$5.5M to help small businesses ‘get back up and running’


| mhayes@queenscourier.com |

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has allocated $5.5 million for small businesses affected by Sandy.

“Getting small businesses back on their feet is key to helping our economy recover from Sandy,” said Bloomberg. “The capital provided through this program will help businesses purchase supplies, make repairs and get back up and running.”

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has allotted $5 million to the Emergency Loan Fund from local banks through the New York Banker’s Association, and the Partnership for New York City is financing an additional $500,000 to be used for struggling businesses in Lower Manhattan.

“The impact of Sandy continues to take a toll on communities throughout New York,” said Rob Speyer, Mayor’s Fund Advisory Board chair. “Our small businesses are a vitally important part of our city’s lifeblood and economy.”

Grants will be administered by the New York Business Development Corporation, and are designed to provide assistance for these local businesses already seeking low-interest loans through the existing Emergency Loan Fund. Businesses currently can be granted up to $10,000, but the amount may increase based on evaluation of future need and donors interested in contributing. Those who have already begun to apply for a loan will be eligible to receive grants retroactively.

Impacted businesses should list everything that was damaged or lost, take photos, try to assess the value of each lost item, provide invoices or receipts if they are available, and discard perishable or dangerous items. If there is water damage, the mayor’s office suggests using a person to point at a water line, or equipment, to give an accurate representation of how high the water reached during the storm.

Those in need of assistance should contact NYC Business Solutions by filling out a “Contact an Account Manager” form at www.nyc.gov/nycbusiness, calling 3-1-1 and asking for “NYC Business Solutions” or going to a restoration center.

The Mayor’s Fund is also accepting financial donations for relief efforts. Those interested in participating can visit www.nyc.gov/fund or call 3-1-1.