With Small Business Saturday celebrations happening Island-wide this passed weekend, it's only fitting to go over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently-established $10 million emergency fund for business slammed by Hurricane Sandy. The Governor has been incredibly busy since the storm, dealing with LIPA’s terrible response to homeowners who are still without power, as well as ensuring that the gas crisis came to a speedy close in the days following the hurricane. His latest endeavor, to help small-business owners affected by the storm, is geared toward aiding in an immediate recovery.
This fund couldn’t have come at a better time, with the rampant consumerism of Black Friday behind Long Islanders (though sales are still going on), small businesses have a difficult time keeping up with larger chains like Best Buy or Wal-Mart. Under this new fund, small businesses in need should call 1-855-NYS-SANDY and could receive funding up to $25,000. Business owners can also go online www.esd.ny.gov
The loans are to be interest and payment-free for the first six months, followed by one percent interest for the following two years. Businesses are to use the funds to repair their facilities, either by replacing windows, roofs or other forms of damage courtesy of Hurricane Sandy and the following nor’easter. To qualify for a loan, a business must have filed a 2011 tax return and experienced damage from the storm. Businesses should also have less than a hundred employees to qualify.
“New York’s banks are stepping up to help our state’s small businesses rebuild and restart in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” Governor Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “This loan program will help those businesses who were hit hardest by the storm get the resources they need to repair immediately, allowing them to continue to provide jobs to our communities and strength to our economy. I applaud the New York Bankers Association for providing relief to these businesses and joining the growing efforts by the private sector to help all New Yorkers recover.”