FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 6, 2007
Schumer Announces More Federal Disaster Aid Now Available For Small Businesses Damaged by Last Month's Freak Flooding And Tornado
Small Business Administration Aid Approved for Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, and Nassau Counties - New Declaration Makes Local Businesses Eligible for Low Interest Loans
Schumer Aggressively Lobbied For Emergency Aid
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that additional federal disaster assistance has been approved for small businesses damaged during the freak storm, and ensuing floods and tornado, which passed through the New York City area in mid-August. The new aid, in addition to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aid approved last Friday, comes in the form of low interest loans to help defray costs of clean up and repairs and is provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Immediately after the storm, Schumer wrote personally to the head of the SBA asking him to approve the loans.
“This is great news for small businesses throughout the New York City area who were hit very hard by the unexpected tornado and freak flooding in late August,” said Schumer. “Mom and Pop shops in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and beyond, that are the backbone of so many neighborhoods, need this assistance to get back on their feet. After the storms, FEMA stepped in to provide aid for individuals who suffered damage and to local governments to help with recovery costs, but many of the small businesses in the area are still struggling to repair the damage and recover their losses.”
Under this declaration, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, aid is available to farm-related and non farm-related small businesses and small agricultural cooperatives that suffered economic injury as a direct result of this disaster. Eligible small businesses may qualify for loans of up to $1.5 million. These loans are available at a 4% interest rate with loan terms up to 30 years. SBA determines eligibility for the program based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on upon each applicant’s financial condition. Governor Spitzer official requested the aid on August 20 and President Bush approved the disaster declaration late last night.
On August 20, Schumer wrote to SBA Administrator Stephen Preston asking him to approve the aid. In his letter, Schumer wrote “Subsequently, local businesses in New York City have endured significant structural damages and loss of revenue. Low-interest physical disaster loans from the SBA would provide these small businesses with the funding that they so desperately need to repair and rebuild their critical infrastructure and get back on their feet.”