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LISC NYC, Citi Community Development, NYC SBS, and CHLDC unveil project to boost small businesses in East New York

NEW YORK (August 10, 2018) – Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) NYC, Citi Community Development, the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC) today unveiled a commercial revitalization project that is part of the Commercial Corridor Challenge, a partnership to supplement SBS’s Neighborhood 360⁰ program which strengthens and revitalizes the streets, small businesses, and community-based organizations that anchor New York City neighborhoods.

The Commercial Corridor Challenge program (Corridor Challenge) supports small, locally-owned businesses in rapidly changing neighborhoods, and is part of the City’s larger effort to revitalize Fulton Street in East New York, Brooklyn, Bay Street on the North Shore of Staten Island, and Southern Boulevard in the Bronx.

On East New York’s Fulton Street, the Corridor Challenge is assisting the neighborhood’s businesses by funding façade improvements such as new signage and awnings aimed at increasing their curb appeal, boosting foot traffic and encouraging local shopping. Additionally, the program is supporting safety improvements through increased window transparency at select businesses. CHLDC collaborated closely with City agencies and sought input from community residents in the process.

The Corridor Challenge applies market-based retailing principles and carefully selected low-cost investments that increase pedestrian traffic and retail sales for local businesses. Financial assistance was customized for each site to support a suite of complementary improvements that together address corridor fundamentals, including safety, visibility, and promotion. The impact of this effort will be measured at each site through comprehensive consumer intercept surveys and electronic pedestrian counts.

The Corridor Challenge enables existing business owners to remain competitive, and new local entrepreneurs to get established in long-struggling neighborhoods that are seeing an economic resurgence. This collaborative approach includes tapping into the strengths and expertise of local partners, including the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in Brooklyn, and WHEDco in the Bronx, technical assistance from LISC, commercial corridor expertise from Larisa Ortiz Associates, and an investment from Citi Community Development.

The Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop said, “Strong neighborhoods full of thriving small businesses are the backbone of our great city. With the Neighborhood 360° program, we invested in the future of key commercial corridors and now, the Commercial Corridor Challenge is continuing the momentum by providing support to further boost small businesses.”

“What set this program apart for us were the partners around the table,” says Gregory Schiefelbein, Director, New York Tri-State at Citi Community Development. “In addition to their own national experience, LISC has brought together a group of experts with the knowledge and experience to ensure that this targeted, strategic approach successfully builds on the NYC Department of Small Business Services’ commitment to invest in the futures of these essential local businesses and the neighborhoods they serve.”

“Commercial corridors are important expressions of neighborhood culture and pride," said Sam Marks, Executive Director of LISC NYC. "We are thrilled to partner with SBS, Citi Community Development, and our community-based partners to carry out catalytic projects that will strengthen and revitalize commercial corridors and small businesses that anchor New York City neighborhoods.”

"This significant investment in local small businesses could not come at a better time for East New York because with current real estate pressures and rising rents, longtime, immigrant-led neighborhood small businesses are threatened with displacement,” said Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director of the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. “We welcome this opportunity to help our merchants grow their businesses, promote their amazing goods and services, and engage residents in the revitalization of East New York’s commercial corridors.”

About SBS’ Neighborhood 360⁰ program

The Corridor Challenge invests additional resources to build upon initial commitments from SBS. The SBS Neighborhood 360⁰ program strengthens and revitalizes commercial corridors that anchor New York City neighborhoods. Neighborhood 360⁰, a first-of-its-kind partnership between SBS and community stakeholders, develops customized, commercial revitalization programs tailored to specific neighborhood needs as identified through a series of Commercial District Needs Assessments (CDNAs) conducted across the five boroughs, including in Downtown Staten Island. The local needs assessments may be found at: Community-based organizations (CBOs) have been awarded nearly $3 million in program grants per year to develop and staff revitalization projects that address identified needs in the CDNAs, including merchant organizing, business attraction & retention, business support, cleaning & beautification, district marketing, placemaking, public safety, storefront improvements, and other quality of life enhancements.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation NYC

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC NYC) equips struggling communities with the capital, program strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business, and raise families. Since founded in 1979, LISC NYC has invested over $2.7 billion, leveraging an additional $6 billion in low-income communities. This has resulted in nearly 40,000 affordable homes built and preserved as well as 1.8 million square feet of retail and community space created. We nurture effective collaborations to spur improved health, environmental sustainability and economic development to ensure that low-income residents share in New York City's growth and prosperity. For more information,

Citi Community Development

Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families and communities across the U.S. Through innovative collaborations with municipalities, community groups and leading nonprofit organizations, we harness Citi’s expertise, products and services to help expand opportunity for all.

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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 thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation

With community residents leading the way, the mission of CHLDC is to build a strong, sustainable Cypress Hills and East New York, where youth and adults achieve educational and economic success, secure healthy and affordable housing and develop leadership skills to transform their lives and community. For more information, visit