Thursday, September 8, 2022


The New Comprehensive Guide from the NYC Department of Small Business Services Teaches Community-Based Organizations How to Create a Storefront Improvement Program and Help Push the City’s Economic Recovery

NEW YORK, NY – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim today released a step-by-step guide to help community-based development organizations (CBDOs) through the detailed process of designing and executing a Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) to beautify their commercial corridors.

The newly released report, Comprehensive Guide to Designing a Storefront Improvement Program, instructs CBDOs on how to upgrade the visual appeal of a commercial district and make it a place where people want to live, work, and play.

"A successful storefront improvement plan has the potential to accelerate economic activity and enhance a commercial corridor," said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "From ideation to execution, this new guide provides a comprehensive roadmap for commercial revitalization through storefront improvements. By beautifying shop windows and awnings, we are creating a better setting for economic opportunity to flourish."

The guide provides information on funding a SIP, designing improvements, executing the program, and sustaining it long-term.  This guide builds on a previous SBS publication, Storefront Improvements: A Guide for Neighborhood Commercial Districts, which outlines the process for creating model storefronts.

SBS has directly managed successful storefront improvement programs over the last few years.

From 2019-2022, SBS oversaw two storefront improvement programs in Downtown Jamaica, Queens, and East Tremont, Bronx. More than 30 storefront exteriors were rehabilitated, helping attract more shoppers and improve safety.

Eligible improvements included were:

  • Façade restoration and cornice repair
  • Masonry work and brick pointing
  • New signage and awnings
  • Door repair/replacement
  • Installation of open-grill security gates
  • Storefront framing & glass replacement

"Many of our local small businesses took advantage of the Downtown Jamaica storefront improvement program, a turn-key program with dedicated support from a NYC Small Business Services representative. New paint, attractive and compliant signage, and other improvements have resulted in a notable impact on the feel of the corridor for our shoppers and reinforces the message that Downtown Jamaica is a premier shopping downtown district in the region," said Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director, Jamaica Center Business Improvement District.

"Well-maintained and improved storefronts signal to a neighborhood that this place is cared for and worth investing in. This new guide will equip stakeholders in commercial districts across NYC with the knowledge needed to create and sustain storefront improvement programs that can have lasting impacts in their communities. Districts like Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn have seen the transformative impact of a well-managed storefront improvement program, both as a business assistance and neighborhood beautification tool. With this guide, hopefully more neighborhoods will be able to replicate this success," said Chad Purkey, Executive Director, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

Now, with this guide, CBDOs will have additional tools to create and run their own storefront program that reflects the character of their neighborhood and helps improve local business conditions. In addition to this guide, SBS can provide technical assistance to CBDOs who wish to create their own program.

About the 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 a fairer economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.