On Monday Oct. 12, M&T Bank announced it has allocated $70,000 in grant funding to seven Bronx businesses located near its Grand Concourse branch, all of which have struggling due to COVID-19.
The grants were made available through the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of New York’s COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Grant (SBRG) program, which provides money to business owners who have suffered a minimum 25 percent decrease in revenue due to the pandemic.
Data shows that Bronx businesses are struggling more than businesses in Manhattan as they only received 1 percent of COVID-19 relief loans from the city.
Melvyn Pacheco is the owner of Truly Urban Hobby Shop at 2391 Grand Concourse, a collectable card gaming shop located a block from M&T Bank’s Bronx branch at 2460 Grand Concourse. Pacheco’s business was one of the seven that received grant funding to aid his struggling business.
“When the pandemic forced non-essential businesses to close their doors in March, it not only put the health of those businesses at risk but also the economic viability of their employees,” Pacheco said. ”The grant funding facilitated by M&T Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York will help ensure our employees have a place to work and can put food on the table.”
The businesses that will receive funding are Truly Urban Hobby Shop, Jerry’s Realty, LLC, Jwung Hwa Lee, Rogemar Clothing Corporation, Fordham Fried Chicken & Seafood, Tropilyz B Restaurant, Inc. and Fuladu Shipping, Inc.
“These businesses are our neighbors,” said M&T Bank Bronx Branch Manager Bhopal Sewpersaud. “As a member of this community we are acutely aware of the impact the pandemic has had on these businesses, and believe it is our responsibility to identify and facilitate solutions that allow these businesses to thrive.”