Signature Bank and Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A Collaborate to Provide Funding Through Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Small Business Recovery Grant Program
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY), a New York-based, full-service commercial bank, announced today its collaboration with Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, a nonprofit law firm providing free, high-quality legal services to New Yorkers citywide, to distribute $100,000 in Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) grants. Ten New York City small businesses each received $10,000 through the FHLBNY’s Small Business Recovery Grant (SBRG) Program, providing them relief from the economic impact COVID-19 has had on their respective businesses. The FHLBNY is offering this round of funding through its COVID-19 SBRG Program.
On average, these ten businesses – among them several restaurants and laundromats, a real estate agency, an automotive store, a flower shop and a seamstress – cumulatively saw an annual $200,000 decrease in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic. The grants will cover personnel costs, operating expenses and rent arrears to ultimately help keep these businesses open.
FHLBNY’s SBRG Program was initially developed in response to the 2017 hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2020, the SBRG program was relaunched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help alleviate the challenges small businesses faced across the FHLBNY’s District, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This program supports the financial security of qualifying organizations that have suffered decreased revenue following a disaster by partnering with members to provide grants. Through its 2020 and 2021 distribution rounds, the SBRG Program provided flexible funds to benefit small business and non-profit customers across FHLBNY members’ communities, bringing $14 million in grant funding to more than 2,000 small businesses and non-profits in communities across the FHLBNY’s District.
“Giving back to the communities we serve is an integral part of our corporate culture. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we reflect on our founding New York City roots and the many small businesses throughout the boroughs we’ve helped grow and prosper. Participating in opportunities such as the FHLBNY’s SBRG Program is consistent with our mission of Looking Forward, Giving Back. We are proud to continue to nurture these small businesses and recognize the value they bring and the meaningful role they each play within their respective local communities,” explained Signature Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. DePaolo.
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A Executive Director Jessica A. Rose, Esq., added: “These grants provide a necessary lifeline for our small business clients. Our collaboration with Signature Bank demonstrates just how Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A combines legal representation and advocacy to spread justice to all New Yorkers. Our neighborhoods win when partnerships such as this enable our attorneys to better position our small business clients to tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants will help them maintain their businesses and keep their personal assets intact.”
“At the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, we are driven by our community-focused mission, and we are honored to partner with our member, Signature Bank, to bring these grants to the institutions that keep our communities strong,” said José R. González, president and CEO of the FHLBNY. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have repeatedly seen our members rise to meet its challenges, doing all that they can to support their customers, neighbors and communities. We have been proud to offer the Small Business Recovery Grant Program to assist in these efforts, as we all work together to help our region recover.”
“Business has been unusual and unstable since March 2020,” noted Chibueze Amakwe, owner of Sons of Daniel in Brooklyn, New York. “We lost a lot of income and are still losing a considerable amount of patronage. Meanwhile, rents and utilities continue to accumulate. Currently, my utilities arrears stand at about $20,000 for electricity and gas alone. The $10,000 grant will go a long way in helping me pay down these utilities. The grant is a welcome relief.”
Wilhemina Smith, owner of Mel’s Marketing & Consulting Service, said: “Our business appreciates this grant assistance as we continuously adapt to new challenges during these uncertain times. The funds are a great help, allowing our business to sustain and improve current operations as we move into this new year.”
This grant program marks the fourth one in which Signature Bank and the FHLBNY have partnered to support small businesses. Grants totaling $350,000 were distributed between 2020-2021 to 39 small businesses and nonprofit organizations spanning the Bank’s clients as well as various entities with whom it forged grant relationships.
About Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A advances social and economic justice through neighborhood-based legal representation and advocacy. The organization assists tenants, homeowners, small business owners and community-based organizations to develop and sustain vibrant neighborhoods. Its three core legal practices affirm their clients’ fundamental rights: the Preserving Affordable Housing Program represents and advocates for tenants facing eviction and disrepairs by representing both individual tenants and tenant associations; the Community and Economic Development Program represents small businesses and nonprofit community-based organizations on commercial lease matters and an array of development and operational projects; and the Consumer Economic Advocacy Program uses civil legal remedies and advocacy to protect equity of low- and moderate-income families facing foreclosure and low-income taxpayers in federal and state tax matters. To learn more, visit www.bka.org or call (718) 487-2300.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York
The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) helps community lenders in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands advance housing and community growth. The FHLBNY is part of the congressionally chartered, nationwide Federal Home Loan Bank System, which was created in 1932 to provide a flexible credit liquidity source for member community lenders engaged in home mortgage and neighborhood lending. The FHLBNY increases the availability
of mortgages and home finance to families of all income levels by offering high-value correspondent and cash management services to assist our members in more effectively serving their neighborhoods and meeting their Community Reinvestment Act responsibilities. For more information, visit www.fhlbny.com.
About Signature Bank
Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY), member FDIC, is a New York-based, full-service commercial bank with 37 private client offices throughout the metropolitan New York area, as well as those in Connecticut, California and North Carolina. Through its single-point-of-contact approach, the Bank’s private client banking teams primarily serve the needs of privately owned businesses, their owners and senior managers.
The Bank has two wholly owned subsidiaries: Signature Financial, LLC, provides equipment finance and leasing; and, Signature Securities Group Corporation, a licensed broker-dealer, investment adviser and member FINRA/SIPC, offers investment, brokerage, asset management and insurance products and services.
Since commencing operations in May 2001, Signature Bank reached $118.45 billion in assets as of December 31, 2021. With $106.13 billion in deposits at year-end 2021, Signature Bank placed 22nd on S&P Global’s list of the largest banks in the U.S., based on deposits.
Signature Bank was the first FDIC-insured bank to launch a blockchain-based digital payments platform. Signet™ allows commercial clients to make real-time payments in U.S. dollars, 24/7/365 and was also the first solution to be approved for use by the NYS Department of Financial Services.
For more information, please visit https://www.signatureny.com.
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