By Gregg Bishop, Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services
Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy and help create vibrant, energetic neighborhoods across our city. To help promote small businesses, our agency has launched the Love Your Local campaign that allows New Yorkers to share their favorite small businesses for others to discover. Businesses can be shared at nyc.gov/loveyourlocal and on social media using the hashtag #LoveYourLocalNYC.
Shared businesses will appear on an interactive map on our website for other New Yorkers to browse and discover. These businesses will also be eligible to apply for up to $90,000 in grant funding to help them grow and succeed.
This campaign is designed to create buzz around our city for small businesses and to boost our local economy. Across all five boroughs, there are over 200,000 small businesses that together provide jobs for nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers. Small businesses need support now more than ever to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to thrive.
The Love Your Local campaign is supported by a multi-platform advertising campaign to promote shopping at small businesses throughout New York City, including ads that are running on the subway.
By sharing their favorite local business, New Yorkers are supporting them beyond just using their purchasing power. Not only will small businesses benefit from the free promotion from being featured on the Love Your Local map, but businesses have the opportunity to receive grants and expert advice to put towards maintaining their success and growth in this ever-changing city.
So far, over 170 businesses in Queens have been shared and it’s not too late to log on and show some love for your favorite deli, boutique, locksmith, dry cleaner, etc. We want to ensure all the small businesses that make up this diverse and vibrant borough are represented.
Love Your Local grants will be awarded to 20 shared businesses from across the city and include technical assistance. Grants may be used by businesses to retain jobs, improve their space, step up their marketing, or make important operational changes. To win a grant award, businesses must be longstanding, independent and located within the five boroughs. Businesses must also have fewer than 100 employees and be located in space they rent, not own.
The grant awards will enhance the business’ resiliency and ability to adapt to change based upon their individual needs. For instance, businesses can use the funds to upgrade the skills of their existing employees, update their shop’s façade, or invest in new systems to manage accounts. My staff will also be providing expert advice so businesses can accurately assess how to optimize their grant awards based on their individual needs.
Please take a minute to log on and share your favorite local small business. Small business interested in participating in the Love Your Local grant program can visit the program’s website at nyc.gov/loveyourlocal to complete a preliminary application. Businesses should also check out the suite of services available through our agency year-round. Our services can help businesses start, operate, and grow.
Our Business Solutions Centers, located in every borough, connect small business owners with the tools and resources needed to succeed. We work with businesses to develop business plans, connect to opportunities and resources, and navigate city government. Small businesses looking for support can receive one-on-one assistance or attend a workshop at any of our seven Business Solution Centers located throughout the five boroughs. More information is available at nyc.gov/sbs or by calling 311.