Small business owners laud town funding grants

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Local small business owners assembled at Babylon Town Hall in Lindenhurst last week to give the town kudos for its distribution of American Rescue Plan Act funding. 

The 267 grants from Babylon’s Direct Support Program helped businesses stay afloat as they recovered economically from the pandemic and has allowed them to pursue post-pandemic growth and prosperity, according to a town statement. Through the program, more than $8.3 million was issued to 192 small businesses, 68 nonprofits and seven veterans groups, with 98 of the recipients being minority- and women-owned businesses. 

“Our small businesses place a great deal on the line to drive our local economy,” Anthony Manetta, chairman of the Town of Babylon Small Business Committee, said in the statement. “Therefore, it was the Town of Babylon’s goal for our businesses and nonprofits not just to survive but to thrive post-pandemic as well.” 

Reggie Mays, owner of CBC Wireless in Wyandanch, used the grant money to help offset his firm’s pandemic-based revenue loss. 

“Many of us had to close our doors for months at a time, which had a significant impact on our businesses and personal finances,” Mays said in the statement. “I do not think we would have survived without the program’s funds.” 

The town also deployed ARPA funds to make investments in public safety through grants to various municipalities and fire departments to purchase life-saving equipment. Using the allocated funds, the Wyandanch Fire Department obtained a new ladder truck, the Lindenhurst and West Babylon Fire Departments received LUCAS devices, which assist with the performance of CPR, and the Copiague Fire Department will soon be acquiring three AEDs. In addition, Babylon Village will be using the funds to purchase an ambulance. 

Babylon Supervisor Rich Shaffer thanked those who assisted in organizing the funding effort, particularly Viscel Moore, the director of Babylon COVID Recovery, who spearheaded the town’s program. 


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