HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF
If you or your business have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, Start Small Think Big can provide you with pro bono legal assistance and/or help you navigate through loan applications, FEMA applications, insurance claims, and other financial and legal issues you may be facing. For immediate help, call us at (646) 723-4054.
In addition, there are many other organizations providing assistance. A list of resources for Small Business Owners is provided below.
IF YOUR BUSINESS OR PROPERTY HAS SUFFERED DAMAGE:
Take steps that can help reduce and recover your losses:
- If you have access to your building, gather employee and supplier contact information, legal, insurance and financial records
- Lock your facility
- Document your losses and take high-quality photos of damages to the structure and your inventory
- Contact your insurance company
- Try to assess the value of each item, with invoices and receipts where possible
- Discard perishable/dangerous items after documenting them
- Keep everything else to show to insurance companies
- Keep invoices or receipts if you are repairing the damages
- Contact your customers, your employees, and your suppliers
- Collect any logs of business decisions, communications, and correspondence you have
If you need on-site assistance, the SBS Business Outreach is currently on-call for any storm-related business inquiries and is closely coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Contact an account manager or call 311 and ask for “NYC Business Solutions.”
IF YOU NEED FINANCIAL SUPPORT:
1) The City of New York and Goldman Sachs are providing $10 million in emergency loans to help New York City businesses damaged by Hurricane Sandy. NYC Business Solutions and the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) will administer the loan program.
Qualifications: Your business must have fewer than 100 staff members, have filed 2011 taxes, and have flood or power outage damages.
Loan Amount: Up to $25,000
Interest: 0% for the first 6 months
Term: 24 months
2) The Small Business Administration provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.
Loan Amount: Up to 2 million
Term: Up to 30 years
3) ACCION USA (a leading Micro-Lender in the US) has put together an emergency loan product that is available for small business owners affected by Sandy. This loan is only available until December 31st, 2012.
Loan Amount: $1,000-$25,000
Interest: 0% interest for the first 3 months and 4.99% thereafter
Term: Up to 60 months
4) The Business Outreach Center Network (BOC Net) is offering loans to business that have been impacted in any way by Hurricane Sandy.
Loan Amount: $500-$50,000
Interest: Introductory 0% for 3 months and 3% after
For more information please call:
Brooklyn/Manhattan: (718) 624-9115, Queens/Bronx: (718) 205-3773, Staten Island: (718) 816-4775
5) The New York City Industrial Development Agency is providing emergency assistance to small bsuinesses by establishing the Hurricane Emergency Sales Tax Exemption Program ("HESTEP"). This Program will provide sales tax exemptions of up to $100,000 for each affected company on purchases of building, construction and renovation materials, machinery and equipment and other items of personal property and related services needed to rebuild after the storm. For more information or to apply, email Shin Mitsugi at email@example.com.
6) The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) provides tax counseling and assistance to taxpayers whose property has been damaged or lost in a federally declared disaster area. Taxpayers also have the option to deduct non-reimbursed casualty losses that occurred in a federally declared disaster area in the year the disaster occurred or file an amended return and deduct the loss in the year immediately preceding the year the disaster occurred. For more info click here
7) Bank of America has leveraged approximately 1,000 bankers across Small Business, Commercial and Business Banking to reach out to thousands of their impacted customers. They are also prepare to provide additional credit on favorable terms to help their small business customers recover from the storm. For more information please call 1-855-729-1764 or visit www.bankofamerica.com.
8) FEMA can provide disaster assistance. In order to be eligible, you need to first complete an application form. This will take approximately 20 minutes and should be done immediately. Applicants should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses. There are 3 ways to register with FEMA:
1) Apply online at FEMA’s website: www.DisasterAssistance.gov,
2) Use a smartphone and visit FEMA’s mobile website at m.fema.gov
3) Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) Monday through Sunday between the hours of 7am and 10pm.
IF YOU NEED LEGAL HELP:
1) NYLAG has launched a new Storm Relief Effort which will place their staff at disaster relief centers and community-based organizations and hospitals. Their attorneys and volunteers will be onsite to provide legal advice to victims dealing with issues including FEMA claims, housing disputes, consumer matters and emergency public benefits. Those seeking immediate assistance with legal issues can call their new hotline at 212-584-3365 or email at StormHelp@nylag.org. For more info you can also visit: nylag.org/stormhelp.
2) The Legal Team at Make the Road New York are providing legal assistance for Spanish-speaking and immigrant New Yorkers in NYC. They can help in accessing emergency response services and to make sure that language access and immigration status do not prevent anyone from getting the shelter, supplies and help they need. Click Here for contact information.
3) The Legal Services NYC City-Wide Sandy Recovery Hotline is available from 10am-3pm. LSNYC Legal staff can help answer any questions you may have about how the recovery affects your public benefits, foreclosure, employment, housing, how to access assistance, and more. This hotline is able to take calls from all non-English speakers. Call (347) 592-2411.
4) Lawyers Alliance for New York can help nonprofits in New York that have questions about assisting relief efforts, emerging legal issues related to the disaster, or victims of Hurricane Sandy. They have also developed a collection of resources for organizations dealing with the impact of the hurricane and operating a disaster relief program. To contact them, call (212) 219-1800.
5) Pro Bono Partnership is providing legal advice for non-profits in NYS who have post-sandy related issues. For assistance you can email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 973-240-6955. You can read more about their work here
6) The New York State Bar Association is providing NY residents with free legal assistance for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. To inquire about this service please call their special legal hotline at 1-800-699-5636. You can also visit www.NYSBA.org/Sandy for more info.
IF YOU NEED TEMPORARY OFFICE SPACE:
Free co-working space, supplies, and other services are available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy:
Businesses can access desk space, power, internet and more at many locations throughout the five boroughs. You can access a complete list of locations here. If your company can donate space, please visit www.nycedc.com/canyourcompanyhelp.
Some locations include:
- Brooklyn Army Terminal: Doug Roberts, email@example.com
- Sunshine Bronx Incubator: Cheni Yerushalmi, firstname.lastname@example.org
- East Midtown Partnership: Rob Byrnes, 212-813-0030, email@example.com
IF YOU NEED HELP WITH EMPLOYEE RETENTION:
1) The Shared Work Program provides an alternative to laying off full-time employees in the midst of temporary business downturns. Instead of cutting staff, business owners can reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a select group, and the employees would receive Shared Work Benefits to help offset the lower wages. Apply at bit.ly/sharedworkprogram
2) Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides payment to individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy. Laid-off employees must apply by December 3, 2012. Call 1-888-209-8124 or visit bit.ly/disasterunemploymentassistance for more information.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER OR NEED ADDITIONAL RESOURCES go to http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/occupy-sandy-map/
If you are a service organization who would like to have your relief services listed on this site, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.