Braymiller Market has reached out to the City of Buffalo for financial support. In a recent request to Buffalo's Common Council, the city is seeking approval on a grant that would help the grocery store. The CDBG-CV grant would reallocate $562,557.57 which would provide assistance to the City of Buffalo’s only downtown grocery store.
When the grocery store opened downtown during the pandemic, it quickly became a staple for people like Ben Brown who stops by nearly every day.
"It's just down from where my office is so it's really convenient to grab lunch," Brown said.
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, according to Brendan Mehaffy, executive director of the City of Buffalo's Office of Strategic Planning.
"This is a situation that a lot of downtowns are facing," Mehaffy said.
He said the market is not seeing much foot traffic which is why the city is seeking a federal grant that would help this private business cover expenses.
"They reached out to us and we decided this was the right thing to do," Mehaffy said.
He added the business is planning to focus on marketing to adjust to the challenges.
"Braymiller is adjusting its business plans as well to transition that has been part of the conversation that we do this in a way that sustains Braymiller and continues its existence," Mehaffy said.
Buffalo's Common Council will hear more about the challenges and grant funding at next week's meeting where council members will have an ultimate say, but president Darius Pridgen said it's frustrating he and other council members just found out about this request a day ago.
"The majority agree that we have to be briefed on the process. We have to know where they are financially," Pridgen said.
Pridgen said he wants to know why other small businesses in the city weren't considered.
"The worst thing to do is to not grant it to the smaller businesses that are struggling also and then grant it to one entity without the knowledge of whether they'll be able to survive after that," he said, "I feel we need a store in Downtown Buffalo, but I have to know how Braymiller was chosen."
With help possibly on the way it's a store many, like Brown, hope continues to stay afloat
"Having it now and the access, you don't want to go back from that," Brown said.
7 News did reach out to Braymiller Market for comment but did not hear back.
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