100 million to help small businesses

Café Valencia is one of the Brooklyn coffee shops that, like many others in the city, had a difficult end of the year.

Its owner, George Cataño, explains that they have not yet recovered even half of the clients they had before the pandemic.

In addition, the new ómicron variant has further reduced its clientele.

“December was a fatal month for us, we did not even reach 30%. What helps us a little bit are the deliveries”, explains Cataño.

George and his partner have side jobs aside from the business. Part of their salary is invested in the premises so that the cafeteria continues to function. But for this reason they applied to a city program that could give them an incentive of ten thousand dollars to alleviate their debts.

“What they are offering is 10,000 dollars and of course, 10,000 dollars will not solve (all the problems) but of course, it helps a lot, especially the Hispanic community (and) with the payment of employees,” adds Cataño.

The municipal government has earmarked 100 million to help 10,000 small businesses that are located in areas with low to moderate income and that are dedicated to the arts, entertainment, recreation and food services.

Despite the difficulties, Café Valencia says that this financial help gives them more hope to stay open.

“We are not ready to throw in the towel yet, we are organizing things,” adds Cataño.

The incentive has the condition of being used to pay payroll, rent, services or other operating expenses of the business.

To apply, the business must have been in operation before October 1, 2019 and show that it has lost at least 25% of sales and not have received help from the restaurant revitalization program.

To apply visit the page covidresilience.nyc

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