WYANDANCH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – In one underserved community on Long Island, there are positive steps forward.
Dozens of struggling entrepreneurs have just been given a big boost.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, Wyandanch is slowly rising.
The hamlet is located in the Town of Babylon. There’s new affordable housing surrounding the rebuilt LIRR train station, and shops that cry out “give us a chance” in the financially strapped community.
“I was born and raised here. Gives me a sense of pride being here, giving services,” said William Certain of Spin The Yard Boutique.
He and his wife Renita are glowing with news of Industrial Development Association funding helping the open an outreach boutique to assist those struggling mentally and financially.
“We just have people come in. They talk. They feel relaxed. They share,” Renita Certain said.
Minority-owned businesses, some of the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, are grateful for any little boost.
“Looking forward to becoming a positive presence in the community,” said Andrew Ayodeji of Mack Apparel.
Ayodeji now get the chance for a storefront rental after selling teen basketball Mack summer league apparel out of his trunk.
“Long Island got the Mack. Something they can identify with, proud to be from there,” he said.
“It’s about economic inclusion, and when you have a minority underserved population that was already struggling,” said NAACP Regional Director Tracy Edwards.
Wyandanch school district is Long Island’s poorest, in terms of taxable income and property values, but the people are filled with hope.
“The town, the county, the state, the federal government made a major investment in helping one of the most economically distressed communities get back on its feet,” said Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer.
And now, the IDA will help with funding, grants, loans, technical and legal support.
“Giving incentives and inspiration to entrepreneurs,” said Dan Lloyd of Babylon IDA.
That is: Current – and future – entrepreneurs.
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