Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Contact: Catherine Tenuta, SBS Press Secretary-, 212-618-8768


Assessments are Part of City Initiative Internationally Recognized for Urban Place Management Excellence in 2018

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced the release of new community-informed Commercial District Needs Assessments (CDNAs) to help neighborhoods better support local small businesses. The CDNAs highlight the strengths, challenges, and opportunities of commercial districts on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx as well as in Corona, Queens and Bushwick, Brooklyn. Each CDNA is the product of extensive community engagement conducted by multiple community partners, including stakeholder meetings and hundreds of surveys. The findings aim to support community-based organizations in developing their strategic commercial revitalization projects.

CDNAs are part of SBS’ Neighborhood 360° Program, launched in 2016, which partners with local stakeholders to identify, develop, and launch commercial revitalization projects. This month, the International Downtown Association (IDA) will recognize SBS with the Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence for work related to this program. The IDA award will acknowledge the Neighborhood 360° Program as an exemplary best practice in supporting sustained advocacy, strategic partnerships, and sustainability. SBS has previously released seven CDNAs for Coney Island, Downtown Flushing, Downtown Staten Island, East Harlem, East New York, Inwood, and Jerome Avenue.

“The Commercial District Needs Assessments released today are a powerful tool for harnessing the potential of local commercial corridors,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “With these assessments, we’re empowering local communities to act strategically in building vibrant neighborhoods.”

CDNAs detail existing conditions, business data, and an overview of neighborhoods based on data gathered from streetscape observations, direct surveys, and stakeholder meetings with neighborhood merchants, vendors, shoppers, workers, property owners, and residents. Highlights from the CDNAs include the following:

  • Bushwick CDNA directly surveyed nearly 300 community stakeholders. Key findings include opportunities to enhance corridors through sidewalk beautification projects. Bushwick boasts an active and energetic art scene. 
  • Corona CDNA directly surveyed over 550 community stakeholders. Key findings include the opportunity to install a wayfinding system to guide foot traffic, including the more than 150,000 daily commuters, along the commercial corridor.
  • Southern Boulevard CDNA directly surveyed nearly 800 community stakeholders. Key findings include opportunities for the neighborhood to attract new businesses that provide healthier food options sought by residents.

The Bushwick CDNA was created in partnership with RiseBoro Community Partnership and Brooklyn Alliance. The Corona CDNA was created in partnership with Asian Americans for Equality, Make the Road New York, Queens Chamber of Commerce, and Street Vendor Project. The Southern Boulevard CDNA was created in partnership with Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, and Southern Boulevard Business Improvement District.

"The Commercial District Needs Assessment points the way forward for Bushwick's vibrant small business community," said NYC Council Member Rafael Espinal. "For years, business owners and entrepreneurs have had to contend with a lack of investment and a sluggish economy. This move shows that the City is committed to helping small businesses, the backbone of New York's economy, thrive."

“As the Council Member for Bushwick, Brooklyn, I am very proud of the robust commercial corridors that exist along Myrtle and Knickerbocker Avenues,” said NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “The small businesses on these avenues are essential to Bushwick residents who rely on the affordable and convenient goods and services that they provide. The Commercial District Needs Assessment (CDNA) will help local business continue to thrive, and offer community-based organizations greater insight into how they can better support these local businesses. I thank Small Business Services for this useful tool and look forward to working together as we strengthen local commerce within my district and throughout NYC.”

“As someone who has shopped locally on Southern Boulevard for their entire life, seeing this corridor thrive is incredibly important to me,” said NYC Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “Understanding the needs of small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the community, is key to our economic success, which is why these Commercial District Needs Assessments are so critical. I commend the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, and the Southern Boulevard Business Improvement District for their work and collaboration with NYC SBS on this project.”

To read the completed CDNAs, visit For more information on SBS’ Neighborhood 360° Program, visit

About the International Downtown Association
The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit

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 vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.