When Steve and Alexandra Cohen bought the New York Mets late in 2020 (a great day in Mets franchise history) they promised to change the culture and invest in the community. True to their word, the Cohen’s through their foundation helped fund a $17.5 million grant program for Queens small businesses that were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. 30 percent will be set aside for restaurants and street vendors. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our City and COVID has had a devastating impact on them”. “As the owners of the Mets, we are proud to support small business owners during this difficult time, just as they have supported the team and the community over the years.” Steve Cohen said.
Eligible applicants can receive grants equaling three months of their average 2019 revenue, up to $20,000.
- Be located in Queens
- Operate as a first-floor storefront business, a second-floor restaurant, or a street vendor (Storefront businesses include food service, retail, childcare, and personal services such as barber, nail salon, etc.)
- Employed 20 or fewer full time equivalent employees in 2019
- Earned gross revenue of less than $1 million in 2019, or less than $3 million if a restaurant
- Have no tax liens or unresolved judgments
- Generated a profit or came close to breaking-even in 2019
- 2019 tax returns (personal or business, whichever includes the business revenue)
- A signed copy of a 4506-C form for the tax return submitted
- Three most recent months of business bank statements
- Copy of a government-issued identification card
- If requested: A letter from the applicant’s landlord, on the landlord’s letterhead, that states that the applicant is meeting their current obligation to their landlord
Street vendors must also submit:
- Most recent New York State Quarterly Sales Tax filing
- General Vendor License (if relevant)
- Mobile Food Vending License (if relevant)
A total of $15 million will be dispersed with another $2.5 million reserved for future use.
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