Elected officials, officials of Cross River Bank and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and KidzHome —
House of Multicultural Education Alla Markova (top, center, holding the check envelope) is seen with
the school’s kids themselves. Randy Peers, president, and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is
top, right. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Jaime DeJesus
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Cross River Bank, provided its monthly $5,000
small-business grant checks to a learning center and a clothing store on Wednesday, Aug. 3.
The Chamber made these grants through its lending arm, Brooklyn Alliance Capital. It provides financing
to underserved minority and immigrant entrepreneurs and low-income small-business owners to
increase financial stability and foster economic growth that will create jobs in Brooklyn.
First up, the group presented a check to KidzHome —House of Multicultural Education, 1633
Sheepshead Bay Road.
The facility is a learning center that offers various educational and creative programs for children from
babies to high school students, test preparation and children’s theater studios in Russian and Spanish.
According to its website, its goals are to improve children’s speaking skills, attract kids to reading in any
language, help them thrive in school, develop their creative skills and maintain inter-generational ties
within the family.
Brooklyn Chamber President and CEO Randy Peers was joined by Councilmember Inna Vernikov, Deputy
Borough President Diane Richardson, officials of Cross River Bank and others, to present the check to
KidzHome principal Alla Markova.
“What you’ve done here is special and unique, and that’s what we are here to celebrate,” said Peers.
“We can make a difference right here in Brooklyn with these children, and that’s what you’re doing.”
“To see the smiles on the kids’ faces is great,” said Philip Goldfeder, senior vice president of public
affairs for Cross River Bank. “When we partnered with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, it was about
finding small businesses or organizations where we could put money that could make a real difference.
There are so many places, we want to make sure it will make a real impact.”
Vernikov was also pleased with the grant given to the school and Markova.
“You have such passion for this so thank you for volunteering your time and contributing so greatly to
these kids’ lives,” she told her. “I have worked with the Brooklyn Chamber since I got into office. They’re
on the ground. They’re really trying to improve our community, help our businesses.”
“Your passion for the theater, arts, and multicultural arts are so apparent,” said Richardson. “I just want to
say thank you. I hope you’re able to not only build up to this stage but expand in the future.”
Later, the Chamber presented a check to the owner of Vinny’s Men Store, 307 Utica Ave., owned by
Dennis Cole. The store has been open since 1984 and was described as a fixture of the neighborhood.
“Today has been really phenomenal,” said Richardson. “Vinny’s is a legacy business here in the
community since 1984 and has been making sure the men of our community are represented, well-
clothed for every event of their life. We know this grant is going to go a long way.”
Representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Cross River Bank, as well as local officials, present the
grant to Vinny’s Men’s Store. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Jaime DeJesus
Eddie Karim from Assemblymember Latrice Walker’s office said he was glad to be a part of the
“So often, small businesses suffer,” he said. “Especially after COVID, it’s been a difficult time and we
have lost so many. It’s good to know these doors are able to say a piece of our community is still
Councilmember Darlene Mealy spoke highly of Cole. “He’s a pillar of the community,” she said. Doing
turkey drives or anything, whenever there’s a need that arrives in the community, he gives back.”
Cross River is a financial services organization that merges the established expertise of a bank with the
innovation and product offering of a technology company.