New York, NY - September 21, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced an agreement to help small businesses, homeowners and renters access state funds for uninsured losses and physical damage they have incurred as a result of the Chelsea explosion.
“The state continues to work around the clock to assist all New Yorkers impacted by this act of terror and help this vibrant neighborhood return to normal,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are making state emergency assistance available immediately to those who have suffered economically during the explosion, and we will continue to work closely with our local and federal partners to ensure New York’s thriving small business community has the resources they need. In the wake of this deplorable attack, New Yorkers have shown unparalleled bravery and resiliency – and we will continue to support them every step of the way.”
Photo: Governor's Press Office, via Flickr.
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, "Saturday night's terrorist attack in Chelsea was an attempt to strike fear in the hearts and minds of the residents of our city and state, but it failed to do so. As a state, we must do everything possible to ensure that the businesses and residents in and around this neighborhood return to their daily lives as soon as possible. Therefore, I am pleased to join Governor Cuomo and Speaker Heastie in making state resources available to mitigate their financial losses, and help these hardworking people continue to move forward."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “The damage caused by the recent attack in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan has undoubtedly had a significant impact on small businesses, home owners and renters. In addition to the 31 individuals who were injured from the explosion, the community is now struggling to repair damaged buildings and maintain economic stability during recovery. By providing funds for small businesses during this trying time we can help them avoid financial disaster and protect our local economy.”
The state is working actively and aggressively to ensure that all affected residents and businesses quickly recover.
The Department of Financial Services will work directly with businesses and residents to submit insurance claims. As regulator of the insurance industry, DFS will work with insurance companies to expedite claims and resolve any issues. For uninsured losses, the state will offer a grant program. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will administer this new grant program to cover all remaining uninsured costs. Affected business owners and residents should visit the mobile van or call the DFS Insurance Disaster Hotline at 800-339-1759 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM).
The state is also working to determine eligibility for homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to receive assistance through the Small Business Administration’s physical disaster loan and economic injury disaster loan programs. Under the federal Small Business Act, the Governor of New York can certify to SBA that a small business located in a disaster area has suffered economic hardship and thus is eligible to apply for emergency loans.
The state Office of Victim Services, working with the FBI, has connected victims to OVS-funded service providers, which will help those individuals file claims for compensation for medical bills and other expenses and also provide direct services, such as crisis intervention and counseling. Individuals seeking help from OVS also can search for a service provider online. There are more than 50 agencies across New York City able to assist. For more information, please call 1-800-247-8035 or visit: www.ovs.ny.gov.
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee, said, “It is important we use resources from all levels of government to help small businesses recover from this explosion. That is why I asked the Governor to certify there has been economic damage, allowing businesses to apply for SBA assistance. I hope the Governor moves forward swiftly with this step.”
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, “The bomb that ripped apart the Chelsea neighborhood last Saturday night has reminded New Yorkers of our ability to come together in response to tragedy. The scars of this attack will remain for a long time, as we witnessed, once again, the impact of terrorism in our City. Whenever New Yorkers are attacked, we stand united behind the men, women and families who have suffered and our heroic first responders for their valiant efforts. It is important that we stand with those in Chelsea who have been affected by this most recent act of destruction. I commend Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for acting quickly in setting up the emergency loan program for the small businesses impacted by this attack, and hope it can help bring some much needed relief as we continue to recover from act of violence.”
Senator Brad Hoylman said, "As we have seen time and time again, New York is a city that only grows stronger in the face of adversity. While Chelsea continues to demonstrate the resilience and generosity of spirit typical of New Yorkers, there are many residents and local business owners who continue to feel the reverberations of this weekend’s act of terrorism. I am profoundly grateful to Governor Cuomo for providing emergency funding to ensure small businesses impacted by the Chelsea explosion can survive and continue to serve our strong neighborhood."
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried said, “Small businesses are critical to the economic and civic life of Chelsea, and helping businesses get through this crisis helps all of us. It’s important that our state and city governments are here to help. I applaud Governor Cuomo and the leaders of the legislature for moving so quickly to provide this assistance.”
Council Member Corey Johnson said, “Our local businesses are still picking up the pieces from this attack, so this assistance is going to go a long way for them. Forced closures can seriously impact a small business's bottom line, so we need to do everything we can to help them get back to where they were before the blast. Governor Cuomo’s swift actions represent emergency leadership at its best, and I want to thank him and our legislators in Albany for this critical support to our community.”