BY GRANT LANCASTER
The West Side Community Fund is now offering grants to help small businesses in Chelsea, Hudson Yards and Hell’s Kitchen stay alive during the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay-at-home order that has shuttered many neighborhood businesses.
Business owners with 10 employees or less can apply for the grants starting April 23 and are eligible for between $5,000 and $10,000. The nonprofit Citizens community for New York City will be responsible for distributing money to the winners, who will be announced on a rolling basis.
The grants are intended to help business owners pay rents, insurance, employee wages and other costs that they may struggle to pay because of the virus’s economic impact.
“Nobody in our community has escaped the hardship brought on by this virus, which is why it’s vital that we work together to preserve our neighborhood,” said Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown and West Side Community Fund leader.
Google, Jamestown, Related/Oxford Hudson Yards, Tapestry Inc.’s Coach Foundation, WarnerMedia and Wells Fargo Foundation provided seed money for the fund’s grants.
New York Rep. Jerry Nadler (D – 10) thinks that the grants are an essential step to helping businesses stay afloat during a time of crisis, he said.
“While absolutely necessary to combat the spread of the virus, it’s no question that many businesses — especially small- and medium-size businesses — have been hurting because they are operating at a limited capacity, or in some cases not at all,” Nadler said, calling the grants “a lifeline.”