On March 24, Bronx Community District 4 & 5 business owners and community leaders held a press conference and rally on West Burnside Avenue to demand that New York State provide rent relief and financial assistance for hurting small businesses to help them stay open.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to NY small business owners, many of whom were ordered to close temporarily last year for public health reasons. Located in one of the epicenters of the pandemic and historically the poorest congressional districts in the US, the Jerome Avenue Commercial District was affected particularly hard. The neighborhoods around the district faced higher rates of unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic than the rest of NYC. Many businesses on Burnside Avenue were also looted last summer. Although foot traffic and consumers are slowly coming back to the commercial district, businesses in the area continue to struggle with mounting debt from back rent, utilities, lost inventory, PPE, and other expenses.
Event coverage on BronxNet.
The rally on March 24th was one of various events citywide in support of the #saveourstorefronts campaign. The event was co-organized by the United for Small Business NYC Coalition and JARC members BJTBronx Merchant Association, Davidson Community Center, and WHEDco.