We are now into the second month of COVID-19, and I hope you are continuing to practice safe social distancing, checking on family, friends and neighbors. Since my last write-up, we have been working extremely hard to assist the Rockaways’ local businesses that remain open, as well as those that have temporarily closed, with the hope of re-opening.
We now are collectively working with our partner organizations, Rockaway Business Alliance (RBA) and Rockaway East Merchants Association (REMA4US) to electronically distribute information to business owners, community-based organizations and faith institutions as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, our suspicions were correct – larger entities with capacity and the ability to complete and submit applications, were first in line to receive grants and forgivable loans more rapidly than our smaller businesses. So, now like many businesses, we are re-tooling our services to assist local businesses to complete their applications. Words of Caution: applications are considered complete only if they comply with requested supporting documentation such as Business or Employer Identification Number; SIC Code(s); Tax Exemption Information; Business Incorporation Documents; Tax Returns; 990 Form; CHAR 500 Form; 941 Quarterly Reports; Annual Audit; and Financial Statements (balance sheet and profit & loss).
As with every disaster, there are silver linings that give us hope that better days are ahead. Even as our retail, goods and services businesses, restaurants, food places, community-based organizations, and faith institutions struggle to remain open, I am amazed at their collective generosity to others. This past week Robert and Metta Kaskel, owners of Thai Rock Restaurant, contacted me to lend a hand with transporting meals to health care workers at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. Without hesitation, we agreed to handle the transportation and this past Tuesday, we delivered 75 meals to very appreciative hospital workers! As a result of their good will, Robert and Metta are now receiving additional donations to continue providing meals to health care workers throughout the Rockaways!
Also, kudos to our Rockaway food pantries helping our neighbors in need – offloading deliveries, separating, packaging and distributing bags, while maintaining social distancing! Thank you Community Church of the Nazarene of Far Rockaway, Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula, St. Mary’s Star of Sea, Full Gospel Tabernacle, First Presbyterian Church/Russell Sage J.U.S.T.I.C.E. Organization, United Methodist Center in Far Rockaway, Bethel AME Church in Arverne and Solid Rock SDA Church - and any other community organizations of faith institutions not specifically mentioned!
President & CEO, Kevin Alexander is the President and CEO of Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation (RDRC)
By Kevin Alexander
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