ABOVE: SAM MASSOL
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) awarded a three-year grant to the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) to develop and carry out revitalization projects in Corona.
QEDC has hired Sam Massol, who founded and ran the community-based nonprofits Astoria Green and BridgeRoots, to analyze the commercial corridor along Roosevelt Avenue between Junction Boulevard and 114th Street and develop a plan to help local merchants.
To provide support services, QEDC has subcontracted with the Street Vendor Project (SVP) and Latin Women In Action (LWIA). SVP will provide capacity-building services to street vendors so they can acquire the business acumen to formalize their businesses and maybe even open brick-and-mortar stores. The agency also plans to carry out a place-making campaign.
Meanwhile, LWIA will focus on merchant engagement to shape cleanliness and beautification programs. QEDC will coordinate the efforts and provide business-support and technical-assistance services, such as training webinars, counseling, and COVID-related resources, to merchants. SBS has recently awarded more than $4 million in Race, Equity, and Inclusion grants to qualifying nonprofits via its Neighborhood 360 and Avenue NYC programs. QEDC’s funding comes from Neighborhood 360.
“COVID-19 has had devastating effects on our Black, Asian, and Latinx communities, and it is important we deliver the resources they need to recover,” said SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris. “These initiatives will help revitalize our commercial corridors and bring them back stronger than ever.”