NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It can be tough to be a small business owner in our area.
Now the city is trying to help with grants for small businesses looking to expand.READ MORE: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Held In The Bronx's Little Italy
Inside his Harlem Doggie Day Spa on St. Nicholas Avenue, owner Brian Taylor is on cloud nine, reported CBSN New York’s John Dias.
“That is the great thing about living in New York City, I think it’s a home for small businesses, this is where your dreams come true,” Taylor said.
Growing up in West Africa, Taylor always wished he could work with dogs, not realizing his fantasy would one day come true. It was the city of New York that helped grow his business.
“They want to keep local businesses in the neighborhoods, so a grant like this really helps that purpose,” he said.
Taylor already offers grooming on the first floor of his shop, and a cage-free boarding environment and doggy day care on the second. Now a $90,000 grant from the city’s Department of Small Business Services is helping him renovate and expand his shop. He is even building a dog boutique yards away.
On average, Harlem Doggie Day Spa takes care of about 15 dogs a day, but additional funds means they can help out more dogs in the area, Dias reported. That also means more jobs, since there’s one handler for every six dogs they care for.
“We are going to hire more people, we are going to offer mobile grooming services,” Taylor said.READ MORE: Small Business Owners Say Shopping Locally Is More Important Than Ever Amid COVID, Supply Chain Struggles
His employees – about a half dozen of them- are also benefiting: Getting more work, and some getting raises.
Harlem Doggie Day Spa Manager Carmen Sierra can now quit her second job.
“More hours, more money, bigger bonuses,” Sierra said.
“There are so many people who can’t start their dreams because of financial reasons, so it’s great that New York is a city that is big enough that they still recognize that is also a small setting, and people need help,” said lead groomer Juanita Harris.
Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the City’s Department of Small Business Services, stopped by CBSN New York to talk more about the grants. You can watch the whole interview in the video above.
Bishop said twenty businesses have been awarded the NYC Love Your Local grants thus far. Local mom and pop shops that are in need are candidates for the grants.
“We are excited, because we have another round coming up, and I’d love to see more businesses apply,” Bishop said.
The deadline for applications has been extended until Feb. 3.MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed To Death In Bay Ridge, Suspect In Custody
To apply, click here.