Articles

November 1, 2012

Special Alert: Hurricane Sandy Assistance

The US Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the following counties in New York and New Jersey:

New York: Bronx County, Kings County, Nassau County, New York County, Queens County, Richmond County and Suffolk County.

New Jersey: Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Certain additional including Morris, Bergen, Passaic, Somerset, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Cumberland are eligible for Economic Injury loans only.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Disaster loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Interest rates are as low as 1.688 % for homeowners and renters, 3% for non-profits and 4% for businesses with terms up to 30 years.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance on Nov. 1 by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by a web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice.

U.S. Small Business Administration Assistance

With the Major Disaster Declaration for all of NYC and Long Island and 13 counties in New Jersey, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of emergency programs involving including home disaster loans, business physical disaster loans, and economic injury disaster loans.

For more information on what assistance is available and how to qualify, please check out the Disaster Loan Fact Sheets and Hurricane Tropical Storm and Recovery pages at: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans/disaster-loan-fact-sh. You can also contact the SBA hotline at 1-800-659-2955

Special Note For New York Business Owners

In addition to the NY Small Business Services assistance mentioned above, the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), are coordinating a set of services to assist NYC small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. These programs currently include:

NYC Disaster Recovery Assistance Programs

For small- to mid-sized businesses that have experienced business interruption
Emergency loans for businesses will be available, capped at $10,000. Please visit www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Emergency Loan.

For mid- to large-sized businesses that need to rebuild
The New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will make available an emergency sales tax letter which allows businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. This program is expected to offer economic benefits to reconstruction projects costing $500,000 or more. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at the EDC at smitsugi@nycedc.com for further information.

For any business that is temporarily displaced from its space
The NYCEDC has approximately 40,000 sq. ft of warehouse space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal that they are making available for use as short-term office space. The space is free of charge for the next 30 days. Please visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager.

For any business in need of other emergency assistance
The SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit's Large Scale Response Team will be deployed after the storm to help all impacted small businesses. This team is currently on-call for any storm-related business inquiries and is closely coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Please log on to www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/contact/manager.shtml to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions.

Special Note for New Jersey Business Owners

Gov. Chris Christie has extended certain tax filing and payment deadlines to Nov. 7 for businesses whose operations were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy. Filings and payments covered by the state extension include Form NJ-927, Employer's Quarterly Report; Form DSF-100, Domestic Security Fee Quarterly Return; and Form TMF-10, Transporter of Motor Fuels Report.

If you have additional questions about tax relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, call 609-292-6400 or visit http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/.