Recipients of the Rent Assistance Grant Program, COVID-19

Date: July 28, 2020

When COVID-19 shut down the economy, Sandy Wollman, Co-Founder and Managing Director for the Westchester Angels, and Founder of the New York Area Angel Alliance, 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 $50,000 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 could not be more grateful to Sandy for his generosity. Here is an introduction to each of their small business stories:


Margarita Hidalgo, Founder & CEO, Sweet Bee Day Care

For more than five years, Margarita Hidalgo, CEO of Sweet Bee Day Care and Julieta McPherson, our VP of Business Advancement, have worked together to build Margarita’s entrepreneurial acumen and grow her business. For many years, Margarita worked as a childcare provider and dreamt of someday opening an at-home childcare center. Today, she is the proud owner of Sweet Bee Day Care in Sleepy Hollow and one of our long-term clients. Her mission is to be in service to happy parents and happy children.

When Margarita learned she received the Rent Assistance Grant, she experienced immediate relief; she closed the doors of Sweet Bee Day Care for many months as soon as COVID-19 shut down the state.

“Thanks to God, to Julieta, Sandy Wollman, and Community Capital New York, I rescued my business during COVID-19. I am grateful to know you are always behind me!” she shared with us.

We are proud to partner with Margarita in her journey!


Hyo Beom Kim, Founder & CEO of Youngie, Inc

“It was really like somebody holding my hand in a serious situation. I could not make ends meet, so all funds I received helped me financially. The Rent Assistance Grant gave me a break from worrying about rent and helped me to communicate and keep the great relationship with my landlord, too,” says Hyo Beom Kim.

The CEO and proud owner of the dry-cleaning company, Youngie, Inc., Hyo Beom and his team provide dry cleaning and laundry services for non-contact delivery, pick-up, and urgent services to most of the Westchester area. COVID-19 forced Hyo Beom to close the store and furlough his employees. When he received the Rent Assistance Grant, he was inspired to give back to the community. Together with his daughter, they donated surgery caps and masks to local hospitals and nonprofit organizations.

“Apart from the financial help, the rent grant encouraged me emotionally, too. I was moved to look around the community to see how I could support. In a word, receiving this grant, opened my eyes to the bigger picture of my family, neighbors, and community,” says Hyo Beom.

Youngie Inc. has reopened their doors, and Hyo Beom and his team are committed to creating the cleanest and safest space they can. We are proud to be part of their journey.

 

Russ Borner, Founder & Co-CEO, The Borner Touch

“Caring, therapeutic human touch is not something we can take for granted. COVID-19 quickly reminded us of that,” says Russ Borner, Co-CEO of The Borner Touch.

Russ Borner and his wife Candace, Co-CEOs of The Borner Touch, have provided professional massage therapy and skincare services together for more than thirty years in Sleepy Hollow and other parts of the Hudson Valley. When COVID-19 forced them to pause their business, they reached out to us, and we were happy we could support them with an Emergency Express Loan.

Just a few weeks ago, The Borner Touch was back in business and Russ hit the ground running; they were grateful for the pent-up demand for their massage services from many long-term clients. Russ’s hope was renewed in the sustainability of their business when their landlord refused to accept their rent payment for April, May, and June—and again when they received the capital relief from the Rent Assistance Grant Program.

“We could have given up, but so many things, little miracles, have happened to give us hope,” says Russ. “What Sandy offered to us, and other Westchester businesses is beautiful. He is an advocate of small businesses, and we are eager to pay it forward,” says Russ.

We are proud to have The Borner Touch as a new client!

 

Thank you to Margarita Hidalgo, Hyo Beom Kim, and Russ Borner for sharing their small business stories with us. Look for a feature piece on each of these entrepreneurs soon. We are proud to support them as they rebuild and plan for life post-COVID.

Read about the Rent Assistance Grant Program and Sandy Wollman. Visit our COVID-19 Small Business Resource Center. Watch our Small Business Series on YouTube.