On Friday, March 30th, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) announced the launch of several new programs to be provided by the organization’s Flushing Small Business Assistance Program (FSBAP).
The services include a loan fund that will provide financing to small business owners and local entrepreneurs looking to establish new ventures in the area; technical assistance services for businesses that require additional support, provided through one-on-one counselling, and group workshops; and a streetscape beautification project. In addition, the FSBAP will facilitate the design and launch of websites for businesses located within the program area.
The FSBAP was launched in order to minimize the impact of the construction of Flushing Commons on surrounding businesses. Flushing Commons is a formerly City-owned municipal parking lot which will be redeveloped into a mixed-use destination that will provide housing, community space, public open space, office, and retail opportunities for the community.
Since the launch of the FSBAP in 2014, AAFE has provided direct marketing, business counseling, and financial assistance services to eligible businesses in the vicinity of Flushing Commons. The FSBAP covers businesses within one block of the Flushing Commons construction site. The program is funded by New York City Economic Development Corporation, and managed by the Department of Small Business Services.
“Many small businesses impacted by the construction of Flushing Commons are struggling to stay afloat, so it is critical that we bring together all available resources, both public and private, to assist them,” said Christopher Kui, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality.
“Time and time again, we turn to Asian Americans for Equality for the amazing services that they provide,” said New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim. ”I am so glad that AAFE will be rolling out their Flushing Small Business Assistance Program to continue and expand their many services to our community. I am excited to see the new programs work in our community and I look forward to continuing our strong working partnership.”