Shani Newton and UPS superstar Juan Carlos at Dolly's Boutique

Mt. Airy CDC is pleased to announce the awarding of $27,000 in grants to 24 local businesses through the Go Mt. Airy Covid-19 Business Relief Fund. This fourth round of funding — the largest of the four rounds — brings the total raised since the Fund launched last March to over $80,000. And all of it came through community donations, both big and small. 

“It’s incredible how the Mt. Airy community has shown up, time and again, to support local businesses affected by the pandemic,” said Brad Copeland, Mt. Airy CDC’s Executive Director.

The $27,000 of this round came through 77 donations ranging from $5 to $600, plus donations of $7,000 and $10,000 from generous anonymous neighbors. Of the 24 businesses, 12 of them (50%) are minority business enterprises. (In the previous three rounds awarded to 82 businesses, 74% of those were MBEs.)

Unsurprisingly, business owners have shown nothing but gratitude to the neighbors who’ve provided support through this challenging time.

Shani Newton, owner of Dolly’s Boutique & Consignment, spelled out her gratitude: “Mt. Airy has always stepped up to help its community. I was born and raised in this neighborhood and have always been a proud resident,” she said. “I am more than appreciative of the support.” [On a related note of community supporting community… After UPS driver and everybody’s friend Juan Carlos Arboleda lost his wife, Shani organized a donation drive through her Dolly’s network to help his family in a time of grief at the holidays.]

Adina Silberstein, owner of Queenie’s Pets and a fellow Mt. Airy native, shares Shani’s gratitude. “We thank, deeply, the members in our community who have donated to this fund, who have canceled their subscriptions with the ‘big online’ pet food sellers and switched to us, and who continue, in any way great or small, to ensure that we remain vibrant contributors to the fabric of the Mt. Airy community.” 

The Shop: Mt. Airy’s barbershop

David Biedlingmaier, owner of The Shop on The Ave, echoed these sentiments. “When Covid-19 hit, I was terrified — first and foremost for the health of my family, but also for the health of my business. Mt. Airy CDC has stepped up in a major way by helping my struggling business during these times of uncertainty. I’m so grateful to be associated with such an amazing neighborhood with such an incredible support system.” 

Since the first grants were awarded last spring, they’ve been used to pay wages and rent, to make adjustments in the protocol of everyday business, and to purchase necessary supplies. 

“We will use this grant to help us with our continued focus on operating costs related to the purchase of cleaning supplies, equipment and PPE,” said John Polk, Managing Director of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. “Our staff, clients and community have been extraordinary throughout this pandemic and in return we want to do everything we can to make their experience at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts joyful and safe.”

George serving up the flavor at Malelani Cafe

George Drakapoulos, owner of Malelani Cafe Mt. Airy, summed up these sentiments succinctly: “Thank you guys sooooooooo much, and thanks to the community.”

The Go Mt. Airy Covid-19 Business Relief Fund will continue accepting donations, which disbursement at a later date. Round 4 recipients are as follows:

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