Bay Ridge Community Raises Thousands to Support Local Comic Book Store
Kind-hearted Brooklynites raised thousands of dollars for a beloved Bay Ridge comic book store that took months of rent due to state-imposed closures of non-essential businesses during the new outbreak coronavirus.
“I was very surprised the first time I saw it and I was very touched by all the support we received,” said Abdulilah Esa, owner of Galaxy Comics at Bay Ridge. “I want to thank the community for all the support and all the great feedback we have received.”
Hoi Chen, a longtime customer of the comic book store, created the online fundraiser on June 11 and set an ambitious goal of $ 29,000 – and has since received more than $ 8,500 in donations. in less than three weeks.
“The store is a mom and pop comic book store in Bay Ridge Brooklyn and the only true survivor,” Chen wrote. “[Galaxy Comics] would be grateful for any help he can get. Any amount is really appreciated. “
The owner of the comic book store owes nearly $ 28,000 in rent back on the Fifth Avenue storefront between 68th Street and Bay Ridge Avenue – and, although he received money from the government to cover the cost of his employees’ salaries, Esa did not see enough help to pay for his erection. operating costs.
“Initially, we obtained the [Paycheck Protection Program loan]”, Said Esa. “But it wasn’t much because I only have two employees.
Instead, her community grew stronger and went to great lengths to ensure their beloved comic book store weathered the pandemic.
“We had customers who wanted to help, so they said they would come and spend the money in the store,” Esa said. “They weren’t looking for something specific, only with the intention of spending money.”
The Sunset Park native reopened his store for the first time on June 7 – after the city entered the first phase of its reopening – and said he had noticed a change in shopping behavior as the pandemic has discouraged many people from browsing without a specific purchase in mind.
“You could say that 90 percent of the people who have entered so far end up buying things,” Esa said. “Unlike before, we’ve had a lot of dating and browsing and then maybe someone is buying something.”
Now, in Phase 2 of the city’s reopening, customers can shop at non-essential storefronts – which Esa hopes will bring a much-needed influx of visitors and cash to her beloved business.
In the meantime, the community continues to rally around Esa and Galaxy Comics. As of Monday afternoon, Chen’s GoFundMe has been shared over 1,300 times.
This story first appeared on BrooklynPaper.com