My daughter tells me that Halloween is one of her favorite holidays because she “can dress up and be anything she wants for a day.”

Awwwww ... so cute! In a world filled with frustration and unlimited obstacles, I love that this day encourages her to foster her creative fantasies. As a supportive mom, I want to entertain her ideals and make her Halloween extremely special. And what could be more important than planning next year’s costume?

Like a proverbial PEZ dispenser of ensemble ideas, her Halloween costume planning begins on the floor, adorned in her current costume, sorting the sweet bounty of her prior hours of trick-or-treating. “Next year, I want to be a skeleton princess,” she’ll say with a mouthful of nuts saturated in high-fructose corn syrup. “Sure,” I say to her as I get her toothbrush ready. As a parent of an 8-year-old, I’ve learned better than to put too much weight into these premature moments of costume planning.

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Courtesy of Chef El-Amin
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When non-essential businesses in NYC were ordered to close in March, restaurants across the five boroughs were tasked to pivot fast or risk shuttering their doors for good.

The impact on the city's once vibrant restaurant scene was immediate and devastating. A national survey found that 250,000 people were laid off within 22 days and almost $2 billion in revenue was lost. And soon, numerous restaurant closures became permanent as the pandemic raged on and businesses were unable to keep up with rent and utility payments.

Hot Bread Kitchen, a New York City-based nonprofit and incubator that has assisted more than 275 local businesses in the food industry, knew they needed to support their affiliated businesses in a new light to navigate the financial complexities of shifting business models and applying for loans.

According to Hot Bread Kitchen's CEO Shaolee Sen, shortly after the shutdown began, a third of restaurant workers that they support had been laid off and another third were furloughed.

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