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Downtown landlords chip in for small biz fund

Downtown landlords Brookfield Properties, Silverstein Properties and The Howard Hughes Corporation are backing a new Small Business Rental Assistance Grant for some of their neighbors.

The Alliance for Downtown New York is launching the grant program to offer immediate help to storefront businesses currently providing vital services to residents and essential workers in Lower Manhattan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With support from the trio of landlords, the Downtown Alliance’s Small Business Rental Assistance Grant will give Lower Manhattan’s small businesses access to $800,000 in grants. The Small Business Rental Assistance Grant program is part of the Alliance’s ongoing small business relief efforts.

Jessica Lappin

“The Alliance has long worked to nurture the growth of local retail, and that focus will continue to drive our recovery efforts,” said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin. “There is not one storefront business in New York City that has been spared by COVID-19. Every one of them is struggling. We are stepping up to do what we can to help our stores keep their lights on. We know there are a number of landlords trying to work with tenants, and we hope all property owners will be as flexible and creative as they can be at this challenging time.”

The Downtown Alliance is contributing $250,000 to the program with Brookfield, Silverstein and Howard Hughes each chipping in cash. The individual grants will offer $10,000 each to small businesses as a single direct payment to be applied to April or May rent.

Among other qualifications, businesses applying for aid must be open and providing an “essential” service as defined by Governor Andrew Cuomo and be an independent business with five or fewer locations in New York City.


“Brookfield is committed to Lower Manhattan and to doing what we can to help build bridges for its small businesses – such a big part of what makes Downtown a great place – to survive and recover,” said Ric Clark, Chairman of the Brookfield Property Group and Chairman of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “We’re proud to be joined by Silverstein Properties and the Howard Hughes Corporation in supporting this Alliance for Downtown New York initiative. Lower Manhattan has come back again and again from steep challenges. We know it will again.”


“Lower Manhattan is one of the greatest neighborhoods in the world, thanks in large part to its dynamic mix of restaurants, shops, bars and other small businesses,” said Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties. “Downtown’s businesses have been through a lot over the past two decades, but we are resilient, and will once again come back better and stronger than ever. Until that time, we need to stand together, which makes me grateful for this opportunity to directly support our most treasured local establishments.”

“Our city’s vibrant neighborhood businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” says Saul Scherl, President of the New York Tri-State Region, The Howard Hughes Corporation. “The Howard Hughes Corporation is proud to support the Downtown Alliance’s newly created grant program to help essential small businesses hard-hit by COVID-19. Lower Manhattan has been through the toughest of times, and has always found a way to rise again. These grants will ensure these important local businesses are ready and able to drive New York City’s post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Businesses can apply starting Friday, May 1 at 9a ET at

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