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Around Brooklyn: Velazquez releases data on COVID and small biz

October 9, 2020 Editorial Staff
On my walk to Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I passed this home in Dyker Heights. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Velazquez releases data on COVID and small biz

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens) released data showing that small businesses in NY-7 have received over $1.6 billion in federal aid since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. District businesses obtained funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. “Since the pandemic began, small businesses in New York and across the country have borne the brunt of the resulting economic crisis,” said Velázquez. “During this unprecedented time, I’ve worked in Congress to construct programs that deliver small businesses the relief they need to weather these hard times.”

Friends School leaders withdraw anti-union petition

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Crissy Caceres, principal of the Brooklyn Friends School, announced on Thursday that the school would withdraw from the National Labor Relations Board its anti-union petition to decertify and teachers’ and staff’s unions. “We have been negotiating in good faith for many days, and we believed we would come to a full resolution today. Unfortunately, the UAW was not able to come to terms with us. Nevertheless, because children are absolutely at the center for us, and we refuse to continue allowing our children to suffer, Crissy and the Board of Trustees have agreed to withdraw the petition,” read the joint statement, which was quoted by the Brooklyn Paper.

Diners on thin ice because of coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has brought Brooklyn diners to the breaking point, forcing several of them to close permanently and leaving others with financial hardships. Irene Siderakis of Kellogg’s Diner in Williamsburg said she would have to file for bankruptcy. Indoor dining in New York City resumed on Sept. 30, which gave hope to some businesses. However, the limited hours dictated by the state are hurting Kellogg’s Diner, which relied heavily on late-night diners. John Singh, owner of Bridgeview Diner on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, similarly said that the limited hours wiped out his early-morning customers who used to come in to eat before going to work, according to amNewYork.

Southern Brooklyn law firm sues city, state

A Brooklyn law firm in the “red zone” is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio in federal court over their new lockdown order. Turtuorro Law Firm is on McDonald Avenue, in an area where non-essential businesses have been shuttered. Partner Natraj Bhushan says his firm has complied with social distancing and other measures, but the city’s lack of enforcement led to the COVID-19 outbreak. The lawsuit claims that because of the lockdown, Turturro will be “forced to cease all or most of its operations without any sort of hearing or formal procedure,” the New York Post reported.

YouTube film about ‘Soul Summit’ debuts

The founders of Black-Owned Brooklyn, a platform that seeks to uplift Black businesses, have produced a YouTube film, “Soul Summit: Doin’ It In the Park,” about the festival that takes place on a regular basis in Fort Greene Park. The film documents the historic and cultural significance for the festival and its impact on Black artists of all types. “One of the goals we have with Black-owned Brooklyn overall is to tell stories of Black culture and Black history in Brooklyn. You can’t find a lot of easily accessible write-ups or films or articles about these places and people and things,” Gordy Giwa, the producer of the film, told the Huffington Post.

State senators endorse Elizabeth Adams

On Thursday, State Senators Alessandra Biaggi and Jessica Ramos announced their support of Elizabeth Adams for City Council in the 33rd C.D. Adams formerly worked as director of governmental affairs at planned parenthood and now serves as legislative director for Councilmember Stephen Levin. Sen. Biaggi said, “Elizabeth and I met in 2015 during our time at the New Leaders Council, where we connected over our shared vision to build a true progressive movement in NYC. From her advocacy of Planned Parenthood to her legislative work and mutual aid support during COVID, Elizabeth is an organizer and a fighter who gets things done.

Anti-Trump mural defaced

An organization named Radio Free Brooklyn recently painted an art installation featuring what it says are 20,000 lies by President Donald Trump. However, on Wednesday night it was defaced, presumably by supporters of President Trump. The graffiti on the mural says “Stand back and stand by,” the slogan that Trump addressed to the Proud Boys, a white supremacist group that has been linked to violence at demonstrations. Another graffiti at the site read “Vote Trump or die.”

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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