BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Braymiller Market took center stage at Buffalo's Common Council meeting on Tuesday. The owner, Stuart Green, alongside Lisa Hicks, with the Office of Strategic Planning, answered questions from council members.
"It's difficult for me to say let's give a business $500,000 when there's no other grocery store that asks for any type of assistance," Council member Rasheed Wyatt said.
SEE ALSO: Braymiller Market seeks financial help, could receive a $500k grant
Braymiller opened to much fanfare in September 2021 as part of a mixed-use project that also included more than 200 affordable apartments. In the year and a half since opening, the business has experienced some pandemic setbacks is asking the city for financial support.
The business is seeking $562,557.57 through a forgivable loan. Hicks said the money is leftover funding that was used to support small businesses during the pandemic.
"I just feel as though this particular business has not had an opportunity to be provided with any relief. Not from the state. Not from the PPP. Not from the city," Hicks said.
Hicks said the market suffered tremendously and foot traffic has dwindled. Green hopes he can use the half a million dollars to change its business model.
"We've done a lot of other work to identify what it's going to take to modify the business to meet the needs of the people in the community," Green said.
The request was met with support during Tuesday morning's meeting.
"But how are we saying no to help," said one woman.
Others opposed the request.
"I would appreciate it if everyone on this council rethink this and reconsider the fact that that money can go to better use," said another woman.
Council president Darius Pridgen tells 7 News' Kristen Mirand that he will not vote yes until he sees a business plan and finances laid out from the business.
"Giving $500,000 to a private business, and not seeing one page of finances is not going to fly,' Pridgen said.
At this point, Pridgen said council members are nowhere near making a decision unless they have proper information from Braymiller. Until then, he said the item has been tabled.