While most small businesses in the Bronx did not receive money from the city to aid them during these harsh times, the federal government stepped in to help one business in Morris Park.
Recently, Ann Clairs Salumeria at 1130 Morris Park Ave., was the recipient of financial relief from JPMorgan Chase, through “Round Two” of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP.) Owner Vincent King said a load has now been lifted off his shoulders.
For nearly 50 years, the eatery has been a staple in the community. It is known for its daily and weekly specials and homemade mozzarella and Italian sausage.
King, 60, said if they didn’t receive the money he would have been put in a very tough spot. King told the Bronx Times that for weeks, he had been checking his email for the PPP and he was on cloud nine when he finally saw the confirmation.
“I was surprised and overwhelmed, “he said. “When you own a small business you have to make sure you have money coming in to pay your bills.”
According to King, the funds will go directly to payroll and utilities. Because half of their business is catering, they have been losing a lot of money.
In his many years of working and operating Ann Clairs Salumeria he has never endured such a challenging time.
“If we didn’t receive the money I would have to lay off half my staff,” he commented. “My stress level would have been so high just worrying about what tomorrow is going to bring to me.”
While he has been open doing takeout, delivery and Uber Eats, he had no idea how he could sustain the next few months. King has seen so many friends and businesses shuttered and struggling and realizes the landscape of the Bronx will change.
“You see so many gates down and you don’t know what tomorrow brings them,” he said. “It makes the whole Avenue look so depressing. My heart is broken for them. I wouldn’t want to see anybody be forced to close.”
In total, JPMorgan has helped 50,800 New York businesses with an average loan size of $136,000 totaling $6.9 billion. The firm is expected to fund about $29 billion to over 239,000 businesses under the PPP since its inception a little over three weeks ago, helping to support 3 million employees.