ABOVE: Mets owner Steve Cohen with Queens Chamber President & CEO Thomas Grech (far right) and Chamber staff.
In January, new Mets owner Steven Cohen and his wife Alexandra donated $17.5 million dollars to fund the Queens Small Business Grant Program. That money was in turn dispersed in $20,000 grants to small business owners and street vendors throughout the borough, which for many was the lifeline they needed to weather the pandemic.
In total, 755 grants were awarded, 90 percent of them to minority and women-owned businesses.
Last month, some of those business owners had the chance to thank Steve Cohen during “Queens Small Business Comeback Night” at Citi Field. Business owner attended a ceremony with Cohen and were invited to stay for the game, a Tuesday night matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“When you see the actual people and how they’re expressing how much it helped, it makes it that much more meaningful,”Cohen told This Is Queensborough after spending nearly a half-hour posing for photos with many of the business owners he and his wife helped. “You give money and you don’t always see how it helps, so this means a lot.”
The Queens Chamber of Commerce was one of several organizations tasked with dispersing the grants. Chamber President and CEO Thomas Grech said the Cohen’s went above and beyond to support small businesses in Queens.
“It has been a difficult year and a half for small businesses here in Queens, but throughout the pandemic we have seen firsthand so many remarkable stories of resilience,” said Grech. “This will ensure that cherished local institutions can stay open and continue employing Queens residents, serving our communities, and adding character to the neighborhoods we all know and love.”