Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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


Initiative Selects 20 Neighborhood Businesses to Receive Grant Awards and Expert Advice

Applications Now Open for Second Round of Grants to Local Businesses

New York — NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced that the City awarded $1.8 million to help longstanding businesses adapt and grow in a modern economy. Twenty small businesses across the city have been selected to receive grant awards of up to $90,000 through an initiative called NYC Love Your Local. Selected businesses will use grant awards to cover the costs of projects identified by in-depth business consultations delivered by industry experts. Longstanding businesses citywide can apply now for the second round of NYC Love Your Local grants. An additional 20 awardees will be selected to receive grant awards of up to $90,000.

This announcement comes as the City celebrates small businesses this holiday season. New Yorkers are encouraged to shop small and can get started by visiting the NYC Love Your Local interactive, online map where New Yorkers have shared over 2,000 of their favorite small businesses since 2017.

"We're dedicated to helping longstanding businesses navigate an ever-changing city because we recognize the valuable role of local businesses in our neighborhoods," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "NYC Love Your Local celebrates small businesses as the backbone of our neighborhoods and I encourage all New Yorkers to continue the celebration by shopping small this holiday season."

NYC Love Your Local awardees are small businesses operating for at least three years in New York City's five boroughs. Awardees were selected based on a business needs assessment. Grants will be used to fund projects including improving operations, training employees, updating technology, enhancing the business location, and improving financial management. The following are the grant awardees:

  • Accra Restaurant
  • Acqua Restaurant
  • Cowgirl SeaHorse
  • Da Claudio
  • Diane Gordon Catering
  • Estancia 460
  • Grandchamps
  • Harlem Doggie Day Spa
  • Lighthouse Fishmarket
  • Obra Architect
  • Pocket Bar
  • Settepani
  • Shoe Market
  • Suteishi Japanese Restaurant
  • Sweet Generation
  • The Bean
  • The Mermaid Inn
  • The Mermaid Oyster Bar
  • Villa Berulia
  • Von

Grant awards are funded in part by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

Interested businesses can apply now for the second round of grants at Applications will be open through January 22, 2019.

For more information, visit

"Making sure that New York City's small businesses have access to grant funding and assistance is crucial to ensuring they remain a viable part of our economy," said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. "We are proud to support the Love Your Local initiative and congratulate SBS on the second year of this important program."

"Congratulations to the Bean, Grandchamps, and Shoe Market for being among the small businesses to earn Love Your Local grants," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. "Neighborhood destinations like these are the backbone of what make our communities so vibrant. Shop local this holiday season — and every season!"

"Small businesses are vital to a community's growth and vitality. I'm thrilled that Diane Gordon Catering, in East Harlem, is a recipient of the Love Your Local grant," said Council Member Diana Ayala. "I love the diversity of the mom-and-pop businesses in my district of East Harlem and the Bronx. I applaud the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) for their continued commitment to supporting small business owners, like Ms. Gordon, with advice and guidance to succeed in maintaining and sustaining their businesses."

"I'm proud of the achievements of Accra Restaurant, that qualified this neighborhood small business to share in the $1.8 million in grant funds," said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. "For the past 30 years, Accra Restaurant has been serving this community with fine Ghanaian cuisine, providing jobs for community residents of diverse backgrounds, and proving the well-known reputation of hard-working, enterprising immigrants in New York City."

"Small businesses are the backbone of New York City. With the rise of big box stores and online retail, it's more important than ever that we support our local businesses," said Council Member Stephen Levin. "These Love Your Local grants will provide the resources many businesses need to modernize and navigate an ever changing 21st century economy. I applaud Commissioner Bishop for his commitment to these small businesses and I encourage everyone to shop small this holiday season!"

"I want to thank SBS for recognizing the importance that small businesses play in our District, and I want to congratulate Sweet Generation, the Mermaid Inn, and Villa Berulia for being part of the first group of Love Your Local grant recipients," said Council Member Carlina Rivera. "These funds will help these small businesses continue to grow and innovate, whether it's through training and technology, or operational and financial management. Whatever the challenge, our city must make every effort to make owning a small business in the Five Boroughs a dream that any New Yorker can reach."

About NYC Love Your Local
In February 2017, SBS launched the first phase of NYC Love Your Local, a $400,000 marketing campaign to celebrate the city's independent, small businesses and encourage New Yorkers to shop locally. Ads aimed to encourage New Yorkers to shop at independent neighborhood businesses. New Yorkers were asked to share their favorite small business on an interactive, online map so that these businesses can be discovered by other friends and neighbors. Once shared, businesses were prompted to apply for grants during the next phase of the initiative. New Yorkers were also encouraged to share why they love their favorite local business on social media by using the hashtag #LoveYourLocalNYC.

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.