Koo said that without small businesses there are no jobs, which means no revenue for the city or the state.
“This is the backbone of our society,” Koo said. “We are taking a look to see how businesses are doing, what the situation is, and listen to the business owners for what we can do for them.”
Members of Flushing BID and SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris joined Koo in Flushing, handing out information and resources on available aid.
With 240,000 small businesses in the city and almost three million employees, Doris spoke about the importance of their success.
“You cannot have a full recovery in the city without a small business recovery,” Doris said. “We have to do more for smaller businesses, which are largely minority businesses.”
He added that under the Biden administration, there are new opportunities for small businesses to access money for relief.
“They should know now there is a change in the administration,” Doris said. “There is a change in the rules, and if they don’t know where to go we can help them.”
Koo, Dorris and others visited Precision Eye Care, where Dr. Yang Xia spoke about how a loan from SBS helped his business.
“We don’t have the biggest storefront, but we serve our communities and we’re very happy doing what we do,” Xia said. “Everything’s good so far, and we’ll do our best to keep it up.”
Charles Lin, manager of Gyu Kaku, was thankful for some relief and is trying to stay hopeful.
“We got a loan from the city,” Lin said. “It was a great help and we appreciate it all.”
He added business at the restaurant is still slower than it’s ever been, but knows that everyone in the industry is in the same situation.
“We’re not as busy,” Lin said. “It’s hard, but there’s not much we can do. We have to do the best we can to support the staff too.”
SBS has created over two-dozen programs to help small businesses during the pandemic, ranging from how to move the business online to a digital storefront, to how to train employees and accessing loan and grant programs.
The program also has a hotline that offers support in over 200 languages, and offers webinars in multiple languages as well.
For more information the program, visit nyc.gov/ppp.