Local New York City-based Congressional Representatives are banding together to urge FEMA to extend the deadline for small businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy to apply for disaster aid. A joint letter to FEMA, cosigned by nearly a dozen Congressional Representatives, argues that the deadline, currently set at December 31, is too soon and should be pushed back until May 1, 2013 so small businesses can accurately assess the damages wrought upon their livelihoods.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who represents Coney Island, Bensonhurst, and Borough Park, was among those that signed the letter, wrote:
Hurricane Sandy displaced tens of thousands of New Yorkers and shuttered or destroyed thousands of businesses. Despite the tireless work by so many to rebuild and get business and life back to normal, we are still a long way off. Our constituents and businesses still need time to regroup and rebuild and, as such, we are asking FEMA to extend the deadline for small business claims to May 1 to give them a real opportunity to get what they need and deserve.
Thus far, FEMA has already paid out $745 million to individuals and families since the advent of Sandy, with $152.1 million earmarked for Kings County alone, while the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has approved $85.5 million in loans for businesses, renters, and homeowners. For more information on assistance, you can send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov, visit sba.gov, or call the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number 800-659-2955 (TTY (for hearing impaired) 800-877-8339.)