Councilwoman Margaret Chin Announces Aide to Small Businesses Effected by Hurricane Sandy
- NYC 11/08/2012 by Andrea Katz (WBAI)

Since Hurricane Sandy, Council Member Margaret Chin has been walking District 3 visiting small businesses that suffered severe damage from the storm. In order to help business access the many resources available, she has put out a summary for small businesses of the governmental and non-governmental assistance available.

Council Member Margaret Chin said: “My heart goes out to all of our small businesses who have worked the last ten years to pay off their loans from 9/11, only to be knocked out again by one of the worst natural disasters our area has ever experienced. Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our community – they keep our areas vibrant and safe. We must all do what we can to help them get back on their feet.’

“There are many resources available, and I hope that our Small Business Guide will help simplify the recovery process for small businesses. It is also important that we advocate for federal funding to be allocated for a small business emergency grant program. Low-interest loans are valuable resources for small businesses, but ultimately, I believe they will really need federal grants to get back on their feet. We have worked too hard to redevelop Lower Manhattan into a destination for tourists, residents, and workers alike, to see our beloved small business community washed away by Hurricane Sandy.”

Along with Community Board 3 and her fellow elected officials, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Chin will also be co-sponsoring two forums for Small Businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy:

WHAT:   Emergency Relief Forum for Small Businesses
WHEN:   Friday, November 9, 2012, 9:00AM – 11:00AM
WHERE:  Houston Street Center, 273 Bowery Street

WHAT:   Emergency Relief Forum for Small Businesses
WHEN:   Friday, November 9, 2012, 2:00PM – 4:00PM
WHERE:  Chinese Community Center Auditorium, 62 Mott Street

Summary of resources:
➢    Register with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Even though the FEMA form is tailored to personal losses, you should still file with FEMA, which may be able to direct you to other resources. www.disasterassistance.gov or call (800) 621-3362. You should have your employees individually file with FEMA for wage loss. Due to the high volume of calls, there may be a wait; please be patient and stay on the line.

➢    Contact your insurance company & NY State Department of Financial Services
If you do not have flood insurance or interruption of service insurance or if you are having difficulty getting coverage from the insurance company, fill out the SBS inquiry form at http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml or visit the New York State Department of Financial Services website at www.DFS.ny.gov They connect businesses with pro bono legal services to help deal with insurance companies.

➢    File for an emergency loan with NYC Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS is offering emergency bridge loans with a 0% initial interest rate (increases to 1% after six months). The loans go up to $25,000 for a small business, and the turnaround time is supposed to be 5 days from filing. You can apply for these at http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/home/home.shtml or visit the Small Business Solution Center at 79 John Street, NY, NY 10038 or call (212) 618-8914.

➢    Apply for an emergency loan with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA has business physical disaster loans and economic injury disaster loans that provide funds directly from the U.S. Treasury. The loans are capped at $2,000,000 for a business for the repair or replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment and all other physical losses. The loans are at an interest rate of 4% for businesses, and 3% for non-profit organizations. Call (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA website at www.sba.gov. You can apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. New York Declaration #13365 & #13366 (Disaster: NY-00130)

➢    Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration Manhattan Small Business Development Center
You can get general assistance during weekdays at the Manhattan SBDC at Pace University, 163 William Street, NY NY 10038 on the 3rd Floor. Or call (212) 618-6655 or email the Director, Ira Davidson at sbdc@pace.edu.

➢    Apply for Low-Interest Loans at Renaissance Economic Development Corporation
Renaissance EDC is offering a special economic recovery loan for businesses in Lower Manhattan affected by the storm. The loans go up to $30,000 at a 3% fixed interest rate for businesses south of 40th street in Manhattan and deferments up to 3 months. Call (212) 964-6022 or visit the Manhattan office at 1 Pike Street, New York, NY 10002.

Note: Many of the loans have deadlines for application. Apply early and check with individual agencies to ensure that you do not miss out.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? Contact Xiaomin Zhao at Council Member Margaret Chin’s office at (212) 587-3159 or xzhao@council.nyc.gov.

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