Small businesses and locally-owned shops are the lifeblood of our city.

Unfortunately, almost all have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. To help businesses better cope with the changes the pandemic has imposed upon them, the Downtown Alliance is providing up to 25 small businesses the opportunity for one-on-one, technical-assistance consultations with Streetsense, a retail and urban-design consultant. The goal of these consultations is to assess operations and surface opportunities to better prepare businesses for the ongoing crisis. Streetsense has decades of first-hand operations experience across a variety of disciplines and industries, including research and analysis, hospitality, branding, and marketing and interior design.

Consultations will provide the following:

  • Individual 45- to 60-minute work sessions with retail or restaurant owners with two members of the Streetsense Pandemic Response Team.

  • A documented strategic guide for “pandemic readiness” for each business, delivered to the business owners, and to the Downtown Alliance.

  • Participating businesses will receive links to pandemic signage templates and the capital planning tool (for restaurants and bars only) following the completion of each session.


Pexels Artem Beliaikin

To be eligible, businesses must have gross annual revenues of less than $3 million and employ fewer than 30 full-time-equivalent employees and occupy a ground-level storefront in the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District. If selected, businesses will be required to complete a self-assessment questionnaire to share with Streetsense providing relevant information about their business and describing the challenges they face as the city reopens.

To be eligible for a consultation, businesses must meet the following requirements and provide appropriate documentation:

  • Be located on the ground floor within the boundaries of the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District.

  • Be an independent business with five or fewer locations in New York City.

  • Open by October 1, 2020.

  • Employs fewer than 30 full-time-equivalent employees as of March 1, 2020.

  • Gross annual revenues of less than $3 million.

  • Have a lease at their current location through December 31, 2020.

Applications will be reviewed and consultations will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis beginning August 10, 2020, at 9 am ET.

The application period will close when the available consultations have been exhausted. Consultations will take place between August and October 2020.

If you do not qualify for this program, please see our informational guide on COVID-19 relief programs available to businesses.

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Grace Capobianco, CEO/Publisher of Downtown Media & Production was born to be a visionary. She has spent the majority of her life working, developing and marketing innovative media products that not only engage and inform but also bring entire communities together. Utilizing her personal vision as a professional guide, Grace started her first company, Tropical Publishing, when she was just 27 years old and from this moment on, she knew that entrepreneurship was her passion. On a perpetual quest to bring innovative and relevant news to communities, she also created, developed and published the first ever Chamber of Commerce magazine for the Palm Beaches, The South Florida Office Guide. Evolving within the realm of publishing, she moved on to launch Up The Coast magazine in the 1980’s, a guide to Jupiter, in north Florida, where the population aggrandized from 9,000 to more than 70,000 today, and then continued to hone in on niche markets with the launch of publications like Alternative Medicine and NewBeauty. Simultaneously, she launched ATSI, a telecommunications company, which sold Mitel and Siemens products to her publishing clients. The idea of Downtown Magazine NYC was born for Grace in the wake of the devastation of 9/11. A Lower Manhattan resident at this time, Grace saw firsthand the incredible sense of community the neighborhood had demonstrated during these trying times, as well as its immense strength and perseverance. She explored every angle of launching a magazine that would speak to this community but initially felt the timing was just too soon. It wasn’t until 2010 that Grace felt the community was ready to hear its voice and launched Downtown Magazine NYC.