Ten New York City Small Businesses Each Receive $10,000 to Provide Relief from Impact of COVID-19 on their Businesses
Signature Bank , a New York-based, full-service commercial bank, announced its collaboration with Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, a nonprofit law firm providing free, high-quality legal services to New Yorkers citywide, to distribute $100,000 in Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) grants. Ten New York City small businesses each received $10,000 through the FHLBNY’s Small Business Recovery Grant (SBRG) Program, providing them relief from the economic impact COVID-19 has had on their respective businesses. The FHLBNY is offering this round of funding through its COVID-19 SBRG Program.
“At the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, we are driven by our community-focused mission, and we are honored to partner with our member, Signature Bank, to bring these grants to the institutions that keep our communities strong”
On average, these ten businesses – among them several restaurants and laundromats, a real estate agency, an automotive store, a flower shop and a seamstress – cumulatively saw an annual $200,000 decrease in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic. The grants will cover personnel costs, operating expenses and rent arrears to ultimately help keep these businesses open.
FHLBNY’s SBRG Program was initially developed in response to the 2017 hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2020, the SBRG program was relaunched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help alleviate the challenges small businesses faced across the FHLBNY’s District, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This program supports the financial security of qualifying organizations that have suffered decreased revenue following a disaster by partnering with members to provide grants. Through its 2020 and 2021 distribution rounds, the SBRG Program provided flexible funds to benefit small business and non-profit customers across FHLBNY members’ communities, bringing $14 million in grant funding to more than 2,000 small businesses and non-profits in communities across the FHLBNY’s District.
“Giving back to the communities we serve is an integral part of our corporate culture. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we reflect on our founding New York City roots and the many small businesses throughout the boroughs we’ve helped grow and prosper. Participating in opportunities such as the FHLBNY’s SBRG Program is consistent with our mission of Looking Forward, Giving Back. We are proud to continue to nurture these small businesses and recognize the value they bring and the meaningful role they each play within their respective local communities,” explained Signature Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. DePaolo.
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A Executive Director Jessica A. Rose, Esq., added: “These grants provide a necessary lifeline for our small business clients. Our collaboration with Signature Bank demonstrates just how Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A combines legal representation and advocacy to spread justice to all New Yorkers. Our neighborhoods win when partnerships such as this enable our attorneys to better position our small business clients to tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants will help them maintain their businesses and keep their personal assets intact.”
“At the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, we are driven by our community-focused mission, and we are honored to partner with our member, Signature Bank, to bring these grants to the institutions that keep our communities strong,” said José R. González, president and CEO of the FHLBNY. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have repeatedly seen our members rise to meet its challenges, doing all that they can to support their customers, neighbors and communities. We have been proud to offer the Small Business Recovery Grant Program to assist in these efforts, as we all work together to help our region recover.”
“Business has been unusual and unstable since March 2020,” noted Chibueze Amakwe, owner of Sons of Daniel in Brooklyn, New York. “We lost a lot of income and are still losing a considerable amount of patronage. Meanwhile, rents and utilities continue to accumulate. Currently, my utilities arrears stand at about $20,000 for electricity and gas alone. The $10,000 grant will go a long way in helping me pay down these utilities. The grant is a welcome relief.”
Wilhemina Smith, owner of Mel’s Marketing & Consulting Service, said: “Our business appreciates this grant assistance as we continuously adapt to new challenges during these uncertain times. The funds are a great help, allowing our business to sustain and improve current operations as we move into this new year.”
This grant program marks the fourth one in which Signature Bank and the FHLBNY have partnered to support small businesses. Grants totaling $350,000 were distributed between 2020-2021 to 39 small businesses and nonprofit organizations spanning the Bank’s clients as well as various entities with whom it forged grant relationships.
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