First Business to Open as Part of the Town’s Storefront Development Pilot Program
During the height of the pandemic, the Babylon Industrial Development Agency (IDA) launched an aggressive initiative, the Economic Inclusion Plan, that aimed to support and foster the growth of minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBE). Recently, the IDA joined Spin the Yard owner William Certain, as well as Legislator Jason Richberg, Brendan Cunningham representing Assem. Kim Jean-Pierre, and Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, to welcome the first storefront to open as part of the effort’s Storefront Development Pilot Program.
“We are extremely proud of the success of the Storefront Development Program in being able to welcome Spin The Yard to the Town of Babylon,” said Tom Dolan, CEO of the Babylon IDA. “Our economy thrives when all reaches of our society succeed. This specific program as well as our overall Economic Inclusion Plan have set out to bring much-needed equity to our economy in the way of helping MWBEs get access to the resources required to start and grow their businesses.”
The Storefront Development Pilot Program launched in the fall of 2020 as a way to improve occupancy rates in underutilized business districts while also providing small business owners with affordable space needed to advance their businesses. Spin The Yard, a boutique store formally based in Huntington Station, has relocated to 1529 Straight Path Road in Wyandanch—the owner’s hometown—helping Mr. Certain’s business grow while also revitalizing a vacant and blighted storefront.
Spin the Yard is more than a business as it also serves as an unofficial institution assisting financially and mentally struggling residents while supporting many other community initiatives such as helping distressed families and individuals coming out of prison. This community-first mentality is shared by the program’s additional efforts to create the START Resource Center, also located at 1529 Straight Path Road. This center was launched to provide a multitude of transitional services for those with a history of incarceration, such as substance abuse treatment, transportation, educational opportunities, and jobs assistance. The START Center has been funded by a $40,000 grant from AT&T as well as a $25,000 Economic Inclusion Initiative grant from the Town of Babylon.
“We could not be more honored with this opportunity to open up here in the Town of Babylon,” said William Certain, owner of Spin The Yard. “Many business owners are looking for a fresh start, and to be able to have access to these resources is a true blessing. We look forward to continuing being an example of this program's success as well as stand ready to assist other businesses get involved for the betterment of our community.”
MORE ABOUT THE ECONOMIC INCLUSION PLAN:
The Economic Inclusion Initiative is broken down into four focused buckets that provide:
· Storefront Development Pilot Program
o Supports minority entrepreneurs, fills storefronts in business districts, and builds equity
o Up to $25,000 in rent assistance
o Up to $25,000 in space improvements
o Eliminates red tape to expedite all town issues
· Financial Assistance
o Secure no-interest loans to small businesses and targeted grant programs
o Improves access to capital by creating supporting crowdfunding and micro-lending
· Training and Technical Assistance
o Oversee partnerships with foundations and universities to provide capacity building
o Provide student learning opportunities and skills training programs
o Provide technical assistance to address sales and profit deficiencies, closure rates, and other barriers to business growth
· MBWE/VETERAN Certification
o Provide assistance in acquiring necessary certification and bonding
o Promote partnerships between Town and minority consultants, contractors, and vendors
o Increases Access to RFP and bidding processes