RBA Wins Big City Grant

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The Rockaway Buisness Alliance (RBA), just got a big boost from the city. The local organization was among nine across the city to be awarded yearly grants from the NYC Small Business Services (SBS) Avenue NYC initiative.

On Thursday, April 26, SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop announced $1.17 million in grant awards to community based development organizations (CBDOs) to boost underserved neighborhoods through community development projects. The awards, funded by SBS’ Avenue NYC initiative, will be used to strengthen CBDOs capacity to carry out tailored, multi-year commercial revitalization programs in low- and moderate-income communities. This is the first year that Avenue NYC is awarding grants for multi-year program commitments in an aim to enhance the capacity of CBDOs to understand local neighborhood needs and deliver impactful community development projects. Grantees will be awarded up to $100,000 per year for up to three years.

“As New Yorkers, we take great pride in our neighborhoods, which is why the City is committed to empowering community-based organizations to strengthen and preserve their neighborhoods,” Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, said. “With these new multi-year awards, we’ve taken this commitment to the next level by funding valuable commercial revitalization projects for up to three years.”

The other groups awarded include the Chhaya Community Development Corporation in Jackson Heights, the Community League of the Heights in  Washington Heights, the Flatbush Development Corporation in Brooklyn, Greater Hunts Point Economic Development Corporation in the Bronx, the Harlem Park to Park Initiative in Manhattan, the Jamaica Center Improvement Association in Queens, the Mosholu Preservation Corporation in the Bronx and the Pitkin Avenue District Management Organization in Brownsville.

Rockaway’s council members weighed in on the big win for the local Rockaway Business Alliance.

“As we work to revive long-forgotten communities and their commercial corridors, it is critical that we lift up the small businesses on the ground today and make new opportunities for potential business owners,” Councilman Donovan Richards said. “I look forward to working with the Rockaway Business Alliance to support our local organizations and create solid community development projects in the Arverne and Edgemere neighborhoods where there is a great need for commercial revitalization. I’d also like to thank SBS Commissioner Bishop for investing in our communities and the organizations that serve them.”

“The Rockaway Business Alliance played an instrumental role in our resiliency efforts in the years following Superstorm Sandy,” Councilman Eric A. Ulrich, said. “The organization is committed to creating a welcoming environment where local businesses can thrive. I am thrilled that SBS has invested in our community by awarding RBA with this much-deserved grant.”

SBS’ Avenue NYC program is a competitive grant program that funds and builds the capacity of CBDOs including business improvement districts, local development corporations, merchants associations and others operating in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods to execute commercial revitalization initiatives. Avenue NYC grant awards allow these organizations to hire a full-time program manager, and enable them to conduct an in-depth district needs assessment and execute commercial revitalization programming and services in their neighborhoods. Avenue NYC is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program.

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