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Join Our Team

Small Business Program Associate (Part-Time)

About the Position:

Chhaya seeks an energetic and dynamic Program Associate to engage in its Small Business Program to promote, protect, and preserve the immigrant-owned and immigrant-serving small businesses of Jackson Heights. The Program Associate will work with small business owners and other stakeholders to prevent the dislocation of culturally-significant commercial spaces from the neighborhood, which is facing rapid gentrification resulting in residential, commercial, and cultural displacement.

The Small Business Program Associate will help Chhaya CDC deliver commercial revitalization programs and services as the organization ends its three-year Avenue NYC grant funded by the New York City Department of Small Businesses Services. This position will work in partnership with the organization’s leadership to assist local Jackson Heights businesses and other projects that address the needs of South Asian small business owners.

Chhaya staff are primarily working remotely and will continue to do so until the COVID-19 pandemic abates. At that time, applicants must be able to work from our offices. Periodic visits to local businesses following social distancing and safety protocols will be required.

The position is a part-time and temporary role ending June 30, 2021, with the possibility of the role being extended and/or expanded to full-time (subject to funding). The Small Business Program Associate reports to the Director of Programs.

About Chhaya:

Chhaya is the only South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Community Development Corporation (CDC) in the nation. Our mission is to build community power, housing stability, and economic well-being of the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities in New York. Since our founding in 2000, Chhaya has helped prevent hundreds of foreclosures; assisted first-time homebuyers in obtaining thousands of dollars in down-payment assistance, led the basement legalization campaign in New York City, provided individuals with key immigration services to better navigate daily life, empowered families with financial management tools and skills, and fostered the civic engagement of thousands of South Asian and Indo-Caribbean New Yorkers. As a leader in New York City’s housing and economic justice sector, Chhaya is poised for significant organizational growth and development. Our main office is in Jackson Heights and we have a second location in Richmond Hill – two neighborhoods with vibrant South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Implement and evaluate small business campaigns in Jackson Heights including but not limited to merchant organizing, business support and retention, and public space activation;
  • Assess neighborhood conditions and needs by gathering and analyzing commercial district data;
  • Facilitate conversations with a wide range of stakeholders on a range of complex issues and projects that impact the South Asian commercial corridor of 74th Street in Jackson Heights;
  • Liaise regularly with multiple City agencies to leverage resources and acquire the necessary support for projects and initiatives;
  • Engage community stakeholders and partner organizations in designated commercial corridor efforts;
  • Track and measure program metrics and impact;
  • Connect local stakeholders to additional economic development resources offered by the City of New York;
  • Other tasks as assigned.

As a member of the Chhaya staff, additional responsibilities may be added related to special events, critical initiatives, and other special cases that require full staff participation (some evenings and weekends). Each staff member’s duty is to help build a culture of ownership, accountability, fairness, inclusiveness, and fun at Chhaya.

  • Deep commitment and passion for social justice, and grounded by connection to the needs and issues facing low-income South Asians and Indo-Caribbeans
  • Two or more years of experience with commercial revitalization, community nonprofits, community-based planning and organizing, and/or neighborhood development issues
  • Familiarity with Jackson Heights and the South Asian communities in the neighborhood
  • Fluent in English and Bangla, Nepali, Hindi, Urdu, Tibetan or another South Asian language is required
  • Commitment to engaging diverse constituents in low- and moderate-income communities; interested in understanding the different perspectives and needs of diverse community stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain strong relationships with governmental agencies, elected officials and their staff, non-profit organizations, and other community groups
  • Ability to coordinate and manage multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, and provide timely and clear updates to supervisors
  • Ability to work in an organized, efficient manner with a high level of accuracy, attention to detail, and follow-through
  • Ability to complete tasks and project with tight deadlines
  • Demonstrate a passion and commitment to creating and maintaining strong, vibrant neighborhoods and commercial corridors
  • An ability to be flexible and willingness to wear “multiple hats” if and when needed
  • Flexible schedule with the ability to work some weekends and evenings, if needed
  • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • A self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for organizational growth and progress
  • High integrity and compassion
  • Thrives on making an impact and is knowledgeable in housing and economic justice issues
  • Experience with and knowledge of digital/social media marketing and campaigns
  • Educational background/coursework or experience in urban planning, community organizing, public administration, project management, real estate, economics, or related field, preferred
  • Sense of humor – a plus
Salary Range:

$20 per hour – $30 per hour commensurate with experience

How to Apply:

Please send a cover letter, resume, two professional references, and a brief writing sample to with the subject line “Small Business Program Associate – Application”.

Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2021.

Chhaya CDC is an equal opportunity organization that celebrates and embraces diversity. Chhaya does not discriminate on the basis of caste, race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or any other identities covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and organizational need.

Main Office:
37-43 77th St, 2nd Floor, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Contact: 718.478.3848;

Richmond Hill Center:
121-18 Liberty Avenue, 2nd Floor, Richmond Hill, NY 11419
Contact: 718.374.3371;


Copyright 2020 by Chhaya Community Development Corporation. All rights reserved. Chhaya CDC is a 501(c)3 non profit organization.