PSEG Long Island Celebrates Small Business Week (April 30-May 6) and Five Years of its Popular Grant Program
Company, community leaders and first-ever grant recipient gather to help open new Lindenhurst business that faced four years of pandemic-related challenges
(UNIONDALE, N.Y. — May 1, 2023) PSEG Long Island today recognized Small Business Week and celebrated the five-year anniversary of its popular Main Street Revitalization grant program.
Monday’s celebration took place at the official ribbon cutting of the most recent grant recipient: Hunter and Thief, a modern cocktail bar located in the heart of Lindenhurst’s downtown business district. Gabrielle and Jonathan Gonzalez, the proprietors, proudly opened their doors on this day after nearly four years of pandemic-related setbacks. Hunter and Thief qualified for an $18,750 PSEG Long Island Main Street Revitalization grant.
Also in attendance were the owners of the Argyle Theatre in Babylon, recipient of PSEG Long Island’s very first Main Street Revitalization grant, which, along with rebates and bill credits from the company, saved them nearly $100,000. Government officials, representatives from local business improvement groups, chambers of commerce and community leaders were also present at the grand opening.
“PSEG Long Island’s economic development grants have provided more than a million dollars to local businesses in the past five years – from the Argyle Theatre in 2018, to today, as we celebrate our most recent grant recipient, Hunter and Thief,” said David Lyons, interim president and COO of PSEG Long Island. “This opening is a testament to this couple’s fortitude, patience and perseverance. We are proud to stand beside them today as they realize their dream of business ownership. As we kick off Small Business Week today, we encourage the public to support our entrepreneurial neighbors.”
For the past five years, PSEG Long Island has been providing small and medium-sized businesses with grants and bill credits to support their success. PSEG Long Island’s Main Street Revitalization grants are available for businesses that complete projects to help improve the economic stability and growth of a municipality. Since 2018, the grants have supported renovation projects for nearly 50 local businesses with more than a million dollars given out. These new businesses have also created more than 900 jobs, further enhancing the local economy.
Hunter and Thief also qualified for another PSEG Long Island small business incentive because they renovated a building that had been vacant for more than a year. PSEG Long Island’s Vacant Space Revival program provides up to $10,000 in electric bill discounts for a new business’ first year, which is often financially difficult. Since 2018, nearly $212,000 has been provided to more than 100 new businesses under this program.
“It is with immense gratitude that we stand here today to finally open our doors,” said Jonathan Gonzalez, award-winning mixologist and co-owner of Hunter and Thief. “We thank those who have supported us since our dream was just a vision – the Lindenhurst community and PSEG Long Island, to name two. Over the course of the last four years, we have endured every possible setback that a small business could face, including, but certainly not limited to, a global pandemic. That’s why it means that much more for us today to finally be at the finish line.”
“Congratulations to Gabrielle and Jonathan on receiving this PSEG Long Island Main Street Revival Grant. We warmly welcome Hunter and Thief to our Lindenhurst family!,” said Michael A. Lavorata, mayor of the incorporated village of Lindenhurst. “As our beautiful Lindenhurst downtown business district continues to energize and revitalize, we extend our thanks to PSEG Long Island for their assistance in helping small businesses here to get started and grow.”
"It was truly a great morning as we celebrated the ribbon cutting for Hunter and Thief in the heart of Lindenhurst village at the start of Small Business Week,” said Legislator Kevin J. McCaffrey, presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature. “Our small business community is the backbone of our downtown and our local economy. PSEG Long Island understands the importance of supporting small business and provides it through their Main Street Revival grant program and saving incentives to reduce energy costs. Jonathan and Gabrielle Gonzalez finally opened their doors after overcoming many of the obstacles faced by small business with the help of PSEG Long Island’s grant. As a result, we welcomed another small business to our downtown line-up with help from PSEG Long Island's investment in small business and communities like Lindenhurst across Long Island."
“On behalf of the village of Lindenhurst’s Business Improvement District, we would like to officially welcome Hunter and Thief to our great downtown,” said Jason Kontakis, president of the village of Lindenhurst Business Improvement District. “Their business is exactly what we need and look for to elevate our downtown. It is programs like the PSEG Long Island Main Street Revitalization grant that help allow a dream to become a reality. With Gabrielle and Jonathan’s hard work in enduring all of the challenges they faced, along with the assistance of this grant program, we are so happy to welcome them to the village of Lindenhurst’s Business Improvement District family and see their vision and persistence pay off!”
“We are so proud of Jonathan and Gabrielle for all of their hard work and dedication to making Hunter and Thief a reality,” said Joann Boettcher, president of the Lindenhurst Chamber of Commerce. “They have been through a lot and we are looking forward to their future successes."
"Kudos to PSEG Long Island for bringing resources to local downtowns and chambers through the pandemic and beyond,” said Eric Alexander, founder of the LI Main Street Alliance. “Our Main Streets are hubs for economic and community activity and are a wise investment."
"PSEG Long Island has been an invaluable partner of ours in bringing The Argyle Theatre to fruition,” said Dylan J. Perlman, owner of the Argyle Theatre. “The economic development grants and rebates that PSEG Long Island offered us in our early days helped us to get our project across the finish line and get The Argyle Theatre up and running. The last few years have been a very difficult time for everyone, and especially in the live theater industry, but PSEG Long Island has been there for us throughout. The PSEG Long Island economic development team and its Main Street Revitalization and Vacant Space programs are an indispensable partner to the private and public sector in keeping Long Island a vibrant and thriving place to live, work and play. Thanks PSEG Long Island!"
Small businesses are the backbone of our community. Making up 90% of Long Island’s companies, they contribute to the economy and workforce, and help communities thrive. Many small businesses, like Hunter and Thief, experienced hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. PSEG Long Island has provided and continues to create programs to help them thrive and recover.
To learn more about the small business support offered by PSEG Long Island, visit https://www.psegliny.com/inthecommunity/revitalization.
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PSEG Long Island
PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company.