Chamber of Commerce helps business damaged by car crash
A damaged Bay Ridge restaurant got a helping hand from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce last week.
On July 18 at 1 a.m., a driver crashed into and destroyed the outdoor dining enclosure of South Brooklyn Foundry. Co-owner Agnes Kelly was on her way to the restaurant at 6909 Third Ave. when an employee called her with the bad news.
“I thought it was a small fender-bender, and when I got here it was destroyed,” Kelly said. “It was terrible. We called the police. They made a report.”
Kelly said getting help from insurance companies proved to be problematic and slow, so she called Nicole Biscardi, restaurant and hospitality industry specialist at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Biscardi had helped the restaurant at the height of the pandemic.
“She helped us out with heaters when we needed them in the winter,” Kelly said. “She was like an angel to us.”
Biscardi asked for pictures and the police report to see what she could do. That same day, the chamber authorized an emergency response to pay for repairs, which began immediately.
Randy Peers, president of the chamber, was happy to help.
“It’s a great restaurant in Bay Ridge,” he said. “It’s a neighborhood place and a family business. We are just here to lend support when they need us.”
For cases such as these, the chamber uses some funding left over from the Bring Back Brooklyn Fund, a crowdfunding initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that raised more than $750,000 last year.
“We are holding [the remainder of the funds] for just these types of examples,” Peers said. “Emergency situations where one of our small businesses finds themselves in a crisis due to something that was beyond their control and they need a quick turnaround.”
Kelly was thrilled that she was able to keep her workers employed and her customers happy.
“My customers have been absolutely lovely,” she said. “That’s what keeps me coming out: serving the community. I know most of the customers by name.”
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