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Fourth Avenue and Sandy-hit areas to get economic boost

A $200,000 grant from TD Bank shared by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the city’s other chambers of commerce will give a boost to businesses on Fourth Avenue, between Atlantic Avenue and 65th Street, one of the areas considered “in most need of revitalization,” in the borough.

The strip will partake of the grant along with areas in Brooklyn that were affected by Hurricane Sandy and that will also be receiving aid through the newly created Citywide Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Project (NEP), aimed at beautifying commercial corridors while addressing the needs of small businesses within low income neighborhoods.

The grant – which the Brooklyn Chamber applied for — will be shared by all five boroughs, with the lion’s share staying in Brooklyn. Each borough’s chamber of commerce will take the lead in administering the allocated funds within its geographic area,.

Announced at a press conference held at the TD Bank branch in Sunset Park on Wednesday, January 30, the grant will “give the capability of telling people what they can take advantage of,” by promoting the resources that are available to them, said Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “This grant will enable us to help businesses grow and empower local communities,” he added.

“Our future depends on the jobs generated by small businesses,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who attended the event. “We’ll offer them the tools and resources they need to grow and succeed.” He called the mom and pops stores in Brooklyn a “celebration of the uniqueness,” of New York City.

The grant will help the small businesses which line the thoroughfare, said Jeremy Laufer, district manager of Community Board 7, located on Fourth Avenue at 43rd Street. He noted, “Fourth Avenue has a lot of businesses, and most of those are small businesses—many of which cannot put resources into beautification.

“I think this goes really hand in hand with what the borough president has been trying to do,” Laufer added. “It’s great that the bank, which is a private business, is stepping up.”

Laufer added issues like pedestrian safety, amenities and financial assistance could be targeted with the given donation.

Other areas in Brooklyn which will receive help through the grant include Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, Red Hook and Sheepshead Bay, specifically Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue, which were hard hit by Superstorm Sandy.

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