Monday, May 9, 2022


Grants Support Mayor Adams' Economic Recovery Blueprint Initiative to Fortify Commercial Corridors Impacted by the Pandemic

NEW YORK — Today the NYC Department of Small Business Services announced three Strategic Impact Grants totaling $800,000 to support commercial districts and Open Streets in low- to moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods. The grants are intended to help community-based organizations (CBOs) boost economic activity in areas that were hit hardest by the pandemic.

COVID-19 Commercial District Recovery Grant:

The Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development (ANHD) will receive a $300,000 award to support community-based organizations in five LMI neighborhoods over the next year. The funding is meant to help hard-hit commercial districts recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19. ANHD will partner with the following local CBOs:

These partnerships will launch or grow merchant organizing efforts in each neighborhood, provide technical assistance to enable partner CBOs to connect businesses with new and evolving support services, and deliver capacity-building services to help partner CBOs continue this work beyond the term of the grant.

Open Streets Grants:

Street Lab will receive a $300,000 award to support Open Streets locations on commercial corridors in LMI neighborhoods. The services will consist of a full package of programs, partnerships, production assistance, and equipment.

This funding will help the lowest-capacity partners in high-need neighborhoods by providing technical assistance and full end-to-end programming that enlivens business districts. Street Lab will also stock an "equipment library" with custom-designed street furniture and equipment to be lent to community groups hosting Open Streets, further enticing participation in the program. The grant will also fund the launch of a Design Lab to help Open Streets partners design, prototype, and develop new public space amenities that attract people and encourage patronage to adjacent businesses.

The Horticultural Society ('The Hort') will be awarded $200,000 to assist up to 10 Open Street locations on commercial corridors in LMI neighborhoods. The Hort will provide services and technical assistance to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and community-based development organizations (CBDOs) on sanitation, horticulture and beautification, homeless outreach, event set-up/clean-up, permit application assistance, and rat prevention. The Hort will also be responsible for physical upkeep at these Open Streets locations, ensuring that:

  • Annuals and perennials are planted and maintained along these commercial corridors.
  • Crews will maintain streetscapes, remove trash and refuse, mulch tree pits, remove graffiti, manage on-site furniture, and address site-specific maintenance needs.
  • Business and neighborhood conditions will be tracked as The Hort staff will distribute surveys to local merchants and community organizations to solicit feedback and assess the needs of each Open Street site.
  • Create a guide for commercial district managers on street management and plant care best practices to support clean, safe, and beautiful business districts.

"Restoring our vibrant commercial corridors is key to building an equitable recovery, and these new grants fulfill a central plank in our economic blueprint," said Mayor Eric Adams. "The city will continue to deepen our partnerships with community-based organizations across the five boroughs, supporting innovative programs and initiatives to bring our small businesses back better than ever."

"SBS is committed to an equitable recovery for New York City. These investments support Mayor Adams's economic blueprint which calls for the fortification of our commercial corridor and the strengthening of merchant organizations. We are confident these investments will effectively stimulate economic activity in the neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic," said NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim.

"Our Open Streets program is a vital resource for communities looking to create vibrant public spaces right outside their doorsteps. Equity is integral to our work at the DOT and this funding helps ensure Open Streets reaches even more neighborhoods hit hard by the pandemic," said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "We thank the Mayor Adams and Commissioner Kim for supporting Open Streets and look forward to building on this great program with new locations in 2022."

"At The Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort), we believe all New Yorkers deserve to have well maintained and beautiful open and green spaces in their communities. Through our partnership with SBS, we are excited to provide vibrant Open Streets sites that will improve quality of life for residents and help local businesses thrive," said Horticultural Society Executive Director Sara Hobel.

"These Open Streets along commercial corridors offer an historic opportunity to create safe, vibrant public spaces where New Yorkers of all ages can gather in the heart of business districts across the city. Street Lab is excited to partner with community groups, local small businesses, and SBS to offer solutions that build community and strengthen the local economy in these high-need neighborhoods," said Street Lab Co-Founder and Executive Director Leslie Davol.

"ANHD is excited to collaborate with SBS to support our community-based organizations and their merchant organizers who have provided critical services in commercial corridors. Through this work, we will build a stronger base of majority BIPOC, immigrant merchants across five neighborhoods to advance equitable recovery where it is most needed," said ANHD Executive Director Barika Williams.

All Open Street locations will be determined upon approval by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT).

About Open Streets
New York City's Open Streets program transforms streets into public spaces open to all. These transformations allow for a range of activities that promote economic development, support schools, and provide new ways for New Yorkers to enjoy cultural programming and build community.

NYC DOT works with community-based organizations, public, private, and charter schools, and groups of businesses to execute Open Streets citywide.

NYC DOT's Public Space Programming effort helps bring engaging activities to public spaces throughout the city. All activities are free and open to New Yorkers of all ages and abilities.

About the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.