Coney Island is open for business!
On the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, local business-owners and city leaders celebrated 13 stores on Mermaid Avenue that were renovated with grants from the city’s Storefront Improvement Program. The initiative is a windfall, said one local politician, even as scores of Coney stores remain shuttered two years after the storm.
“This recovery won’t be complete until our neighborhoods’ small businesses reopen and our commercial areas are revitalized, and this program is essential to reaching that goal,” said Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island), who chairs the Council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency. “My thanks to Mayor Deblasio and [Small Business Services] Commissioner Torres-Springer for ensuring that the recovery reaches businesses in every impacted neighborhood.”
The Storefront Improvement Program, launched in August 2013, provides grants of up to $20,000 to cover the construction costs of storefront improvements for businesses located along commercial corridors that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. To date, it has provided 72 small business owners with grants totalling more than $1 million, according to the Administration for Small Business Services.
Once projects are approved, business owners meet with program architects to design storefronts that are functional and maintain the character of the neighborhood, according to the agency.
In Coney Island, 13 businesses along Mermaid Avenue have received storefront renovation grants. The new storefronts are a victory in the game of inches that is Coney Island’s recovery, a local leader said.
“Their support has greatly helped Coney Island’s small businesses recuperate, and it is a great accomplishment to have more than a dozen Coney Island businesses with new and improved storefronts,” said Johanna Zaki, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island. “We are all hopeful for better and brighter days for Coney Island’s business corridor.”