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Small Businesses in NYC to Receive $1.8M in Grant Money


Through the years, New York City has become known as the city of lights. Most New Yorkers are well aware that their neighborhoods can quickly change in an instance. Small businesses, in particular, may find themselves cut out from all the happenings. Irrespective of their iconic status.

Luckily for small business owners, NYC’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has launched a new initiative to help out mom-and-pop shops to not only sustain themselves but to also flourish, even with the changing times

The grant funding is expected to tackle issues like the ever-rising rent prices and increased competition from new shops. SBS also hopes to help the businesses through initiatives like one-one-one expert counseling services.

Speaking to members of the press, Rachel Van Tosh, the deputy commissioner of SBS’s Division of Business Services, emphasized that SBS was committed to helping out small businesses because they believe that they form the integral building blocks of New York’s economy. She added that they intend to help the businesses and ensure that they remain part of the community by adapting to changes as they arise.

She suggested that they were willing to help small business owners cope by reviewing a couple of probable solutions, either changing the demographics or shifting their industry. She mentioned that such solutions would facilitate business owners to receive intensive services and eventually make that shift. Over time, she noted that their actions could help them gain an understanding of how they can be of service to numerous other businesses scattered around the city.

Changes

At present, small businesses can apply to receive up to $90,000 in grant money and one-on-one expert advice

For eligibility, businesses need to have been operational for at least three years. The businesses also need to be non-franchises setup within the five boroughs. To apply, business owners need to check out this website through July 17. 20 grants are set to be issued in September when the first round is held. Business owners will need to provide details about their companies like their location and the challenges they encounter.

Once their applications are approved, industry experts will meet up with the small business owners to plan strategies to improve the situation at hand. Some of the topics to be covered include: updating the technology, employee training, recruitment and enhancing the neighborhood of the business location.

The grant initiative is going to be part of the NYC Love Your Local project. The campaign was created to celebrate some of the city’s small businesses and urge more New Yorkers to check out some their local shops. Before this grant came into effect, the project was able to get New Yorkers to highlight about 2,000 businesses in their vicinity that they love on an online map.

The Big Apple

As legend has it, NYC has traditionally been a destination for immigrants to make a name for themselves, away from their homelands. Most people who get to New York tend to eventually set up dry-cleaning businesses, pizzerias, delis, pubs, and diners

Gregg Bishop, the Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, mentioned that New Yorkers are renown for their admiration of local mom and pop shops. He cited that the new grant awards would ensure that local businesses remain part and parcel of the thrills in New York.

Most of the mom-and-pop stores that defined New York City have been slowly disappearing through the years. Experts believe this has been as a result of the evolution of New York City into a cleaner and safer place to live. Remarkably, independent establishments, watering holes, and restaurants have been dwindling in numbers in a never seen before fashion.

In “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York,” James and Karla Murray were able to capture a number of mom-and-pop shops on their travels. The mentioned that while many such establishments have closed shop, there are still quite a number that remain operational. In the book, they note that the odds for mom-and-pop shops to close are alarmingly high. They reckoned that out of every three such shops, at least two would close shop.

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