Local Business Update: King’s Pharmacy

Not sure what comes closer to a Tribeca Five & Dime (or a Ben Franklin, if you are a New Englander) than Kings, which has been on the corner of Reade and Hudson since 1998. Who among us hasn’t used it for Christmas decorations? last-minute baby shower presents? a birthday card for the mother-in-law? a wiffle bat? a Mason Pearson hairbrush?

And in the past weeks, they were the first ones to have toilet paper in stock, along with the other COVID essentials: wipes, bleach, gloves, handsoap. Through it all, they’ve been open seven days a week, 10 hours a day on weekdays, 9 to 7 (9 to 6 on Saturdays and 10 to 5 on Sundays.)

But now they are on the brink. With most of their customers gone from the neighborhood, revenue is down by 55-60 percent, said Jones Chan, who owns the pharmacy with other partners. They are trying to avoid furloughing their 20 employees, since in most cases, there is no one else in their households bringing home a paycheck right now. They have had to cut everyone’s hours, however. And the biggest burn: they haven’t been able to apply for the payroll protection program offered by the feds.

Turns out to get that benefit, a business applies through its local bank branch. Capital One has been unable to start taking applications — or even return phone calls, said Chan. “No one at the branch can give us any insight,” he said. “Other banks in the neighborhood have started, so we don’t know if they are stalling or they just don’t know what they need to do.”

Kings has appealed to both Chuck Schumer and Jerry Nadler’s offices, and has asked customers to do the same on the store’s behalf. They have also started a GoFundMe page as a stopgap if nothing comes through. At this rate, time is running out. “The worst case scenario is we will have to shut down within the next week or two,” said Chan. “Our bank accounts are nearly run dry. That’s where we are at.”

To chip in:
Jerry Nadler
Chuck Schumer
Kirsten Gillibrand



  1. Shame on Capital One! At very least they should return phone calls. I know that TD Bank is not only taking loans but getting them approved and into processing for a quick turnaround. I don’t know if they are prioritizing their commercial relationships but it might be worth checking. Good luck Kings Pharmacy. We love and need you!

  2. Thank you for getting the word out. Just this morning I received a constituent email from Mr. Nadler describing the relief offered in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which can help small businesses like our vital Kings Pharmacy only if they are able to access it. Emails to Mr. Nadler require the +4 addition to our zip codes which can be found at https://tools.usps.com/go/zip-code-lookup.htm

  3. While almost all banks have been requiring that an applicant bank with them to apply, there are a few that do not require that. Notably, PayPal has just set up to process PPP applications – I don’t know the link but they should look into that. However it will take a few weeks.

  4. All the rich people including celebrities in this neighborhood where 100K is a drop in the bucket for one of them and King’s has to ask for donations psssshhhhh…

  5. They should try US Bank or TDF, two of the banks that does not require you hold an account.

  6. I wrote to Nadler and I donated. This small business program is a mess. These guys should be front and center.

    Has anyone found someone we can write to at Capitol One?

  7. Has Kings posted anything on their front door? I was just there yesterday and didnt see a thing. Clearly this is an essential business. Ill keep writing to reps

  8. I’ve emailed Nadler, Gillibrand and Schumer and urge everyone else to. 10013 is 10013-3373. I hope when all this is over they will remove their account from Capital One. Shame on it.

  9. FYI: Capital One on corner of West B’way & Chambers (assuming that is branch for KING’S) had previously announced that it was closing. I’m sure KING’S knows & ALSO that the branch at BROADWAY & CHAMBERS is staying open..

  10. Just spoke with Nadler’s office and they claim to have given Kings info of smaller lenders who are not overwhelmed with application requests. The gentleman I spoke with said Nadler can’t pressure a banking organization, he doesn’t know why Kings has not taken the advice, they’ve had other businesses take the advice successfully, and no, you don’t have to be a current client of the smaller lenders. We need to hear Kings side of the story; there’s got to be more to this.

