In the days and weeks after Superstorm Sandy, we spent a lot of time talking to local businesses about their rebuilding efforts. And, almost unanimously, what we heard was that the forms of financial relief available to them were not sufficient. Every option was a loan, although a few weeks after the storm, the mayor unveiled a $10,000 matching grant for those who received a loan through the city’s Small Business Services.
What did businesses want? The kind of relief homeowners were getting: grants that didn’t need to be paid back, and would help cover the giant financial hole that these businesses – which largely did not have flood insurance – faced.
Now the mayor has unveiled a new Small Business Assistance Grant Program to help small businesses that suffered physical damage from Sandy. It’s up to $5,000, which is just a drop in the bucket for what many of these businesses spent out-of-pocket to get up and running again. But every penny counts.