Lander: Audits show Bronx was underserved with COVID relief funding
Two new audits have revealed that the Bronx was underserved with COVID relief funding in comparison to other boroughs, according to New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.
Lander revealed information about the audit while visiting small businesses in the Westchester Square Business Improvement District still recovering from the pandemic.
According to Lander, the Department of Small Business Services is responsible for the Bronx being underserved with COVID funds. He added that the department did not perform adequate oversight of two COVID-19 assistance programs.
The two programs provided 404 loans and just over 3,400 grants to small businesses. However, very few in the Bronx actually received that assistance. The audits report that the Bronx had the smallest number of relief loans approved and the smallest dollar amount distributed among the five boroughs.
Comptroller Lander says he offered the Department of Small Business Services recommendations to ensure all boroughs have their fair share, such as increasing outreach to underserved areas.
The department agreed and said they have launched a variety of programs that target businesses in low-to-moderate income areas.