Press Mentions

Featured Press Mention

Format: 2020-09-22
Format: 2020-09-22

The closed storefronts lining the Lefferts Boulevard bridge​ are now adorned with the work of nearly 60 Kew Gardens artists.

Lefferts Boulevard Bridge Transformed Into Outdoor Art Gallery
Maya Kaufman
July 14, 2020

Rahsaan Harris is CEO of the Citizens Committee for New York City, a nonprofit that aims to help New Yorkers — especially people in low-income areas — improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. During his varied career in philanthropy — leading the Emma Bowen Foundation and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, serving as a program officer at Atlantic Philanthropies, and writing his Ph.D. dissertation on Black philanthropy — Harris has confronted the nonprofit world's lack of diversity. "I know what it looks like," he says, "I've starred in that movie."

How to Tackle Race at Your Organization
Eden Stiffman
July 02, 2020

Of course, neighborhood associations are nothing new. But the current moment is a unique time to begin one.

How to Start a Neighborhood Association
Katherine Cusumano
June 11, 2020

How can you be an ally to the Black community? Citizens Committee for New York City CEO, Dr. Rahsaan Harris, explains on CBS New York how people can show genuine solidarity for racial justice

How to be an "ally" to the black community
CBS News
June 08, 2020

Eleven Manhattan small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will receive $93,000 in relief money for rent, employee pay and more from a nonprofit grant program.

Family-owned Silom Thai in Chelsea will get $10,000 to help stay open after the restaurant offered free meals to health care workers. Enoch's Bike shop in Hell’s Kitchen will also get $10,000 to pay for new infrastructure for social distancing, better ventilation and sanitation.

Tutoring company BOK Solutions, which works with the city to provide public school students programing, will use a $10,000 grant to pay for their instructors’ and teachers’ wages after all in-person sessions were canceled, putting a big hole in the businesses’ income. Family-owned Garber Hardware will get a $10,000 grant after a sharp decrease in sales.

Consulting, design and development agency Van West Group – which creates campaigns for small and mid-sized businesses -- will get $10,000 to pay employees and rent and continue to help drive traffic to their clients.

Immigrant-owned Yours Spa on 18th Street will also get a $10,000 grant to help cover operating costs after coronavirus shut down the store, making them unable to pay bills, wages and rent.

Alfredo Ray Salon in Chelsea will get $8,500, will get $8,000, interior design firm Garcia / Maldonado will get $6,500 and Massage Beyond will get $5,000. Daniel Cooney Fine Art will use a $5,000 grant to create a new website so customers can still buy pieces online.

The West Side Small Business Grants were created to help struggling stores and organizations cover operating costs and other spending so they can stay in business despite declines in sales from coronavirus restrictions.

The grant program was launched by the West Side Community Fund in partnership with the Citizens Committee for New York City and was seeded by funding from Google.

Latest coronavirus updates: Click here for our roundup of the most important developments from NYC and around the world.

Manhattan small businesses get coronavirus relief from grants by West Side Community Fund
Anna Sanders
May 27, 2020

The COVID-19 precautions of sheltering in place and social distancing bring with them both the burdens of entropy and the opportunity for evolution. Either way, it’s not business as usual—and once we return to the days when sit-down trumps take-out, and browsing in a store is a viable choice to rival shopping with your browser, how many of our mom-and-pops will be there to open their doors?

Sadly, these valuable but vulnerable businesses—everything from restaurants to salons to food carts to retail shops—may be less eligible for federal stimulus loans that are keeping others afloat.

Seeking to correct that inequity and supplement other economic relief efforts, The West Side Small Business Grants (WSSBG) program was launched on April 23 of this year. Grant applications are now being accepted for “small businesses [of up to 10 employees] that have been economically hurt by COVID-19 and subsequent stay-at-home mandates,” noted a press release announcing the program. To access the application, click here.

“Nobody in our community has escaped the hardship brought on by this virus, which is why it’s vital that we work together to preserve our neighborhood,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown and West Side Community Fund leader. “Today’s [April 23] announcement means essential money in the hands of small business leaders, so they can adapt their businesses or pay rents, insurance, employee wages and other costs.”

Citizens Committee for New York City (Citizens NYC), the press release further noted, will continue its longtime partnership with the West Side Community Fund (WSCF) by administering the grants, which will serve those in Chelsea, Hudson Yards, and Hell’s Kitchen.

Seeking further clarity regarding the fund’s scope and purpose, Chelsea Community News spoke with Scott Young, VP Development and Communications, Citizens NYC.

West Side Small Business Grants Program Offers Help to the Economically Hurt
Scott Stiffler
Chelsea Community News
May 01, 2020


More Press Mentions

Funding neighborhood projects that are making small but important changes and bringing people together to improve their communities is the focus of the Citizens Committee for New York City.

Small Projects Get a Big Boost
Wall Street Journal
April 26, 2011

“The idea is simple citizenship,” Peter H. Kostmayer, president of Citizens Committee for New York City, told Mayor Alemanno through a translator. “Providing people with the capacity to design neighborhood projects of their own.”

From the Spanish Steps to Spanish Harlem
New York Times
July 22, 2009