Thursday, October 31, 2019

Contact: Samantha Keitt, SBS Press Secretary -, 212-513-6318

SBS Invests $1.5 Million To Revitalize Downtown Far Rockaway Commercial District

Community-Based Organizations Will Receive Funding from the Neighborhood 360° Program to Address Locally Identified Needs

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced $1.5 million in investments will be awarded to local nonprofits to revitalize the Downtown Far Rockaway commercial district over the course of three years.

The Neighborhood 360° grants will be used to help build the capacity of local organizations, revitalize key commercial corridors and address locally identified needs. The needs of Downtown Far Rockaway were identified last year through a series of surveys, observations and stakeholder interviews, which can be found in the Downtown Far Rockaway, Queens Commercial District Needs Assessment.

"Creating strong neighborhoods strengthens the City and this investment will help establish economic prosperity for Downtown Far Rockaway," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "These community partners are the lifeblood of their neighborhoods and supporting them means their district can help get its needs met."

The following organizations will receive the grant between 2019 – 2022:

  • Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) was founded to promote the economic and community revitalization of the Rockaways by improving the quality of life for its residents. RDRC will use the grant to improve its service offerings, clean and beautify the Downtown Far Rockaway neighborhood and create programming to facilitate social interaction among its residents and shoppers.
  • Rockaway East Merchants Association (REMA4US) seeks to engage in economic development and revitalization in the Rockaways by informing the public about opportunities for growth and creating a safe environment for economic expansion. REMA4US will use the grant to provide support services to small businesses, coordinate resources among community partners and market the brand identity of the neighborhood.

"We are excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Downtown Far Rockaway Neighborhood 360 Project as we embark on the $300M Downtown Far Rockaway Redevelopment Project over the next several years," said Kevin Alexander, President & CEO of Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation. "Neighborhood 360 is another example of the City's commitment to creating vibrant communities across the five boroughs of New York City. We grateful to Commissioner Gregg Bishop and the entire Neighborhood Development Division Team for having the confidence in selecting RDRC to manage several critical components of the Neighborhood 360 grant."

"For 15 years, the Rockaway East Merchant Association has been on the ground working directly with the Downtown Far Rockaway business community, serving as both advocate and mouthpiece for merchant concerns, and as activist to resolve those issues," said Nancy Martinez, Chair of Rockaway East Merchants Association. "We are grateful to NYC Department of Small Business Services for investing in our community and helping us expand our support to businesses and commercial districts. We look forward to working together with agencies, partners and local stakeholders to build a stronger Downtown Far Rockaway as part of the Neighborhood 360° program."

"This announcement is an important piece in the revitalization of the Rockaways. It was negotiated during the rezoning of the downtown area and I want thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bishop for keeping their commitment to the neighborhood. This investment will breathe life into our business community and help us strengthen the vibrant small businesses we have," said Council Member Donovan Richards, District 31. "Small businesses are the backbone of any thriving community and I am happy to be a part of strengthening their foundations."

"Our borough's commercial corridors are critical to our economy, so it is great that these two community-based organizations have been awarded Neighborhood 360° grants to help revitalize the commercial corridor in Downtown Far Rockaway," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. "The $1.5 million in grants awarded will address local needs and help Downtown Far Rockaway maximize its potential as a commercial center."

About Neighborhood 360°
The Neighborhood 360° program identifies, develops, and launches commercial revitalization projects in partnership with local stakeholders. Through proactive planning and targeted investments, Neighborhood 360° supports projects that strengthen and revitalize the streets, small businesses, and community-based organizations that anchor New York City neighborhoods. For more information on Neighborhood 360°, please visit

About NYC 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.