March 04, 2013
by Yanki Tshering
As the second-worst storm in U.S. history, Hurricane Sandy's impact on New York City was unprecedented and long lasting, especially for the many small businesses that are the backbone of the city's economy.
The effects of wind, flooding, lack of power, paralyzed public transit, and damaged communication networks lasted weeks if not months, presenting insurmountable challenges for many of our clients.
In addition to sharing special government relief programs for small businesses, BCNA was able to respond quickly with 41 small loans of between $1,000 and $5,000 for a total of $161,000. Most served to provide for immediate cash flow, inventory replacement, and payroll needs. Between these loans and the additional urgent credit needs of our clients, BCNA made a total of 97 loans for $597,600 during the period of October to December of 2012, a 100% increase from last year. Of the 10 clients that BCNA staff referred to NYBDC for disaster loans, 3 were approved for loans of $25,000 each and we are still helping clients to qualify for grants.
While some of our businesses are still suffering -- many food vendors near the south seaport area have lost their locations due to construction, for instance -- some like Marina Novoprutskaya of White Poodle (seen at right and above) are already back in business.
We want to thank our board members, clients, and supporters for their contributions to our annual appeal. We also want to highlight that the funds we lent out were a combination of loan funds we received through ongoing support from Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the CDFI Funds at the US Department of Treasury, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloan Program,. We also receive grant funding from Citi Community Development, Citi Foundation, Capital One, and Empire State Development Corporation.
Thank you to all of you for your generosity and leadership in helping us support New York City's smallest businesses in the wake of one of its largest storms.