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Brooklyn Chamber, Cross River announce grant program in support of small business

December 22, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Cross River Bank have partnered to create a small business grant program for Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises and other small businesses, including start-ups. 

The program will be one of the Brooklyn Chamber’s tools for assisting small businesses throughout the borough, along with other business technical assistance programs, like the Small Business Resource Network.

The Brooklyn Alliance, the economic development arm of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, will administer this grant program.

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The grant program, exclusively branded as the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce – Cross River Small Business Grant Program, totals $200,000. Grants will be distributed in the amount of $5,000. 

On Monday, Dec. 20, executive management from the Brooklyn Chamber and Cross River conducted site visits to the following first five grant recipients:

  • Buy Better Foods, a Black-owned market and learning center in Bedford-Stuyvesant offering natural, local and sustainable foods, health and wellness products and instructional workshops. 
  • Ella Brooklyn, a day lounge in Fort Greene where 100 percent of profits are donated to IN THE PINK, a charitable organization whose mission is to help improve the lives of womxn in New York City.
  • Greene Avenue Market, located in Fort Greene, a neighborhood gourmet grocery specializing in helping its local community.
  • Ocean Hardware / Almac Hardware, located in Newkirk Plaza. This “mom and pop” shop has been servicing the neighborhood for more than a century. In addition to traditional hardware products and services, the business has expanded into industrial work within the local community.
  • Therapy Wine Bar 2.0, opened in 2009 with an objective to provide the Bedford-Stuyvesant  neighborhood with a wine bar experience welcoming to new and veteran wine connoisseurs. 

Upon receiving the grant, Myriam Simpierre, owner of Buy Better Foods, said, “Being a small business owner is empowering because it gives me the opportunity to use my talents and support the Bed-Stuy community. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce – Cross River grant enables me to achieve my expansion goal of adding a fresh juice bar to my market.”

At a time when Brooklyn’s small businesses are still experiencing economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the grant programs offer a lifeline to business owners and reflects an investment in local communities throughout the borough, according to the Chamber.

This is the first of several initiatives encompassed in the partnership between Cross River and the Brooklyn Chamber. In September, Cross River kicked off its “Making Waves with Cross River” campaign, focused on further providing resources to small businesses in need. Cross River will also be providing small business and other support to the Chamber’s Community Development Financial Institution.

“As our small businesses continue to face the uncertainty of COVID, the Brooklyn Chamber team is on the ground providing direct financial support,” said Randy Peers, president & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Champions emerge in times of crisis, and Cross River has been a steadfast small business champion throughout the pandemic.  We are proud to partner with them on this new grant program.” 

“At Cross River we are always looking for new ways to help our local businesses and community to provide them with the tools and resources they need to thrive,” said Phil Goldfeder, head of global public affairs at Cross River.

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