Many small and mid-size businesses in New York City suffered severe losses due to Hurricane Sandy. Below is a practical guide for business owners seeking relief.
- The first place business owners should turn is to their insurance providers. Insurance companies will be inundated with claims after an event like Hurricane Sandy. To expedite the claims process, carefully document the damage to your business, to the extent it is safe to do so, by photographing or taking video of the damage. Be mindful of potential hazards such as exposed electrical wires, potential gas leaks or structural damage. Keep track of receipts for immediate repairs (e.g., windows).
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced two directives that, for now, apply only to residential homeowners: First, homeowners will not have to pay hurricane deductibles because Sandy did not have sustained hurricane-force winds when it made land in New York. Second, insurers must accept homeowners' photo and video documentation of losses, which allows residents to document their damage and then discard debris in a timely way before a second storm hits the region.
- New York City Assistance.
- Emergency Loans. Under a New York City program coordinated by the Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, emergency loans up to $10,000 are available for small and midsize businesses. Call 311 and ask for "NYC Business Emergency Loan" or contact the NYC Business Solutions Account Manager here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml.
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