Chamber of Commerce, Cross River Bank, grants to learning center, clothing store
B’klyn Chamber issued checks to create jobs and growth
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Cross River Bank, provided its monthly $5,000 small business grant checks to a learning center and clothing store on Wednesday, August 3.
The Chamber provided these grants through its lending arm, Brooklyn Alliance Capital. It provides financing to underserved minority and immigrant entrepreneurs and low-income small business owners to increase financial stability and foster economic growth that will create jobs in Brooklyn.
First, the group presented a check to KidzHome – House of Multicultural Education, 1633 Sheepshead Bay Road.
The facility is a learning center that offers various educational and creative programs for children, from infants to high school students, test preparation and children’s theater studios in Russian and Spanish.
According to its website, its goals are to improve children’s oral skills, inspire children to read in any language, help them thrive in school, develop their creative skills, and maintain intergenerational ties within the family.
Brooklyn Chamber President and CEO Randy Peers was joined by Board Member Inna Vernikov, Borough Vice President Diane Richardson, officials from Cross River Bank and others to present the check to the director of KidzHome, Alla Markova.
“What you’ve done here is special and unique, and that’s what we’re here to celebrate,” Peers said. “We can make a difference here in Brooklyn with these kids, and that’s what you are doing.”
“Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children is great,” said Philip Goldfeder, senior vice president of public affairs at Cross River Bank. “When we partnered with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, it was all about finding small businesses or organizations where we could invest money that could make a real difference. There are so many places, we want to make sure it has a real impact.
Vernikov was also pleased with the grant given to the school and to Markova.
“You have such a passion for this, so thank you for volunteering your time and contributing so greatly to the lives of these children,” she told him. “I have worked with the Brooklyn Chamber since I took office. They are on the ground. They really try to improve our community, help our businesses.
“Your passion for theatre, the arts and multicultural arts is so evident,” Richardson said. “I just want to say thank you. I hope you will be able to not only progress to this stage, but also develop in the future.
The House later presented a check to the owner of Vinny’s Men Store, 307 Utica Ave., owned by Dennis Cole. The store has been open since 1984 and has been described as a neighborhood staple.
“Today was truly phenomenal,” said Richardson. “Vinny’s has been a community legacy business since 1984 and ensures that the men in our community are represented and well-dressed for every event in their lives. We know this grant will go a long way.
Eddie Karim of Assembly Member Latrice Walker’s office said he was happy to be part of the presentation.
“So often small businesses suffer,” he said. “Especially after COVID, it’s been a tough time and we’ve lost so much. It’s good to know that these doors can tell that part of our community is still standing.
Council member Darlene Mealy praised Cole. “He’s a pillar of the community,” she said. Doing turkey drives or whatever, whenever there’s a need that comes up in the community, he gives back.
Cross River is a financial services organization that merges the established expertise of a bank with the innovation and product offering of a technology company.