Here is an incredible example of the positive and meaningful impact a community can make when everyone works collectively.
It’s how local government, residents and business organizations can collaborate for the benefit of all.
It’s about working together as a community to ensure the vibrancy of the Village we know and love and finding ways to invigorate and fortify our village.
We hope other communities can take away something inspiring and helpful from this innovative and ground-breaking program, specifically, the myriad of creative ways to support local businesses through the impact of COVID-19 and ensure a bright future for their towns/villages and business districts.
The initiative was spear-headed by Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville and a group of concerned residents during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foreseeing potential disaster for their beloved village with businesses forced to shut their doors and trade coming to almost a complete stand-still, Mayor Marvin and these caring souls began brainstorming on how they could help.
The Village of Bronxville local government and Trustees were in full support of the initiative from the beginning.
The Bronxville Chamber of Commerce, whose deep connections with local business owners goes back decades, made perfect sense as a partner, and the Chamber - who had been been working tirelessly to promote and facilitate business since the beginning of the pandemic - was thrilled to join in the initiative that is known as BXV FOR BXV.
Immediate and long term initiatives were conceptualized to help businesses in Bronxville not only survive the pandemic but thrive.
- Part I Loans: (June - July 2020) 16 one year loans of $5,000 each, at less than 1% interest (.18% - the lowest allowed by law) awarded to Bronxville businesses.
- Intern Program: (June - August 2020) High school seniors and college students saw their planned summer 2020 internships and jobs disappear overnight. The BXV FOR BXV Intern Program harnessed the energy and enthusiasm of local kids to assist in every aspect of the initiative, from marketing, to business relations, to project research, interviewing local business owners and writing news articles, to plain old boots on the ground handing out flyers and selling swag! The Intern team were integral in the launch and continual progress of BXV FOR BXV through the summer months.
- StrongerTogether: (August 2020) A grassroots program to raise awareness of the plight of local businesses and create an inclusive, Village-wide fund raising platform has raised over $15,000 to date through the sale of branded items and donations. The StrongerTogether mantra is “no donation is too small.” The team established partnerships with multiple local organizations for a broader reach. In the coming weeks funds raised will be distributed as monetary gifts to Bronxville merchants to help with some of the costs of re-opening and re-configuring their businesses. The StrongerTogether fundraising campaign will resume in the fall.
- Part II Loans: (September - December 2020) A unique opportunity for businesses to
prepare for the future with a 4 year loan up to $35,000. The loans themselves are custom created with the BXV FOR BXV Committee, TrustCo Bank and The Westchester Bank. Made possible by $750,000 in credit support provided by the BXV FOR BXV Committee and a wider pool of concerned residents. An incomparable interest rate of 2.25% retained by the banks is to cover their expenses only. The Village of Bronxville, Bronxville Chamber of Commerce or any residents will not profit from the program in any way.
What’s unique about this?
The collaboration and cooperation between every sector of a community to support local business is unique. To accomplish this during the challenges of a pandemic is exceptional.
Here are specific details on how the Part II Loan Program is extraordinary:
- The structure of the loans is favorable to the business not the bank - including repayments
- $750,000 credit support provided by residents creates an exceptional borrowing opportunity
- Interest rate is 50% less than lowest interest available though usual channels. (The average interest rate on a conventional small-business loan is around 4% to 6%)
- Individual one-on-one support provided to Bronxville merchants
- No fees incurred by applicants for application, origination, prepayment, late payments
- Only interest is paid for the first 2 years
How Can This Help?
- Giving merchants both moral and financial support is good for everyone
- Strengthening Bronxville Business District for what may come
- No one wants to see businesses in their town close and store fronts empty
- Securing the economic health of a village Business District during uncertain times
- Bringing financial assistance and support to local businesses at almost no cost gives freedom and latitude for business owners to explore new initiatives, hire the help they need and continue to do business during a pandemic and beyond
- BXV FOR BXV demonstrates partnership between community, government and local organizations in multiple ways - this benefits both businesses owners and residents
- The inclusive underpinnings of BXV FOR BXV strengthens community spirit
- A community working together with the unifying goal of helping ensure the future of the village the love
The BXV FOR BXV initiative finds the silver lining in what has been the darkest of times for one Westchester County village. It is a spotlight on community working together with a shared goal. It is a story of collaboration, determination, creativity and hope.
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BXV FOR BXV Committee Members
Mary Marvin | Mayor of Bronxville | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Forst | Chair, BXV FOR BXV | email@example.com
Leah Caro | President, Bronxville Chamber of Commerce | Park Sterling Realty | firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Gangemi | Executive Director, Bronxville Chamber of Commerce | email@example.com
Nicki Piercy Coddington | Communications/PR | firstname.lastname@example.org