  11. I encourage everyone who is able, to donate to their go fund me campaign. Share this with all of your neighbors. The people who work at Kings are friendly and helpful. If something is not in stock, they will always try to order it for you. We have contacted both Nadler and Schumer and sent Kings other resources that may be able to help them. It would be a terrible loss to our neighborhood to have them close. We will be left with Duane Reade as our only alternative. They are OK and I have nothing against their workers and pharmacists, but there is that impersonal corporate feel about them. Also, they could be kicked out by voracious Vornado at any time. Let’s step up Tribeca!

  12. Kings is totally essential to our neighborhood and must be supported by everyone who is still in Tribeca ( and there are a dwindling number of us who haven’t fled to weekend houses)
    It’s a shame, I was right across the street earlier at Morgans ( who has become my go-to store for lots of things and, unlike another unnamed Hudson St. Korean market, has relatively realistic prices is well stocked with essentials and has a great fresh produce selection.
    I will definitely make some purchases at Kings ASAP to keep their cash flow moving in a positive direction.

  13. Maybe legally you don’t need to be a current client of a bank, but I’ve heard other small businesses say they’re having the same problem. It is especially an issue for minority owned businesses who have been discriminated against by major banks in hr past, and now find themselves shut out.

    Also, this is what they’re up against – national restaurant chains and hotels!

  14. I am one of the partners of Kings Pharmacy and this is a product of greedy banks. We got an email on Wednesday April 15 from Jose Malave, Senior Business Banking telling us to do the same things to be ready to submit our application which we had already done the day the loan,PPP, was announced. We kept waiting and calling almost every day and either was told to go to their website or got no return call at all. Then Low and behold one day later it was announced that the PPP loan program was out of money and not one person had received an application from CapitalOne your “community bank”. Can you imagine your “community bank”. “We have been working to finalize our digital application process for the new SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans to ensure that it is fully functional and compliant”‘This is part of the quote we have from Malave one day before the money ran out which had already been predicted days earlier. Dump CapitalOne for sure is our motto.

  15. Margaret Chin’s office is having a zoom call with the US Small Business Administration at 2PM today if anyone is interested.

    REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2 PM WEBINAR: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMlcemtqzMuE9SWi0UiTZFtq-Q9SkWYqeDT

  16. Kings Pharmacy is not only an essential service, it is one of THE essential services in Tribeca. Besides which, Jones, the pharmacist, is irreplaceable. I cannot tell you how many times Jones has gone out of his way to help my wife and me. Kings Pharmacy is a neighborhood treasure. Walk into Duane Reade/Walgreen’s and be treated like a rodent. Walk into Kings and be treated like a friend. If Kings closes on account of Capital One’s negligence, I will join a boycott of their downtown branches and I hope the neighborhood will rally. Meanwhile, anyone able should contribute to King’s GoFundMe campaign.

  17. When challenging times arise people show their true colors and Jones and Kings Pharmacy has proven to be a true caregiver of the community. I candidly have not shopped at Kings very much and have never met Jones but that didn’t matter to him. When I needed to order an oxygen monitor for my mother Jones let me know he didn’t have any in stock but would call me when they arrived. Within two hours of my speaking to Jones he called me back to let me know that the monitors had come in. My mother lives uptown so he FedExed it to my mother so I would not need to go to the post office. He didn’t charge me anything extra for the FedEx and just simply passed the cost onto me. If that wasn’t enough, when my mother had trouble using the monitor Jones made a trip to my mother’s house to show her how to use the monitor. I was stunned that Jones took the time to meet my mother in the lobby of her apartment to insure she could use her monitor, knowing it was important for her health. I am indebted to Jones and suggest that if you live in and around Tribeca you please shop at his pharmacy so we can keep him in business. Kings is a pillar of our community with an owner who truly cares about it. Let’s keep Kings in business by supporting them so we can be lucky enough to receive such great service in care!!