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Press Release

NYCEDC, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Community Partners Launch “Jamaica Is”

Jul 29 2019
NYCEDC, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Community Partners Launch “Jamaica Is”

Marketing Campaign Aims to Increase Traffic for Local Businesses with Takeover of Bus Shelters and LinkNYC Kiosks throughout the City

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council today launched a citywide,13-week long marketing campaign that aims to elevate local businesses and promote economic growth in the southeast Queens neighborhood. Through a partnership with NYC + Company, the “Jamaica Is,” campaign will appear on bus shelters and DOITT’s Link NYC kiosks throughout the city. The campaign is part of the City’s Jamaica NOW action plan and was implemented to promote the neighborhood’s history, eclectic restaurants, local arts and small businesses as a destination for families, innovation and culture

“Jamaica is a neighborhood with tremendous strengths, and today we are thrilled to build on these incredible assets to create quality jobs, support businesses, promote economic development, and improve livability in the area,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Thank you to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council for their support in launching this campaign. We look forward to making this neighborhood even stronger for all New Yorkers to enjoy.”

“In the four years since the launch of the innovative $153 million Jamaica NOW Action Plan, Jamaica's emergence as a modern hub of entrepreneurship, ingenuity and culture has been a boon to all those who live, work and visit this historic neighborhood. The Jamaica NOW Action Plan was designed to promote responsible growth while bringing needed services to Jamaica. Today, we celebrate the successes of the last four years as we realize the true potential of Jamaica as both an economic engine of our city and an ideal place to raise a family, a great place to work and a cultural destination,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “By marketing the many accomplishments of Jamaica NOW at bus shelters and LinkNYC kiosks citywide — reaching thousands of New Yorkers each day — we can achieve just that. Special thanks to the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council for their commitment and hard work on this project over the last four years.”

“The resurgence of Downtown Jamaica is a critical part of sustainable growth of New York City, “ said Jamaica Now Leadership Council Vice ​Chair, Tameka Pierre-Louis. Wherein, the Jamaica Now Plan was forged to advocate for the local business community as a whole, and to help redefine surrounding communities and improve their overall quality of life. For the past four years the Jamaica Now Leadership Council has provided oversight and advice on issues affecting the revitalization and economic viability of our thriving business district. We are proud to present a vibrant marketing campaign to will help articulate the beautiful spirit of our community and to further stimulate economic activity in Downtown Jamaica. The “Jamaica Is” campaign is not merely geared to attract new visitors and shoppers into the area, but share the historical relevance of this important epicenter of Queens.”

"The "Jamaica Is" campaign amplified the work of the Jamaica NOW Leadership team, while enlightening others on rich history, culture and bustling business district, Downtown Jamaica has to offer," said Jamaica Now Leadership Council Co-​Chair, Ian Harris

"To have the opportunity to further our work, by informing the conversation as it pertains to culture reflects the interests of the Jamaica NOW Leadership team to move the cultural needle forward and deliver an authentic representation of the Jamaica, Queens community," said Tyra Emerson, President, Jamaica Is Arts Alliance.

"Jamaica Is Arts Alliance is thrilled to see the launch of the 13-week, "Jamaica Is" campaign! Jamaica Is Arts Alliance is comprised of 14 organizations brought together by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) to build community capacity by forging new relationships and expanding the role of artists & arts organizations with their community. "What our research unveiled after a series of focus groups, interviews, and a culminating visioning summit, was a vibrantly diverse and growing community," said Brendez Wineglass, Project Manager, Jamaica Is Arts Alliance.

In 2015, Mayor de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen launched the Jamaica Now Action Plan, a $153 million neighborhood initiative. The strategic action plan aims to economically revitalize Jamaica, Queens by providing workforce training and small business support, initiating new mixed-use development anchored by affordable housing, and improving the livability of the neighborhood through investments in safety measures, green spaces and more.

Earlier this year as part of building upon the successes of the Jamaica NOW action plan, NYCEDC and Queens Public Library announced the expansion of the Food Entrepreneurship and Services Training Space (FEASTS), a culinary pre-accelerator that offers training and mentorship for entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their food businesses, across the rest of the borough of Queens. FEASTS aims to increase its program capacity from 100 to 250 students in order to address the high need for similar resources throughout the City. This expansion follows a spike in the number of interested applicants, roughly 60 percent of whom were residents from beyond the greater Jamaica area. Last year, NYCEDC, HPD and HDC broke ground on Archer Green Apartments, a mixed-use development that will deliver 380 units of 100 percent affordable housing, a community facility, ground-floor retail, and commercial space to Jamaica, Queens.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council
Borough President Katz’s Jamaica Now Action Plan Leadership Council is designed to ensure continuous collaboration with community stakeholders and charged with oversight, administration and evaluation of the Plan’s implementation. Borough President Katz’s office will accept applications between now through April 29, 2015 from those interested in serving on the Leadership Council. For more information, visit