Thanks to a grant from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Asian Americans for Equality will be able to enhance its services to small business in Downtown Flushing, Queens.

In March of 2017, the city agency, through its Neighborhood 360 Program, awarded community organizations across the five boroughs millions of dollars to revitalize commercial corridors. The $1.55 million Flushing grant was allocated jointly to AAFE and the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District.

“The forces of gentrification are putting incredible pressure on small businesses in minority- and immigrant-communities like Flushing,” said AAFE Executive Director Christopher Kui. “The survival of these local businesses is critical to a sustainable neighborhood, where mixed-use businesses provide a vital economic and cultural role. AAFE is proud to be a part of SBS’s Neighborhood 360° Program where we will be able to give small businesses a fighting chance by providing them with the tools they need to thrive. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Gregg Bishop, for understanding the positive impact of and prioritizing Flushing small businesses, and our partners in the program, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and the Flushing Business Improvement District, for their dedication to our community.”

“Flushing BID is looking forward to continuing to promote Flushing businesses and improve the quality of life in downtown Flushing through additional resources provided by this SBS Neighborhood 360° Grant,” said Tina Lee, chairwoman of the Flushing Business Improvement District. “We appreciate SBS’s support for our projects that will have a direct benefit on our community.”

“The monetary grants awarded to institutional community-based organizations like AAFE and the Flushing BID will enhance their ability to address local needs, and will help Downtown Flushing maximize its potential as a commercial center. The Department of Small Business Services deserves our thanks for awarding this important funding,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

Throughout New York, the grant program is providing nearly $9 million in funding. This includes $525,000 in technical assistance and financial support from Citi Community Development and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

“Strong neighborhoods are the backbone of our city, and the nearly $9 million in investments announced today will go a long way towards revitalizing key commercial corridors,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Working with community partners, we are responding to local needs to support small business growth and build more vibrant neighborhoods for all New Yorkers.”

As part of the grant selection process, Flushing took part in a Community District Needs Assessment (CDNA). In the survey, merchants cited parking, sanitation and transit as issues requiring immediate attention.

AAFE helps small businesses through its affiliate, Renaissance Economic Development Corp. For more information about Renaissance’s services, click here.