COVID-19 relief fund resurrected to help Hoboken business owners impacted by fire
Some financial relief is on the way for dozens of Hoboken business owners impacted by a fire.
Tenants of Chambord Place were finally allowed inside the fire-damaged building to assess the conditions, more than a month after the building was destroyed.
“We had all our inventory there, so it’s important to go inside and see what we can salvage,” says Carl Augustin, owner of Vegan Warehouse.
Augustin is one of more than 70 small business owners who will have to rebuild somewhere else following the December 2021 fire.
“A majority have been able to go in and assess the damage and figure out what’s next. Whether to try to get some stuff out or salvage what they can,” Augustin says.
The landlord has left a lift in place to help tenants of the upper floors get into their businesses. The landlord is also giving security deposits back. But many of the owners say that they need more help.
“A lot of the feedback from small business owners is, ‘We just got back to profitability and then all of a sudden this happened and we dropped back down to not doing business or generating revenue,’” says Grant Sahag, of the Hoboken Relief Fund.
The Hoboken Relief Fund was initially created in the spring of 2020 to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has now been re-established and is shifting gears.
“We’re looking to raise another $100,000 to provide to a minimum of 30 small businesses,” says Sahag.
About 100 businesses received an average of $6,000 each during the pandemic. Chambord tenants say that every penny counts toward them getting back to businesses – as does the community support.
“Knowing there are people in your hometown helping you in difficult times – and the city knows – is important, says Augustin.
Officials say that it is unlikely the businesses will move back into Chambord Place, as the property was already slated for re-development.