New York

Legendary Gino’s Pastry Shop on Arthur Avenue refuses small business loans

new york — Gino’s Pastry Shop on Arthur Avenue is best known for several things, from homemade authentic treats to quality time people enjoy.

“You come here and buy cannoli, but they spend an hour here because they’re having a good time,” said owner Jerome Raguso.

It’s a 63-year-old family business and legendary in the city. However, Raguso is now in danger of closing due to the economic setbacks caused by the pandemic.

“I had to pay my health insurance premiums while the store was closed,” Raguso said.

With the costs piling up at my beloved store, I turned to the Small Business Services Authority for help.

“So I tried to apply for a grant just to handle it, but for some reason it was denied,” says Raguso.

“If you got that money out of those loans, would you be in the same financial situation now?” asked CBS2.

“No, we would have been out of it,” he said.

read more: Bronx businesses experiencing shortage of COVID relief

Other SMEs the bronx Loans were also denied. The Bronx had the lowest amount of loans and the lowest amount distributed, according to a report from the City Board of Audit. Ward makes up his 7.7% of the city’s small businesses, but receives only his 2.2% of SBS loans, according to the report.

CBS2 asked the city to comment on why the Bronx has received less loans than other boroughs.

Rob Walsh, interim president of the Bronx Global Economic Development Corporation, says the city has turned its back on the Bronx.

“When I heard that only 9 out of 515 applicants for loans from the Bronx were approved, it was pretty outrageous,” Walsh said.

Walsh said it’s time for the department to get creative when it comes to helping small businesses, such as using technology and doing more outreach in their communities.

As for Gino’s, I hope the city can change its policy to be more inclusive in the future.

“There are businesses that just opened and are making money because they want to stay in business…but what about moms and pops who have been here for 40, 50, 60 years?” Raguso said.

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