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Commercial Corridor Challenge

LISC NYC has partnered with the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and Citi Community Development on a new program that strengthens and revitalizes commercial corridors and small businesses through strategic interventions. The program is being conducted in collaboration with SBS’s Neighborhood 360° Program.

The partnership grew out of LISC NYC’s work with SBS to create a Commercial District Needs Assessment (CDNA) for community based organizations to gain baseline data and information about their local commercial corridors. The CDNA built upon LISC’s national MetroEdge economic development tool developed by Larisa Ortiz Associates. To date, community organizations have used this tool in 24 corridors in all five boroughs of New York City to develop actionable development and revitalization plans. The Neighborhood 360° program was created by SBS to identify, develop, and launch commercial revitalization projects in partnership with local stakeholders.

Through the Commercial Corridor Challenge, LISC NYC is providing a subset of Neighborhood 360° grantees with financial resources, expertise, and support to carry out catalytic projects that advance their commercial revitalization efforts and build their economic development capacity. Projects eligible for funding include: business retention and attraction activities and physical improvements to storefronts and streetscapes in commercial corridors in underinvested neighborhoods.  Neighborhood 360° grant finalists who included requests to SBS for funding in the above areas were invited to apply to LISC for additional support for early action commercial revitalization projects. Three community partners were selected for funding:

Each community partner worked closely with LISC NYC and corridor revitalization expert Larisa Ortiz Associates to identify interventions that will be most impactful for their corridor. Projects that will be undertaken as part of the Commercial Corridor Challenge include storefront improvements, such as new signage, lighting, and awnings, as well as public realm improvements, such as wayfinding, vendor pop-up markets, and other interventions that are designed to enhance the corridors, boost foot traffic, increase sales, and contribute to a greater sense of safety.

LISC worked closely with Dadras Architects and Larisa Ortiz Associates to develop the Corridor Challenge Storefront Improvement Design Guidelines to support community partners and participating businesses implement high-quality, code-compliant, and lasting improvements through the Corridor Challenge.

Read more about this program: Supporting Small Businesses to Survive and Thrive in Changing Neighborhoods: the Commercial Corridor Challenge


Resources and Links:

Corridor Challenge Storefront Improvement Design Guidelines

Commercial Corridor Challenge in the news:

For more information contact Erika Van Gundy, Community Development Officer, LISC NYC at