The businesses and workers affected by this fire were some of the hardest hit throughout the pandemic. This tragedy is compounded by already mounting debt, lack of job security, fear of eviction, and personal health worries. There are businesses here who were ineligible for federal relief, workers ineligible for unemployment. Some of the smallest businesses operated and made their livelihoods here, including street vendors who stored their inventory in this building. We are even hearing of nearby residents affected by smoke inhalation. This will have a profound impact on the neighborhood but we are committed to protecting and preserving the commercial corridor and the people who run it.
Chhaya and DRUM have come together to support the local businesses and workers. We are in touch with business owners and workers and collaborating with neighborhood and citywide partners to ensure that folks get the support they need. This fundraiser will provide direct relief grants to uninsured business owners, undocumented workers, and street vendors. We will provide businesses with funds to help them manage during this difficult time and replace wages for their workers.
Workers will receive assistance understanding unemployment benefits, applying if eligible, access to financial and tenant counseling services, as well as a connection to labor lawyers, if needed. Business owners will receive support with applications for other grants, filing insurance claims for those who have insurance, and connections to other resources provided by the city.
Commercial tenants and workers have suffered deeply throughout this pandemic. Several of the businesses affected by this fire were already being sued for unpaid rent throughout the pandemic. Let’s ensure that no small business owner is harassed by their landlord for rent. Eviction moratoriums do not prevent ongoing harassment. Send a letter to our state leadership to support commercial rent relief ASAP - https://bit.ly/fundsmallbizgov #NoSmallBizNoNYC #SaveOurStorefronts
- Valeria Mogilevich
- Naasiha Ahmed
- Thomas O'Keefe
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