A report by James Rivera
It’s been seven months since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast and signs of recovery are emerging. Businesses are reopening, homeowners are rebuilding and communities are rebounding. I’m proud to say that the SBA, together with our federal partners, stepped-up to provide assistance to those affected by Sandy. SBA has approved more than 34,000 disaster loan applications for a dollar total of $2.2 billion – making Hurricane Sandy the third largest natural disaster in terms of SBA disaster lending in U.S. history.
One of these loans went to IceStone, LLC, a Brooklyn-based company that makes counter tops from recycled glass and cement. The five feet of salt water that flooded the 55,000 square-foot factory when Hurricane Sandy passed through New York destroyed machinery worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. After deciding not to close the business, IceStone CEO Dal LaMagna applied for an SBA disaster loan. Despite the massive volume of applications the SBA was handling during the early recovery phase, “the employees at the SBA were still able and willing to respond rapidly at each of the stages of processing, approving, and funding our application,” LaMagna said.
By April, IceStone’s $988 thousand dollar loan was fully disbursed, and within days LaMagna and his 127 employees were back in the factory building countertops.
The deadline for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations in New Jersey to apply for an SBA disaster loan for physical damages caused by Hurricane Sandy is May 1. Visit SBA’s Hurricane Sandy website for more information.
Our disaster recovery efforts haven’t just included loans to homeowners and businesses. Nineteen million dollars in grants will be delivered to our resource partners to expand counseling and training services for small businesses and SBA has played an integral role in awarding $190 million dollars in government contacts to small businesses involved in the Hurricane Sandy recovery. Through these additional means, we will continue to help those individuals and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild stronger and provide support for long-term recovery.
SBA Resource Partners Support Small Business Recovery
Small businesses recovering from the physical and economic impact of Hurricane Sandy can get both immediate and long-term help from SBA’s resource partners—the Small Business Development Centers, (SBDCs), SCORE, and Women’s Business Centers (WBC’s), through expanded services provided by a $19 million funding package approved by Congress.
$5.8 million has already been made available to SBA’s resources partners in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy to immediately ramp up existing counseling and training services. Our partners play a critical role in fostering economic development in those areas hard-hit, and businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the services.
SBA resource partners can now apply for an additional $13.1 million to provide long-term small business recovery, expansion and rebuilding strategies through innovative collaborative approaches between state and local community-based partnerships. This new process for building local recovery frameworks will help to integrate local economic recovery efforts and improve efficiency of services.
SBA resource partners interested in leading the recovery efforts from the second phase of funding have until June 5, 2013 to respond to the related request for proposal, Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Program Announcement (# OED 2013-002), which is posted to Grants.gov.
So far $190 million dollars in government contacts have been awarded to small businesses involved in the Hurricane Sandy recovery. That means 28 percent of the federal contacting award dollars have gone to small businesses, with 17 percent of that total going to small businesses in New York and New Jersey.
About James Rivera:
James Rivera was named Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance in November 2009 after serving for several months as Acting Associate Administrator. In a typical year, his office approves about 20,000 loans totaling about $1 billion. This is the SBA’s sole direct lending program.