Two New York State business organizations have established a $10 million fund to aid small businesses still suffering from the devastation that superstorm Sandy left two weeks ago.
Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees will be able to apply for loans of up to $25,000. Business owners will pay no interest for the first six months and then one percent interest for the next two years.
That interest rate compares to the four percent offered on disaster loans at the federal level from the Small Business Administration. The SBA, however, can make loans as large as $2 million for up to 30 year terms.
“This loan program will help those businesses who were hit hardest by the storm get the resources they need to repair immediately,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a news release.
Businesses in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as those in Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester counties and the New York City boroughs, will be eligible for the loan. Those that apply must have filed a 2011 tax return and suffered direct damage or economic hardship because of Sandy.
Those interested in applying for the loan should fill out the business information form at www.esd.ny.gov/StormRecovery.asp. The Empire State Development Corp. will then contact business owners to go over and fill out the loan application together. Loan funds will be dispersed within a week of receiving the completed application.
The fund was established by the New York Bankers Association and the New York Business Development Corp., and the Empire State Development Corp. will manage and administer the loans.