Gilda DeIorio, owner of Iorio Deli and La Casa di Martino in Roselle Park, NJ
(from the perspective of her son, Joe DeIorio)
Gilda DeIorio is an 84 year old Italian immigrant. She opened her first small business, IORIO Deli, 43 years ago in Roselle Park New Jersey and 23 years later, expanded her business with a boutique banquet hall, La Casa di Martino, named after her family in Italy. Everyone who knows Gilda, calls her by her self-proclaimed title, “The Boss.” It’s a title of respect and embroidered on all of her work uniforms […]
With restrictions in place, her business took a terrible financial toll. The banquet hall catering, about eighty percent of her revenues, was reduced to zero. […] the plan was to hold out as long as we could until restrictions were lifted and we could resume our banquet hall catering operations.
We were fortunate, after losing other opportunities for funding, to properly prepare for the Restaurant Revitalization Grant, participating in the SBA zoom webinars, pre-registering, preparing all of our financial documents in advance, and applying on the first day. […] On May 14th we were notified by email that we were awarded $74,746.43 and would receive funds within 3 to 7 days. But after that, it became difficult to get direct answers from the SBA.
My mother withdrew her lifetime savings to pay property taxes, mortgage, utility and insurance payments. Family members lent funds to paying for food inventory so we could have products to sell. We felt so hopeful that the grant award would get us back to the starting point and start fresh instead of feeling we can’t get ahead.
We followed every instruction, did everything asked for, and now feel like we have been punched in the gut and abandoned by the federal government. This is the first time my mother ever used her status as a female business owner, to apply for federal assistance. Had we known the outcome, we would have applied after the 21-day priority period, and probably would have been awarded.