grants, technical assistance, and more, and the Small Business Storefront Improvement Program is one more way the City is helping small businesses and commercial corridors come back even stronger after Hurricane Sandy.”

The Small Business Storefront Improvement Program will provide grants of up to $20,000 to cover the construction costs of storefront improvements for businesses located along commercial corridors that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In some cases, high impact projects may be eligible to receive additional funding. Repairs can include new signage and awnings, display window repair/re-glazing, masonry work and brick pointing, exterior lighting installation, cornice repair, exterior painting, door replacement/repair, and more. Approved projects will meet with program architects to develop and finalize renderings of the proposed storefront improvements to ensure the project falls within budget and maintains the character of the neighborhood.

Eligible businesses can apply online for the Small Business Storefront Improvement Program at or by calling 311. Funding will be provided to store owners to implement the architectural designs for their facades. Owners will be obligated to implement approved designs for their properties. Applications are due by November 1, 2013.

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

About the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative public-private partnerships throughout NYC’s five boroughs. One hundred percent of donations in response to Hurricane Sandy are being dispersed to relief and recovery efforts and organizations. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, contributions helped to support the supply and transport of emergency needs including hot food, toiletries, baby supplies, cleaning materials, warm clothing and medications for New Yorkers. The Mayor’s Fund is now focused on longer-term rebuilding and restoration efforts, including sponsoring a network of housing counselors and legal service providers to help residents, mold awareness trainings and treatment in homes, and programs for nonprofit organizations and local businesses affected by the hurricane. For more information go to and follow the Fund on

Merideth Weber (Small Business Services)

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