Chamber of Commerce, Cross River Bank, give grants to learning center, clothing store

August 5, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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B’klyn Chamber issued checks to create jobs and growth

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Cross River Bank, provided its monthly $5,000 small-business grant checks to a learning center and a clothing store on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 

The Chamber made these grants though its lending arm, Brooklyn Alliance Capital. It provides financing to underserved minority and immigrant entrepreneurs and low-income small-business owners to increase financial stability and foster economic growth that will create jobs in Brooklyn.

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First up, the group presented a check to KidzHome —House of Multicultural Education, 1633 Sheepshead Bay Road.

The facility is a learning center that offers various educational and creative programs for children from babies to high school students, test preparation and children’s theater studios in Russian and Spanish.

Left-right: principal of KidzHome — House of Multicultural Education Alla Markova, Philip Goldfeder, senior vice president of public affairs for Cross River Bank, Deputy Borough President Diane Richardson and Councilmember Inna Vernikov. Eagle photos by Jaime DeJesus

According to its website, its goals are to improve children’s speaking skills, attract kids to reading in any language, help them thrive in school, develop their creative skills and maintain inter-generational ties within the family. 

Brooklyn Chamber President and CEO Randy Peers was joined by Councilmember Inna Vernikov, Deputy Borough President Diane Richardson, officials of Cross River Bank and others, to present the check to KidzHome principal Alla Markova.

“What you’ve done here is special and unique, and that’s what we are here to celebrate,” said Peers. “We can make a difference right here in Brooklyn with these children, and that’s what you’re doing.”

“To see the smiles on the kids’ faces is great,” said Philip Goldfeder, senior vice president of public affairs for Cross River Bank. “When we partnered with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, it was about finding small businesses or organizations where we could put money that could make a real difference. There are so many places, we want to make sure it will make a real impact.”

Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Jaime DeJesus

Vernikov was also pleased with the grant given to the school and Markova. 

“You have such passion for this so thank you for volunteering your time and contributing so greatly to these kids’ lives,” she told her. “I have worked with the Brooklyn Chamber since I got into office. They’re on the ground. They’re really trying to improve our community, help our businesses.”

“Your passion for the theater, arts, and multicultural arts is so apparent,” said Richardson. “I just want to say thank you. I hope you’re able to not only build up to this stage, but expand in the future.”

Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Jaime DeJesus

Later, the Chamber presented a check to the owner of Vinny’s Men Store, 307 Utica Ave., owned by Dennis Cole. The store has been open since 1984 and was described as a fixture of the neighborhood.

“Today has been really phenomenal,” said Richardson. “Vinny’s is a legacy business here in the community since 1984 and has been making sure the men of our community are represented, well-clothed for every event of their life. We know this grant is going to go a long way.”

Representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Cross River Bank, as well as local officials, present the grant to Vinny’s Men’s Store. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Jaime DeJesus

Eddie Karim from Assemblymember Latrice Walker’s office said he was glad to be a part of the presentation.

“So often, small businesses suffer,” he said. “Especially after COVID, it’s been a difficult time and we have lost so many. It’s good to know these doors are able to say a piece of our community is still standing.”

Councilmember Darlene Mealy spoke highly of Cole. “He’s a pillar of the community,” she said. Doing turkey drives or anything, whenever there’s a need that arrives in the community, he gives back.”

Dennis Cole, owner of Vinny’s Men’s Store on Utica Avenue. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Jaime DeJesus

Cross River is a financial services organization that merges the established expertise of a bank with the innovation and product offering of a technology company. 

Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Jaime DeJesus

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