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Jamaica Business Group Seeks Funding to Beautify Local Storefronts

 The program aims to unify facades along Sutphin Boulevard.
Jamaica Business Group Seeks Funding to Beutify Local Storefronts
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QUEENS — A Jamaica business organization is looking to spruce up local storefronts in an effort to attract more shoppers to the neighborhood.

The Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District has recently applied for a $250,000 grant to install a common design for the awnings and signs for shops along the busy corridor. The money would cover part of the costs.

“When you walk on Supthin Boulevard, there is a sense of visual pollution,” said Simone Price, executive director of the Sutphin Boulevard BID.

Price noted that currently signs and awnings along the street come in different sizes, colors and shapes.

The BID, which represents 56 properties between Hillside and 94th avenues, seeks to “create some sort of synergy” by coming up with a single design, which would at the same time allow local business owner “to maintain their unique individuality.”

The overall goal, Price said, is to “create a commercial corridor that is inviting, safe and viewed as a destination.”

Price said she expects to know soon whether the group will receive the grant from the New York Main Street Program, which is operated by the state Homes & Community Renewals agency.

In the proposal, Price said, she included a trio of business owners who have 14 shops on the stretch.

Under the program, she said business owners would get reimbursed up to 75 percent of the renovation costs. 

The facades would be in line with the design proposed by Ronnette Riley Architect, a company hired by the BID last year.

Price said she hopes that if the pilot program is successful, more businesses will follow.