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New NYS, Suffolk aid options for businesses hurt by Sandy

Two more options for business owners who may need financial aid in the wake of superstorm Sandy were unveiled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and by Suffolk development officials.

Cuomo announced Wednesday that the New York Bankers Association and the New York Business Development Corp. established a $10-million fund to make loans to small businesses in disaster areas, including Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Businesses with fewer than 100 employees that suffered damages can apply for 30- month loans of up to $25,000. The loans will be interest-free for the first six months, then charge 1 percent.

That interest rate compares to the 4 percent offered on federal disaster loans from the Small Business Administration. The SBA, however, can make loans as large as $2 million for up to 30-year terms.

To apply for a loan, business owners need to fill out a form at and wait to be contacted by New York's Empire State Development Corp. A 2011 tax return for the business is required. Once a completed application is received, loan funds will be disbursed within a week.

Meanwhile, the Suffolk Industrial Development Agency announced Tuesday night that local small businesses rebuilding after Sandy may be eligible for sales tax relief.

Businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees could be exempt from sales taxes on purchases of up to $100,000 worth of building materials and other equipment.

Applicants must fill out a form at to receive a letter of sales tax exemption from the Suffolk IDA, said executive director Anthony Manetta. Businesses should also call the IDA at 631-853- 4802 to check their eligibility.

The exemption will only be given to 200 businesses in Suffolk and issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Nassau IDA announced a similar exemption last Monday, granting businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees sales tax relief on up to $99,000 of rebuilding materials.

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