Rent-Free July for Small Businesses in Westchester County

Our COVID-19 Rent Assistance Grant Program
Made Possible by a Generous Donation from Sandy Wollman
July 28, 2020

Entrepreneurship runs through Sandy Wollman’s veins. Co-Founder and Managing Director for the Westchester Angels, and Founder of the New York Area Angel Alliance, Sandy has become an integral part of the angel investment community in the tri-state area. His entrepreneurial journey began with running a large portion of his dad’s business and evolved as he spent 25 years as a partner of Carna Mills, a large textile converting company. His experience included countless trips to India, providing volumes of hand-made fabric for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Guess, and Capital Mercury Shirt Corp. But his path was not always easy. In 2002, Sandy experienced the successful multi-family/multi-generational business on 6th Ave in New York City crumble. This remains a defining moment in Sandy’s life.

“I understand the challenges and pains of an entrepreneur. I give back now to prevent small business owners from making the same mistakes I’ve made. If I can help to eliminate some of those challenges, I have had a great day,” exclaims Sandy.

After a few painful years of self-reflection and with the help of his wife, Lisa, Sandy reinvented himself. Just as he celebrated his fiftieth birthday, he went back to school to become a financial planner and has since advocated for small businesses. He also founded The Small Business Advisory Alliance, a non-profit organization, which assisted small business owners in Westchester County with ‘free, no strings attached’ mentoring and advising. And five years ago, along with Jeff Loehr, Sandy Co-Founded the Westchester Angels, which invest in start-ups in the New York City and Westchester County area. They are committed to the growth of people and leadership first.

“Business is about people. I do not care if you have a one-room barbershop or are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Business is 100 percent about people,” says Sandy.

So, when COVID-19 shut down the economy, Sandy knew local entrepreneurs would need support. He reached out to us to see how he could help. Together, we determined small business owners required immediate cash flow to pay their rent. Because of Sandy’s incredible generosity with a $52,000 donation, we launched a Rent Assistance Grant program, helping 23 small businesses in Westchester County cover their July 1 rent.

“The Rent Assistance Grant Program is a win-win. We helped small business owners and landlords too. Healthy relationships between tenants and landlords are more important now than ever as our economy recovers,” says Sandy.

Recipients of the Rent Assistance Grant Program include Russ Borner, Co-CEO of The Borner Touch, Hyo Beom Kim, CEO of Youngie, Inc, and Margarita Hidalgo, of Sweet Bee Day Care. They express sincere gratitude to Sandy for his generosity:

“We were shocked to receive such a much-needed blessing, made possible by the generosity of Sandy,” says Russ.

“The rent support was beneficial and gave me a great break,” says Hyo.

“What an opportunity! The rent grant is giving me a break so that I can reinvest capital for other things in the business. It’s a gift to me!” says Margarita Hidalgo.

We are incredibly grateful to Sandy for his generosity and to partner together in support of small businesses and local economies in Westchester County. It is a privilege to share in values and vision for the prosperity of Westchester County for all people.

“I would not have done this without the team at Community Capital New York. They have personal relationships with small business owners and really understand the needs of local entrepreneurs. It’s been great to support our community together,” says Sandy.

We couldn’t agree more. Read the stories of the Rent Assistance Grant Recipients. Learn more about Sandy Wollman’s experience. Read about Westchester Angels. Check out The New York Area Angel Alliance.