Sunnyside Shines is pleased to announce the launch of its new Business Assistance MicroGrants program, which will provide $10,000 in small grants to small neighborhood businesses in its initial grant cycle. This program will help select small storefront businesses with small grants of $1,250 each to cover expenses that will help them remain competitive and relevant. Potential eligible expenses include storefront improvements, costs associated with scaling up, marketing tools, or upgraded equipment. Businesses will also have the opportunity to apply for interest-free business loans of up to $10,000 through Sunnyside Shines’ partnership with the Kiva crowdfunding platform.
Applications for the Business Assistance MicroGrants program are now live on Sunnyside Shines’ website at www.sunnysideshines.org/news/microgrants. Applicants can access applications in both Spanish and English. Applications for the Microgrants program will be accepted through January 15, 2020, with awardees announced by February 29, 2020. Microgrant funds must be expended by June 30, 2020; a final report will be due to Sunnyside Shines on use of the funds, along with receipts substantiating expenditures. A grant review panel comprised of members of the Sunnyside Shines Community Advisory Committee will make recommendations on the final awardees.
For the first round of Business Assistance Microgrants, businesses throughout Sunnyside are eligible to apply, not simply through those within the BID corridor. According to Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Jaime-Faye Bean, “businesses from throughout Sunnyside have been an integral part of our past marketing programming, including Taste of Sunnyside, Restaurant Week, and more. And throughout this fall, businesses throughout the larger neighborhood have been instrumental in helping us complete a thorough Commercial District Needs Assessment study so that we can better serve Sunnyside in the future. Opening this first round of awards to all neighborhood businesses is our way of showing appreciation for that partnership.”
Another feature of the program is that one award will be made to a neighborhood entrepreneur who is not currently a storefront operator but who is contributing significantly to the commercial life of the neighborhood. “The last two years we’ve started to partner extensively with neighborhood artisans and entrepreneurs, especially through our pop up markets programming,” notes Bean. “We recognize that they, too, have strategic needs and that this MicroGrant program can help them grow, thrive, and contribute to a vibrant Sunnyside.”
Bean notes that in Spring 2020, Sunnyside Shines will also be launching a volunteer storefront partnership program that will enable neighborhood residents to volunteer on small storefront revitalization projects on a periodic basis throughout the neighborhood.
The Business Assistance MicroGrants program is funded by a discretionary grant designated by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “I am proud to allocate $10,000 to support the Business Assistance MicroGrants program,” says Van Bramer. “Small businesses are woven into the fiber of our Queens community, and it is important we do our part to enhance opportunities for our residents. I am enthusiastic about seeing new entrepreneurs succeed through the efforts of Sunnyside Shines.”
The Sunnyside Shines Business Assistance MicroGrants application can be completed online, or via print form. To access the online application, click here:
English online Microgrant application
Or print and complete this form:
Sunnyside Shines Business Assistance MicroGrants.docx. Print applications should be returned by email to email@example.com, or mailed to PO Box 4477, Sunnyside, NY 11104. Mailed applications must be postmarked by the application due date.
Below: Map of CDNA area; businesses within the highlighted corridors are eligible to apply for the Business Assistance MicroGrants.