Capital One: Re-Opened For Business
“The enthusiasm of this community is amazing!” said Rich Schnapper, Senior Vice President Group Sales Executive at Capital One Bank, speaking at the grand re-opening of the Rockaway Park branch on Tuesday, April 2nd.
The branch, located at 116-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, was severely damaged during the hurricane.
Noting that he grew up in the area, Schnapper added, “The reopening of this branch is another step in the Rockaways’ recovery.”
The festive event drew local business owners, community members, elected officials and bank executives and staff.
Among those who spoke at the event were Schnapper, Branch Manager Ursuline Francis-Bruno, Blue Bungalow co-owner Liz Smith-Breslin, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Councilman Eric Ulrich and NYC Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh.
Reinforcing the theme of reinvigorating a prime Rockaway business district in a pre-opening media release, Commissioner Walsh noted, “The merchants along Beach 116th Street have been working tirelessly with the City and private funders to help the neighborhood come back even stronger than ever.”
As an example of local business owners’ dedication and pride, he pointed to the fresh bagels and pastries provided by Paninico Café. “The owner delivered these personally this morning,” he noted, “He told, “I baked these myself!”
At the bank’s re-opening ceremonies, Susan Locke, publisher of The Wave was presented with a check on the newspaper’s behalf from the Small Business Services. The $5,000 SBS grant will go to replacing computers and supplies that were destroyed in the storm.
Also present to celebrate the bank’s opening were the owners of T&M Auto Parts and the Beach 116th Street Carvel ice cream shop, and members of the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance.
Capital One also presented a giant ceremonial check representing the corporation’s grant of $10,000 to SBS.
Quipped one attendee, “Will that fit through the ATM?”
A media release from Capital One announced, “Capital One has supported Rockaway revitalization efforts… through partnerships with local organizations (like) RWA, the Queens Economic Development Corporation and the Business Outreach Center.”
Said Schnapper, “It is important how we give back.”
Branch manager, Francis-Bruno, who had taken over just two weeks prior to Sandy, greeted guests warmly throughout the morning. A steady stream of customers coming through the door seemed pleased that the branch was once again open. In fact one woman who came for the re-opening ceremony took a minute to stop by a teller window and take care of some banking business of her own.