Brooklyn Chamber Names Caserta Director of Restoration and Raises $ 1.3 million federal grant
With Brooklyn’s 62,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs amid skyrocketing Omicron cases, ongoing labor shortages, rental debt crises, and skyrocketing inflation, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of a new executive director and $ 1.3 million in new federal funding from the organization to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.
The Chamber has announced Mark Caserta as its new Executive Director of Business Recovery.
Caserta, a Brooklyn resident with more than 25 years of small business advocacy and public policy experience, recently ran the Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District for nearly a decade and played a key role in pandemic recovery efforts for 1,100+ local dealers and retailers and rental companies along the popular Fifth Avenue commercial corridor.
Caserta’s appointment was in conjunction with a US Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant of 1.3 million over the past 22 months.
The grant, which was supplemented with $ 337,710 in local funds, is set to help businesses create nearly 1,000 new jobs and maintain 2,000 existing jobs across the district.
Since the pandemic began, the Chamber has provided lifeline assistance to thousands of Brooklyn small businesses (many are MWBEs and immigrant owned) that kept them afloat during troubled times, including $ 450,000 in recovery loans through the Bring Back Brooklyn Fund, more over $ 85,000 in soft loans raised through the organization’s private partners and $ 400,000 in PSA distributions.
“After the thousands of hours my team and I have walked miles and miles down Brooklyn’s business corridors since the COVID pandemic began, we knew we needed to expand our scope for a quick recovery that leaves no business behind,” said Randy Peers, president and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce CEO.
“The Brooklyn small business community is resilient and resilient, and thanks to the $ 1.3 million government grant and Mark Caserta’s ability to drive small business growth, we can give more small businesses the resources, programs, tools and provide direct support that they need to survive and continue to create jobs and opportunities in our communities, ”he added.
“It is an honor to join a team that has worked tirelessly every day to empower their neighbors’ small businesses, protect their community, and develop their services to fully meet Brooklyn’s economic needs in dire straits,” said Caserta. “I am committed to promoting economic development in my home district, where I raise my family and where I began my career as a small business owner and public order advocate.”
“Mark Caserta and his team worked to make Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID one of the most innovative, connected small businesses in New York City. We look forward to continuing to work with Mark in his new role at the Chamber, where his expertise will benefit small businesses across the district, “said Kim Maier, Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID board member and executive director of Old Stone House & Washington Park .