Small businesses hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy will soon be able to get some financial help from New York State.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the establishment of a $10 million small business emergency loan fund he said will provide immediate financial assistance for local businesses impacted by Sandy.
Under the fund, businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to $25,000 immediately by going to www.esd.ny.gov or calling 1-855-NYS-SANDY.
“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,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement.
The New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) will manage and operate the loan program in coordination with Empire State Development (ESD).
Through the program, small businesses in affected communities will be eligible to receive loans of up to $25,000 that will be interest and payment-free for the first six months and then at one percent interest for the following two years. Eligible businesses can use the funding to cover the costs of replacement and repairs to facilities or equipment or as working capital needed to restart or continue business operations.
The emergency loan program is for independently owned and operated businesses that have less than 100 employees and are located in counties including Nassau and Suffolk and New York City’s five boroughs that have been designated as disaster areas.
To be eligible to receive funding through the program, companies must have filed 2011 business tax returns and have experienced direct damage or economic hardship as a result of Sandy.
Applications will be available within the week and businesses are expected to begin receiving funding five to seven days after submitting a completed application and the required documentation.