Restaurant Loan Program

Restaurant Loan Program

The State of New York, in conjunction with GJDC, is actively seeking restaurant entrepreneurs ready to invest in a growing downtown. GJDC has launched a partially forgivable loan program specifically targeted to restaurants that need capital to expand or open a new location in Downtown Jamaica, Queens.

  • Loan amounts $50,000-$150,000
  • 25% of the loan is forgivable after successful repayment
  • 5% interest rate
  • 3-5 year repayment period


  • Located within designated Downtown Jamaica boundaries  
  • New (or substantially different) restaurant business 
  • For-profit entity 
  • Create a minimum of 4 jobs 
  • Amount requested can be no more than 40% of project cost 
  • If expanding existing restaurant, must be growing into least 40% more space and include significant renovations 
  • Applicants can own no more than 2 restaurants in New York City   
  • Project must align with program objectives 

About Downtown Jamaica, Queens

A resurgence is underway in Downtown Jamaica, Queens. In the last ten years, over $1 billion of public and private investments have been made in the area. Rezoned for higher density in 2007, new development projects are continually announced for Jamaica.

In the next two years alone, 5.9 million square feet of residential, hotel, and retail space are slated to come online including 4,000 new residential units and 2,400 hotel rooms. This new development will complement Jamaica’s current population of 670,000 residents alongside the 570,000 commuters who pass through Jamaica each day, the 30,600 university students who attend area schools, and the numerous government agency employees who work in Jamaica.

About the Program

Downtown Jamaica, Queens was selected by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a winner of a competitive $10 million grant competition through the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). DRI is a strategic investment plan that identifies catalytic downtown projects consistent with the initiative’s goals. This infusion of state funds will not only bolster our efforts to transform Downtown Jamaica, but it is a significant show of faith in Jamaica and one we do not take lightly. GJDC is leading two of the projects.

Increasing dining options in Downtown Jamaica is one of those projects and it focuses on improving the dining options and nightlife activity in the downtown area by establishing a Restaurant Startup Loan Program as well as an incubator space for new food businesses at the Jamaica Market, which GJDC owns and manages.



Do you have demonstrated experience opening and managing restaurants? Do you own less than three restaurants in New York? If so, this new loan program to help you get started in Downtown Jamaica, Queens.

If you believe you are eligible, please fill out our pre-application form and a member of the team will review and contact you directly.




 Current Target Corridors


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In Partnership

This program is made possible thanks to generous funding from