Miss Grimble and Maurice Pastries are both wholesale bakeries that operate out of an industrial building in the Port Morris section of the South Bronx. The family who owns the companies has been serving up baked goods since 1946. The coronavirus pandemic forced them to shut down, leaving the co-owners of the bakeries and their fifteen employees in limbo.
- LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in New York City
- LIVES LOST: Remembering Victims of the Coronavirus
- What to Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19
- CDC Coronavirus Page
- WHO Coronavirus Page
“I’m struggling, trying to help my employees, pay for my own house, my own kids and my own food,” said part-owner Craig Bier. “For the first few weeks, we paid them out of our own pocket with no money coming.”
Bier said he will no longer be able to afford to keep his employees on the payroll, unless he gets some financial help. Most of his customers are corporate offices, hotels and large events, which are no longer placing orders. He says his saving grace will have to come from Washington. He applied for forgivable loans under the new federal Payroll Protection Program back on April 6, but has not seen any money yet.
“Because of the way the money was distributed, there’s just no way that the average guy, the average business could get a fair shake,” he said.
Bier is not alone according to Sobro, a non-profit community and economic development organization based in the South Bronx. Sobro says it helped 260 businesses prepare and submit applications for the first round of funding in the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but only two got any money by the end of April.
“Throughout the state of New York, it’s been a challenge and New York city has been a challenge. That money was gone within a week, and this next round which was just approved, will probably have the same fate,” said SOBRO President & CEO Lourdes Zapata.
Congress approved an additional $310 billion to replenish the Payroll Protection Program, but Sobro will also steer clients to potential city and state funding in case that money runs out too.
Bier says he’s counting on the help.
“I need it. I’m literally at 10’s of thousands of dollars that I paid my employees,” he said.
FURTHER CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE