When he took over as the owner of the New York Mets for $2.4 billion last fall, Steven Cohen made a commitment to community investment in the neighborhoods surrounding Citi Field.
On May 24, the team hosted 10 Asian-owned small businesses at the stadium with each receiving a $10,000 Back2Business grant in support of their ongoing operations and continued recovery from the COVID-10 pandemic, in recognition of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
“We are proud that our home in Flushing is also home to more Asian and Pacific Islander New Yorkers than any other neighborhood in the city,” Mets President Sandy Alderson said. “These grants will bring awareness and assist minority-owned businesses to get back to business. We also continue to raise our voices against any form of anti-Asian violence.”
The businesses were awarded the grants as a “helping hand” from Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions. In addition to the grants, each small business was presented with a Clover Flex handheld point-of-sale device from Fiserv, with built-in capabilities to accept payments, conduct business and track sales.
Businesses also received a customized New York Mets jersey and tickets to an upcoming game at Citi Field.
“Minority-owned businesses continue to be disproportionately impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many Asian-owned businesses encountering prejudice in addition to the economic impact,” Fiserv Senior Vice President Mia Shernoff said. “Today’s grant recipients are pillars in their local communities, and as New York reopens we are proud to play a role in helping them get back to business.”
The small businesses receiving grants include Erawan Thai Cuisine of Bayside, Paul Lim’s restaurant that has been part of the Queens community since 1999; Coffee Project of Long Island City; and Heart of Dinner, which has been providing meals for isolated Asian American seniors in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan since the height of the pandemic.
“This past year has been tough for small businesses in Queens, as we were the epicenter of this pandemic. As the most diverse county in America, minority-owned businesses add to the unique character of our neighborhoods, are essential to our local economy and will play a pivotal role in our borough’s recovery,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Grech said. “The Fiserv Back2Business program will help small business owners get back to doing what they do best — employing New Yorkers and serving their communities. We are incredibly thankful to Fiserv for their generous support of these businesses, and to the entire Mets organization, including the Cohen family, for all they’ve done to help the Queens small business community.”