Refugees have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis in New York City and it has been particularly devastating for BCNA’s refugee clients, many of whom have come to the U.S. without a support network, savings, or a job that can easily shift online.
These refugees are the cab drivers, day care providers, street vendors, and hair braiders who are so much a part of our lives and New York neighborhoods, but whose small and micro businesses have been shut down by the COVID pandemic. And some have even contracted the virus or are taking care of family members who have contracted it.
BCNA's refugee clients count on their small and micro businesses, and on BCNA, not only for economic security but also a sense of support and community. Like our client Saffiatu, a refugee from Sierra Leone, whose home-based business making fine men’s clothing for Ramadan and Mosque-wear, is now at a standstill. Or Aminata, a refugee from Mali and mother of 5, whose Brooklyn hair braiding salon is closed and whose husband has just been laid off from his job at a now-closed car wash.
We can’t let them down now in this critical moment of great economic and personal need and are therefore creating an Emergency Grant Fund, to provide them with direct support.
But we can't do it without your help.
Here’s how you can help:
The urgent need for relief is only increasing as Covid-19 continues to spread in highly populated areas like Queens and the Bronx, where many of our refugee clients live and work.
Please chip in $20 or whatever you can. No dollar amount is too small. Even a small contribution can be a life-saver for a family left without a source of income today and with an uncertain future.
100% of every dollar* you donate to the NYC Refugee Entrepreneur Emergency Grant Fund will be used to provide relief grants of $500-1000 for these clients - self-employed refugees who are our – and your – friends and neighbors.
And BCNA is re-allocating a portion of our unrestricted funds to match all donations, dollar for dollar up to $50,000, so that your donation will go twice as far: your donation of $20 becomes $40, $100 becomes $200, which can make a huge difference to a hard-hit refugee small business owner.
Here's how we will allocate the funds:
1. We’ll identify refugee clients in critical need
2. We’ll immediately deposit $500-1000 directly into their bank accounts
3. We’ll continue to provide them with information about other relief resources
Please be generous:
Please take a moment to donate now by clicking the button on the right. Your generosity will have a tremendous impact on the lives of refugee business owners, and help contribute to helping New York weather this crisis and be ready to open again as soon as it’s safe, stronger than ever.
To learn more about BCNA click here.