Superstorm Sandy recovery for businesses
Nearly two months after Hurricane Sandy, businesses in the Northeast are still working to regain the momentum they had before the storm. Many businesses in this region went without power and were flooded for days, destroying inventory and causing sales to take a shard decline. And even though the storm has been gone for some time now, these businesses are still feeling the pain as if it occurred yesterday. The good news is that several organizations have stepped up to the plate and provided assistance to get these businesses up and running again.
Lenders are offering aid
Several financial institutions, including the SBA and Accion, are providing emergency loans to companies that were put out of service due to Hurricane Sandy. Through funding provided by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Accion East and Online is able to provide Sandy Recovery Business Loans at zero percent interest for the first three months, and then at a fixed rate of 4.99 percent thereafter. In addition to this, the lender is also awarding grants of up to 15 percent of the amount the business took out as a loan from Accion. Businesses with a credit rating as low as 525 are eligible for these loans.
Court systems are also providing Sandy relief where they can, diverting volunteers doing community service for small crimes to do clean up in the surrounding ravaged communities. Last week 70 people were shuttled to Coney Island to help businesses and home owners help restore order to their properties; volunteers mostly helped to shovel out mud, rake leaves and clear debris left behind after the storm.
Assistance is becoming increasingly more available
All in all, the process to regain pre-Sandy revenue is a slow one, but things are moving along. Most business owners are working to get inspections done so that they can receive the go ahead to re-open doors. And with the help of loans and grants, these entrepreneurs can replace ruined equipment and inventory in order to slowly rebuild their sales cycles. In addition to these initiatives, the state of New Jersey also plans to survey small business owners affected by the storm to determine what needs aren’t being met and develop a strategy to better assist these businesses.