Hurricane Sandy: Disaster Relief for Businesses
Below are some resources that include links to important information for businesses seeking help during the recovery process or are looking to become part of the rebuilding effort.
As a first step, please register with FEMA for federal disaster assistance and to receive a FEMA ID. To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit www.disasterassistance.gov. Several of the non-federal programs listed here require applicants to have a FEMA ID.
Those with questions about insurance / filing insurance claims should call the NYS Department of Financial Services emergency hotline. Call 1-800-339-1759 to speak to an expert, 24/7.
Federal Financial Assistance
The US Small Business Administration offers two types of disaster-relief loans to businesses. The Business Physical Disaster Loan helps businesses and not-for-profits in disaster areas replace or restore damaged property. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is similar but helps address economic damage (e.g. lost revenue), regardless of physical damage. For more information, please visit www.sba.gov or call 1-800-659-2955.
New York State Financial Assistance
Small businesses affected by business interruption due to Hurricane Sandy can apply to the New York State Emergency Small Business Loan Program. ESD, the New York Bankers Association and the New York Business Development Corporation have set aside $10 million for loans of up to $25,000 to businesses with fewer than 100 employees in designated disaster areas. Loans are interest- and payment-free for six months and then have 1% interest for two years. Businesses in NYC should apply to the NYBDC through the NYC Department of Small Business Services Business Solution Centers. For more information, please visit www.nyc.gov/sbs or call 311 and ask for “NYC Business Emergency Loan.”
Additional Lending Organizations
· Accion East and Online is offering loans of $1,000 to $25,000 to businesses in the 5 boroughs affected by Hurricane Sandy. No payments and 0% interest for the first three months, and then 4.99% for up to 60 months after that. To learn more, visit www.accionusa.org/sandy or call (866) 245.0783.
· BOC Capital provides two categories of loans. First are smaller loans ranging from $500 to $50,000 and intended for working capital, repairs, and machinery & equipment. Second are larger, order-based loans of up to $150,000 for mobilization of government contracts. An interest-free grace period is available for both types. To learn more, call 718-624-9115 (Brooklyn/Manhattan), 718-205-3773 (Queens/Bronx), and 718-816-4775 (Staten Island).
· Renaissance Economic Development Corp. is offering loans of up to $30,000 at fixed rates of 3 or 4% for up to 36 months. To learn more, call 212-964-6022 (Manhattan), 718-961-0888 (Queens), or 718-686-8223 (Brooklyn).
New York City Financial Assistance
Small businesses affected by business interruption due to Hurricane Sandy can apply for NYC Business Emergency Loans. NYC Business Solutions and the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) will administer the loan program, funded by the City of New York and Goldman Sachs. Loans available up to $25,000. Loans interest-free for the first six months and 1% interest for the following 24 months. For more information, please visit www.nyc.gov/sbs or call 311 and ask for “NYC Business Emergency Loan.” (Please note that the loan offered through the program is related to the loan offered through the ESD program listed above. NYC-based businesses can apply for a loan either through the ESD intake form on this page or through NYC Small Business Services, but not through both.)
The NYC Industrial Development Agency will waive up to $100,000 in sales taxes on reconstruction materials and equipment. To learn more about the Hurricane Emergency Sales Tax Exemption Program, please visit www.nyc.gov/sbs or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York City Material Assistance
Free co-working space, supplies, and other services available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Businesses can access desk space, power, internet and more at many locations throughout the five boroughs. Please visit www.nyc.gov/sbs for more information
The NYC Rapid Repair Program helps homeowners and commercial owners of residential property to quickly and efficiently repair hurricane-damaged homes. Owners must first register with FEMA and received a FEMA ID (see top of page) and then register with the City online at www.on.nyc.gov/QvXC2e.
Contractors: If you have any interest in recovery work, we urge you to register your firm immediately with the Building Trades Employers Association (BTEA) at their website at: www.bteany.com. Registration is a quick and easy process and should take only minutes! BTEA is working directly with FEMA and NYC to get registered contractors to work as quickly as possible.
Extended deadlines apply to New York taxpayers, tax professionals, and relief workers directly affected by Hurricane Sandy. The New York State Department of Tax and Finance has extended tax deadlines to November 14, 2012. For more information, please visit www.tax.ny.gov.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is relaxing permit requirements for repair work. Many projects for stabilization and repair that normally require coastal erosion hazard area and wetlands permits will be covered under a general permit along the coastal areas of Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. For more information and to apply for the general permit, visit www.dec.ny.gov/public/76659.html
As an alternative to laying off employees while recovering from Sandy, employers can enter into the NYS Department of Labor Shared Work Program. Instead of cutting staff, you can reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a select group, and the employees will receive Shared Work Benefits to help offset the lower wages. To learn more or apply, please visit http://bit.ly/R0D274.
Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now available to all New Yorkers who lost their jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy. To apply for unemployment benefits or DUA, those affected by the storm and have lost their job or income should call the Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 1-888-209-8124, or 1-877-358-5306 if they live out of state. In order to receive benefits you must apply by February 4, 2013.
Several services are offering free legal assistance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.