The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced today that they are expanding their current Small Firm Assistance Program to include hundreds of more businesses. The program was originally announced last year and has already provided approximately $1 million to small businesses throughout Lower Manhattan. The program makes grants available to street level small businesses adversely affected by street/sidewalk closures related to publicly-funded construction projects in Lower Manhattan.
“The small businesses of Lower Manhattan are truly the backbone of the downtown community. These changes will provide much needed assistance in the short term so that these businesses can continue to grow and thrive as we rebuild and revitalize Lower Manhattan,” stated Governor David Paterson.
“The program has been successful helping small businesses in Lower Manhattan mitigate the effects of extended construction activity,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber. “By expanding the range of businesses that are eligible to receive funds and increasing the amount each can receive, we’ll make an even greater impact.”
The program has been expanded in two major ways. Originally only businesses that were located on a block with a street/sidewalk closure were eligible. Under the expanded program small businesses that are within a 1 square block radius of a street/sidewalk closure are eligible for the grants. This expansion will more than double the number of eligible blocks from approximately 60 blocks to nearly 200 blocks. In addition, the amount each business can receive per square foot has been increased from $2.50 to $5.00.
“I am very pleased by the decision to expand the small business program to a greater number of local businesses,” said Rep. Nadler. “These small businesses are a vital component of Lower Manhattan’s economic well-being, and a prime ingredient in this community’s general recovery since 9/11. While still not fully recovered from the devastating economic effects of 9/11, Lower Manhattan’s business community is now suffering a second major crisis due to the hardships of the current recession. This small business assistance is immensely important for the survival of these businesses – and for economic development – in my district.
Eligible small businesses must be located below Canal Street, at street level and employ fewer than 50 individuals. For further details on eligibility and to download an application please consult the LMDC website (www.renewnyc.com).
“Under the leadership of Governor Paterson we have been able to help so many small businesses throughout the downtown community and these changes will allow us to help even more,” stated Avi Schick, Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. “The downtown business community has been such an integral part of the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan that we must provide all the assistance we can.”
"While many small businesses in Lower Manhattan continue to struggle, Small Firm Assistance Program funds were going unused. Clearly this situation does not point to a lack of need; it points to the need for fresh thinking. I am glad that LMDC and NYC EDC, in consultation with the community and it’s elected officials have demonstrated such thinking in broadening the scope of this sorely needed assistance”, stated Assembly Member Deborah Glick.
“We would like to thank all the community and government leaders that helped make this happen including Speaker Silver, Congress Member Nadler, Deputy Mayor Lieber, Senator Squadron, Assembly Member Glick, Council Member Gerson, Community Board 1 and the Downtown Alliance,” stated Schick. “Because of their advice and leadership more businesses in Lower Manhattan will now be eligible for this grant money
“By doubling the amount of the Small Firm Assistance Program grants and nearly tripling the number of eligible blocks, the program will provide critically needed assistance to more of Lower Manhattan’s small businesses as they struggle with the impacts from major construction projects and a sharp economic downturn,” stated Community Board 1 Chairperson Julie Menin. “CB1 commends the LMDC and NY Economic Development Corporation for ratcheting up the Small Firm Assistance Program, as CB1 has requested, to meet the growing and urgent need.”