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Key Food #1586, which recently opened in the underserved South Beach neighborhood of New York's Staten Island and was the subject of Progressive Grocer's April 2014 Store of the Month feature, including a store tour, relied on several initiatives to help with the location's financing and renovation costs:
After a study conducted for the Mayor’s Food Policy Taskforce by the New York City Departments of Health and City Planning and New York City Economic Development Corp. found that many low-income neighborhoods were underserved by neighborhood grocery stores, New York City, together with the City Council, introduced the “Food Retail Expansion to Support Health” (FRESH) program in 2009. The initiative promotes the establishment and retention of local grocery stores in underserved areas by providing zoning and financial incentives.
The program is open to grocery store operators renovating existing retail space, or developers seeking to construct or renovate retail space to be leased by a full-service grocery store operator. To be eligible, stores must provide at least 6,000 square feet of retail space for food and nonfood grocery products; at least 30 percent of retail space for perishable goods, including dairy, fresh produce, fresh meats, poultry, fish and frozen foods; and at least 500 square feet of retail space for fresh produce, among other requirements.
FRESH incentives are designed to work in tandem with programs such as New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and other energy-efficiency programs; Healthy Food Healthy Communities; the New Business Acceleration Team; and HireNYC.
The goal of the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) is to spark economic development throughout the city’s five boroughs, and to aid in the retention of existing jobs, and the creation and attraction of new ones. NYCIDA’s discretionary programs provide companies with access to triple tax-exempt bond financing and/or tax benefits to acquire or create capital assets, such as buying real estate, building or renovating facilities, and purchasing new equipment. Applicants must demonstrate a need for assistance.
Since January 2002, the agency has closed more than 330 transactions, leveraging discretionary incentives to generate more than $11.8 billion in private investment, and retain or create more than 103,000 jobs.
The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is a community development financial institution (CDFI) that invests in projects with high social value that may not be able to access the services provided by traditional financial institutions. LIIF’s products include community capital loans, New Markets Tax Credits, grants and technical assistance. Its flexible, affordable financing solutions aim to work for community organizations and investors alike. The fund maintains offices in San Francisco; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles.