This morning, the city announced an initiative to amp up efforts to promote small businesses and neighborhood retail corridors, through extensive marketing support and training programs.
The city’s program, Building Blocks for Neighborhood Retail, will aid commercial areas in their efforts to market vacant space to potential tenants, providing them with demographic and market data profiles of their communities. The program is supposed to continue the successes the city says it has already seen in its efforts to attract new businesses to specially designated “commercial corridors”: in fiscal year 2011, 99 new businesses opened in commercial districts that were targeted by the Department of Small Business Services to attract new retailers.
It will also help small businesses to locate and select space within these corridors, launching a website for brokers and retailers that will promote specific retail districts. This site will also provide information about the city’s programs for retailers. The city will release an RFP to select a website developer by the end of the month.
Additionally, the initiative will fund a Neighborhood Pop-Up Store Competition, opening stores temporarily in vacant spaces. “This program will activate vacant space and demonstrate the commercial viability of neighborhood retail corridors,” the announcement said.
“More than 97 percent of all New York City businesses have fewer than 100 employees, and retail corridors in all five boroughs are crucial in supporting this sector of our economy,” said New York City Economic Development President Seth Pinsky. — Jane C. Timm