New York City is never short of resilience.
It is one of the many special traits that define the city’s people and can be found in the many communities across the five boroughs. That same spirit also presents itself in the city's small business owners, who like all of us, have been tested across the last twelve months following the emergence of the COVID-19 virus.
New York City FC and Mastercard® recognize how important small businesses, and the people behind them, are to our community and we want to help. That’s why we’ve teamed up to offer a free partnership with NYCFC for 2021 through the Mastercard & NYCFC Small Business Support Contest.
Samantha LaSpisa runs Iconic Beauty and has already entered her business into the contest.
“This past January I decided to take my business to the next level and move away from my home studio into a small salon/studio storefront,” Samantha LaSpisa, a make-up artist and owner of Iconic Beauty, said. “I understood the risks of this choice, I knew this was what I needed to do to level my business up.
“Within two months of opening my doors, NYS COVID guidelines required me to close them. With a year lease, non-negotiable overhead expenses, and no income for five months, I found myself blowing through my savings that I worked hard for, just to simply keep afloat.”
The challenges associated with running a small business only evolved as the year progressed and the world tried its best to adapt to the pandemic.
“I knew the odds were against me," LaSpisa added. "I had 5 more months of my previous lease still to pay and we were in a global pandemic, but the entrepreneur in me would not allow this opportunity to pass me by. I took the leap, bootstrapped my new adventure, and didn’t look back.”
That determination was shared in the Bronx, where Steven. L. Rivera operates Sentry Management Solutions. The company specializes in non-emergency medical transport and is one of the many fantastic entries.
“No one was ready for this pandemic, there was no playbook or guidelines to follow," Rivera explained. "Despite the many challenges we faced, we put together our own guidelines, provided education, and found PPE suppliers to supply all drivers from over 270 companies that are within our network, and we even extended additional supplies to Ambulance companies and nursing facilities.”
For a small business, success often comes through teamwork, and that was especially true last year.
“The team was so proactive it saved our company and kept our staff employed,” Rivera said unequivocally. “My team are my family, when I lost my brother at the end of June they came together and helped run the company as I hit a major depression. They are not staff; I am not their CEO. Titles are nothing in our company, we are all one. We are truly a family business without the blood connections.”
The last twelve months may have presented many challenges to New York City’s small businesses, but the inspiring response of so many has once again highlighted the special people that can be found behind them.
You can submit your business or a business you know here. The deadline for applications is 11:59 ET on February 14, 2021.
Looking for more resources to help your business? The Mastercard Digital Doors™ program provides small businesses the always-on resources and guidance needed to enhance their digital presence and thrive in the digital future.
No Purchase Necessary. Ends 2/14. Contest open to principal owners of a U.S.-based small business within a 75-mile radius of New York City. See Official Rules for location limits and exclusions at nycfc.com/smallbusiness.