NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Businesses on and around Second Avenue have taken a financial hit following the East Village explosion and building collapses late last month.

Now, in an effort to combat the slump in sales, what’s being called a “small business crawl” is taking place. The event was organized by the group Save NYC.

Photos: East Village Explosion

Bar Virage’s floor manager Melanie Micheline told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller she anxiously remembers having a meeting on March 26.

“The first side of the restaurant and the apartment on the first floor blew across the street, along with three people,” she said.

The bar and restaurant on 7th Street and Second Avenue was shut down for a week, which had a huge impact on workers who depend on tips.

“Nobody had money for a week,” Micheline said.

But community activists like Kristen Thedodos, of Save NYC, have galvanized hundreds of residents to come out and support the local businesses this weekend.

“We’re looking forward to helping the businesses surrounding that area so that when the new building is built, they still have a community to be apart of,” Thedodos said.

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, chaired by First Lady Chirlane McCray, announced $125,000 has been raised to help those impacted by the tragedy.

Grants from the fund will help tenants pay deposits for new housing as well as replace furniture, clothing and other items.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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