A popular coffee shop on Long Island has been seized by the government for failing to pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes.
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance seized Gentle Brew Coffee Roasters in the heart of Long Beach for a “warranted balance” of $51,264.63, leading to officials shuttering the doors of the Park Avenue staple's two locations. The liability dates back to 2017.
According to reports, the owners are presently in talks with the state to pay off the unpaid taxes and any penalties that were imposed.
In response to reports of Gentle Brew being seized by the government, the community has started a GoFundMe fundraising campaign in an effort to help the owners pay off the debt. As of Friday, June 14, the campaign has raised more than $3,350 from 86 donors.
“I’m a fellow small business owner and in my 18 years of entrepreneurship, I’ve made my share of mistakes and know how they can snowball,” Angela Moore, the creator of the GoFundMe page, wrote. “Long Beach NEEDS Gentle Brew as not only a coffee shop and roastery but as the true community hub, it has been since it opened its doors. Mel & Bryan are working tirelessly to get out of a hole they know they created, but have had a year + of serious challenges and just need some help.”
In a letter, the owners said that they “want more than anything to reopen.”
“As you may have heard, we were forced to shut down because of some mistakes made by us when we should have known better. We've had a difficult year, with a lot of financial stress from a legal battle, and we lost sight of some of the financial guidelines we had set for ourselves in an effort to do everything we could do keep our boardwalk location,” Mel Chiusano said.
“Unfortunately, these mistakes were expensive and certainly stupid, and have put us in this truly unfortunate position we're in now.”
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