How businesses on Hertel Ave are helping each other survive

Posted at 6:33 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 18:36:41-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Several storefronts on Hertel Ave are closed indefinitely. Many are waiting on loans from the government. Others are just waiting for a lifeline to help pay the bills.

"We're one of the cases where we won't qualify for the SBA loans because we don't have payrolled employees," said Jodi Drew, owner of Spoke and Dagger Co.

Help is now on the way. The Hertel Business association launched a fundraiser on Tuesday to help these businesses get by.

"This is home...the better your business sector does, the better your community does so you have to huddle together," said Lisa Riniolo, owner of Garage Cafe and HBA Board Member.

They're selling lawn signs and stickers online. In a matter of hours, dozens of signs were sold. All the proceeds go straight to these local businesses and any business on Hertel Ave. can apply to get this help.

"Our goal is to process these applications very quickly and do a weekly payout to these businesses so that when they're waiting to hear back from other loan options, they can immediately pay those bills," said Drew.

North Park Florist on Hertel is back open after being closed for one month. In order to comply with the State's rules, only one person can be in the shop at once. With Mother's Day around the corner, it's a challenge.

"I miss my employees, they're the lifeblood of this place. We're trying to keep my business strong so I can bring my employees back," said Julie Hallgren, owner of the shop.

She's waiting on a PPE loan and taking things day by day. She says the fundraiser is an amazing opportunity.

"This is awesome. I just have to say the people of Western New York are incredible," said Hallgren.

The HBA hopes to sell as many signs as possible in the coming weeks. Lawn signs are $30 and stickers are $10. You can pick them up at Daisy's Doghouse. You can also make a monetary donation.

To purchase yours, click here. To apply for help for your business, click here.