Many small businesses have got it rough during the pandemic. Foot traffic is way down, and so are sales. That’s why Buffalo Bills All-Pro Cornerback Josh Norman on behalf of his foundation, Starz 24, set out to create the Buffalo Business Blitz initiative. The initiative, in partnership with Mayor Byron Brown and the City of Buffalo, was established to provide critical funding to some of the small businesses that are being negatively impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Earlier today, Rich Products, the global, family-owned food company, headquartered on Buffalo’s West Side, announced that it has stepped up to help provide some added relief to the worthy cause, by donating $75K. That donation means that the fund has now reached the $428K mark. Moving forward, the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) has been selected as the organization that will handle the dissemination of the relief funds. Businesses that qualify and are accepted will be allocated up to $2,500 in financial assistance.
“Buffalo Business Blitz shows the winning spirit of Buffalo and Western New York,” said Josh Norman. “I am humbled by the support of the local business community. Thank you to the Rich family for their generosity. We are now $75,000 closer to hitting the half million dollar mark. I encourage everyone to continue to donate so that we can help as many small businesses as possible.”
“Whether it’s your corner coffee shop or your favorite restaurant, we all know a small business that’s facing adversity like never before,” said Jon Dandes, corporate vice president of government relations and special projects, Rich Products and Rich Family Foundation. “As a company that started as a small business on Buffalo’s West Side more than 75 years ago, Rich’s has a deep appreciation for the vibrancy small businesses bring to our community. We’re especially pleased that WEDI, one of our partners within the West Side Promise Neighborhood, has been selected by Starz 24 to administer the grants.”
“Buffalo Business Blitz is an inspiring way for community members to collectively impact our local economy,” said Carolynn Welch, executive director, WEDI. “At WEDI, we’ve been supporting and promoting small businesses for over a decade, but we could have never imagined that those businesses, and so many in Western New York, would face such a detrimental hardship. Buffalo has weathered many storms, but our community always sticks together to support our neighbors.”
Mayor Brown added, “I’m proud of our community for its generosity and strong support to protect our small businesses. I thank Josh Norman for his dedication to the success and livelihood of our community. I also thank the many individuals and organizations who stepped up and donated to this innovative initiative to help Buffalo area businesses.”
Applicants may include small businesses located in Erie County, NY that filed taxes in 2019.
HOW TO APPLY
From January 13-18, 2021, interested small businesses can apply to the program via an online application form that will be live starting on Wednesday, January 13 at 9:00 am: www.wedibuffalo.org/buffalobusinessblitz.