Federal, State and Other Resources for Communities Impacted by Superstorm Sandy
It has been extremely difficult for communities in the path of Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall near Atlantic City in the U.S. on Monday, October 29, 2012. The superstorm has had devastating impacts along the East Coast, affecting around 24 states. According to CNN, the storm has claimed the lives of over 250 people in seven countries and over 8 million people lost power at the height of the storm. States and local communities are looking at over $60 billions of dollars in terms of economic damage in the U.S. alone. President Obama is taking an “all hands on deck” approach by committing FEMA and other federal agency personnel to assist impacted states and communities in response and recovery efforts.
Key Federal Agencies for Economic Recovery After a Disaster
To assist Sandy-impacted communities, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has developed a list of key federal agencies that economic development organizations (EDO) and chambers of commerce should consider for disaster recovery resources. Links to specific disaster programs, contact information, and Hurricane Sandy updates are included below.
U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund – Contact Info
Other Helpful Agencies for Disaster Recovery
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) – Contact Info
State-by-State Recovery Resources
- State of Connecticut: The Storm Sandy News and Information page has news updates and a PDF download with instructions for how Connecticut business owners can apply for disaster relief assistance as well as other general recovery information. This information includes links to volunteer organizations, insurance resources, utility information, and more.
- New Jersey Economic Development Authority: NJ EDA’s Hurricane Sandy Information page features links to financial resources for business recovery, the New Jersey Business Action Center, FEMA, and a hotline for gas stations to report service delivery problems.
- State of New Jersey Business Portal: NJ Business Portal acts as a one-stop shop for businesses and recovery assistance from Hurricane Sandy with a multitude of resources including a business recovery checklist.
- New Jersey Chamber of Commerce: Features a comprehensive page to keep businesses up to date on recovery with resources and information in the wake of Sandy.
- New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP): NJMEP statewide hurricane sandy business recovery assistance page features links to resources for all sizes of manufactures and for general business assistance.
- New Jersey Economic Recovery Support Function: The EDA is working to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. Emailing NJEconomicRSF as a municipality or county you can express any issues or needs with recovery in which EDA will try to coordinate a resolution. In addition a municipality or county can email NJEconomicRSF@gmail.com to invite a team to complete an early impact assessment. Part of this assessment includes a roundtable discussion with stakeholders to learn the needs of the area and share resources to enable economic recovery.
- Empire State Development: While many of ESD’s business assistance programs are still in the formative stage, their Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief for Businesses page offers business owners the opportunity to submit a “Hurricane Sandy Business Information Form” if they would like to be contacted once the programs are operational. The site also offers resources regarding business counseling services, available loans and work space arrangements, tax and regulatory relief initiatives, and unemployment.
- New York City Economic Development Corporation: This Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery Information site offers program descriptions and contact information for low-interest loans; sales tax waivers for rebuilding materials and equipment; temporary free space, supplies, and services; federal programs; and a submission form for businesses that would like to assist with space, supplies, or services during recovery.
- City of New York Department of Small Business Services (NYC Small Business Solutions): The Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery Information page offers strategies for mitigating business interruption as well as programmatic and contact information for financial assistance, temporary office space, and employment resources.
- New $5.5 Million Matching Grant Program For NYC Small Businesses (11/24/12): Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement on Nov. 24, 2012 is for a new program funded by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Partnership for New York City. The new funding will be providing grant money to supplement the city’s existing low-interest loan program. Applications can be filled out here.
- New York City Business Fee Relief: To help New York City businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy, a new local law waives and refunds various City fees required for rebuilding, recovery and operation of businesses. Application available here.
Other Useful Resources
- American Chamber of Commerce Executives(ACCE): The ACCE blog, Chambers for Chambers,connects chambers needing help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy with chambers willing to assist a member facing disaster.
- HUD Secretary Donovan to coordinate federal support to governors, mayors and local officials in New York and New Jersey to help the states design and implement post-hurricane redevelopment plans.
- President Obama on December 7th, 2012 established the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, chaired by Secretary Shaun Donovan, to help ensure the Federal government provides appropriate resources to support affected State, local, and tribal communities’ rebuilding goals. The Administration requested $60.4 billion from Congress in Federal resources for response, recovery and mitigation related to Hurricane Sandy damage.
Download Useful Disaster Recovery Guidebook (Compliments of U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s office)
The Office of U.S. Senator Kristen E. Gillibrand of New York has developed a guidebook, which outlines disaster assistance programs across the federal government as well as resources for the state of New York. For more information about the recovery process, please visit Senator Gillibrand’s website.
Download CSR Report: Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations
The Congressional Research Services (CSR) released a report in April 2011 on how Congress has appropriated roughly $292 billion for disaster assistance in 35 appropriations acts, primarily supplemental appropriations acts after significant catastrophes occurred in the United States.
Watch MSNBC’s Your Business Clip: Recovering from Natural Disasters
In this video clip, Karen Mills, the head of the Small Business Administration; Gerald McSwiggan, senior manager of disaster assistance for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Robert Walsh, the commissioner of New York’s Department of Small Business Services, talk about how small businesses can find the help they need to recover.
Watch Stories of Local Business Recovering
Stories of NYC business owners, their fortitude in moving forward after Sandy, getting back on their feet – the grit and determination that make New Yorkers uniquely New Yorkers.