The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has announced the launched of the “Bring Back Brooklyn Fund,” a community-driven fundraising campaign to help save neighborhood businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fundraising goal is $500,000. But already, more than 260 individuals, corporate donors and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)– including AT&T and Investors Bank, as well as Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, FAB Fulton and Sunset Park BID– have chipped in to raise over $190,000 to be used for no-interest recovery loans.
“Our local Brooklyn businesses aren’t getting the help that they need to survive this crisis,” said Jim Cramer, owner of the San Miguel bar and co-owner of The Longshoreman restaurant (both in Brooklyn) and host of Mad Money on CBNBC. “The Bring Back Brooklyn Fund will provide the no-interest, recovery loans they need to come back. Invest in the neighborhood you love. Invest in your community.”
In contrast to the federal government’s PPP stimulus program, which contains a 25% cap on non-payroll expenses and has drawn widespread criticism, businesses reopening in the borough post-shutdown will have more flexibility to use the money on rent, vendors, and necessary improvements to keep customers and staff safe.
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will provide neighborhood retail stores, restaurants, bars, pharmacies, barbershops, daycare centers, and gyms with loans of between $500 to $30,000, with 65 percent of funds will target Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBEs).