On Saturday, November 2nd, the Beach 116th Street Partnership – a newly formed local development corporation – along with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), MasterCard, Capital One Bank, and Pratt Area Community Council (PACC), hosted a “Rolling Up the Gates” event to showcase the available retail space and business opportunities on Beach 116th Street in the Rockaways. The event provided entrepreneurs a guided tour of the commercial corridor and vacant commercial space, and the opportunity to meet with local financial and business resource organizations to discuss available services for small business owners. A recent survey conducted by JGSC Group found that the Rockaway peninsula is home to more than 55,000 consumers with an average household income of $68,700. 87% of those consumers want more restaurants and stores, and would shop locally if more options were available. The sales, investment, and growth opportunities present on Beach 116th Street make it an attractive environment to entrepreneurs.
“One year after Sandy, Beach 116th Street is stronger than ever, and ‘Rolling Up the Gates’ highlights the available retail and commercial space along the corridor, as well as the investments made by the city, local merchants, and private funders in the past year,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “I encourage entrepreneurs and small business owners to discover Beach 116th Street and make it your new home.”
“The Beach 116th Street Partnership is proud to highlight our neighborhood through the ‘Rolling Up the Gates’ event and we would like to thank the Department of Small Business Services, MasterCard, Capital One Bank, and Pratt Area Community Council for making it possible,” said Tom Hughes, Board Director of The Beach 116th Street Partnership. “The Partnership is committed to making Beach 116th Street –Rockaway’s main street – a more pleasant place for residents to shop, and adding more businesses to the corridor will help us fulfill that commitment.”
“At MasterCard, we recognize the positive impact that entrepreneurship can have as an onramp to financial inclusion and in the communities these businesses serve,” said Patricia Devereux, Group Head of Corporate Philanthropy. “Small businesses are at the heart of local communities, and we were proud to support commercial revitalization efforts in the Rockaways post Hurricane Sandy and look forward to the work of the new Merchant Association.”
“As a local bank, Capital One Bank recognizes the critical role small businesses play as the driving force in strengthening our local economy,” said Daniel Delehanty, Senior Director, Community Development Banking, Capital One Bank. “That’s why we’re proud to support ‘Rolling Up the Gates,’ which serves as a symbol of the rebuilding, recovery and revitalization of the Rockaways community since Hurricane Sandy.”
“We hope each successful ‘Rolling Up the Gates’ Storefront Stroll will help attract new businesses to Beach 116th Street to complement an already diverse retail mix, help reduce the vacancy rates of participating organizations in our commercial corridors, and help create a local and thriving retail area that reminds neighborhood residents to shop local,” said Dale Charles, Director of Economic Development at Pratt Area Community Council.
“Rolling Up the Gates” not only showcases the available retail and commercial space along Beach 116th Street, but also highlights the transformation that the commercial corridor has undergone since Hurricane Sandy. One year later, there is a new merchants organization for Beach 116th Street businesses, cleaner and safer streets, branding and marketing initiatives, and new storefronts that create a more cohesive and attractive look. To date, more than $400,000 in grants from Citi Community Development and The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has been distributed to 26 businesses along Beach 116th Street, with 15 storefronts completed through the City’s Storefront Improvement program. Citi Community Development also recently announced an additional $150,000 to expand the storefront program along Beach 116th Street.
For more information about Beach 116th Street, visit www.shopbeach116.com
About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. NYC Workforce1 Career Centers offer services to meet the needs of all jobseekers, including one-on-one job and career counseling, technical and educational services, workshops, and referrals to training providers. For more information, go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.