Brooklyn Boro

COVID-19 update: Celebrating youth employment: Borough president stresses importance of programs amid budget cuts

June 8, 2020 Editorial Staff

On the front lines of the war on COVID-19, there are many civilian heroes going out of their way, as volunteers and contributors. Also, many who are elected to serve are going the extra mile. In this column the Eagle hopes to give our readers an ongoing update on those fighting in the front lines.

Borough President Eric Adams on Friday joined with Financially CLEAN, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that teaches financial literacy to young people, and Storytellers and Creators, a company at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that manufactures medical gowns, to highlight the work the two companies are doing to help the city during the COVID-19 pandemic and to urge the city to invest in youth employment. Even though youth are entering summer with few opportunities due to budget cuts, the city has proposed slashing funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program. Adams promoted Storytellers, which employs young people 18 and older, as a model that can be copied in other areas of the city.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which U.S. Rep. Max Rose co-sponsored and worked to pass in order to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic economic crisis, has been signed into law by President Donald Trump. Though the law increases access for small businesses to Paycheck Protection Program loans, Rose called the regulations that the Administration applied to the law “far too limited and restrictive,” and wrote, “Now with this signed into law, SBA must issue updated guidance immediately, and get businesses this relief now. Small businesses and nonprofits throughout Staten Island and South Brooklyn don’t have time to wait.”

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced that the state has reached its lowest daily number of deaths and hospitalizations since the COVID-19 pandemic began. On Thursday, 42 people in New York passed away due to COVID-19, compared to a record high of 800 just eight weeks ago. The number of total hospitalizations decreased to 2,728 from a record high of 18,825 during the peak of the pandemic. “Today’s achievement is proof we know we can change, and we know we can change dramatically when we work together,” said Cuomo.

Make Music New York, the one-of-a-kind festival of music made by and for New Yorkers and held each June 21, will adapt to challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis as the festival returns for its 14th consecutive year. In response to the pandemic, Make Music New York has developed creative virtual and socially distanced ways for anyone to join in the daylong musical free-for-all and flagship event of Make Music Day, which is being held in over 85 cities around the country, and throughout the entire states of Connecticut, Vermont, Wisconsin and Hawaii. Make Music New York will further showcase the power of music to inspire, uplift and connect people during these difficult times.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced a Small Business Emergency Grant Program for small businesses that in addition to challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic economic crisis have been impacted by looting and experienced damage to their storefronts. Thanks to $500,000 in initial funds from the community providers network SOMOS Community Care, the City will begin providing grants to small businesses of up to $10,000 per business, starting in the Bronx. “Our small businesses are not going anywhere,” said de Blasio. They are strong and resilient and they will be back, and we are here to help them do that.”


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