Resources to Help NYC’s Businesses Recover from Hurricane Sandy

Dear Friend:

As New York City begins its recovery from Hurricane Sandy, business owners face daunting challenges. They need to know what programs are available to help them recover from the effects of the storm.

Here are some key sources of assistance that are coordinated by the New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation:

  1. For small to mid-sized businesses that are facing business interruption, NYC Business Emergency Loans will be available, with loans capped at $10,000. For information, click on this link or call 311.
  2. For businesses facing displacement, the City is making short-term “swing” office space available at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, free of charge for 30 days. EDC has about 40,000 square feet of space at the Terminal that is now available for this use. Learn more.
  3. For businesses requiring other emergency assistance the SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit is available to help impacted small businesses. Learn more.
  4. For mid-to-large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding, an emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is available to allow businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at smitsugi@nycedc.com for information.

In addition, the following Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery are available:

  1. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides loans for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance, and for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster. To learn more contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362.
  2. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed following a Presidential-declared disaster (such as Hurricane Sandy), and whose losses are not covered by insurance. To learn more, contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955.

Further information about these programs and others is available in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Guide to Disaster Assistance and Relief Funding and Senator Charles Schumer’s Hurricane Sandy recovery website.

Sincerely,

Scott M. Stringer,
Manhattan Borough President

CB1 Update

Here is a repost of the email update from Community Board 1:

CB1 Update:

The office does not have power and we continue to work remotely. Power should be restored over the weekend once Con Ed gets back online at 14th Street. Please direct inquiries to man01@cb.nyc.gov or to Evan Lacher, Community Liaison, at elacher@cb.nyc.gov.

All CB1 meetings and events have been postponed for the week, including The Planning, Seaport/Civic Center, Waterfront, Landmarks Committees and Arts & Entertainment Task Force meeting that was scheduled for today.

Next Week Committee Schedule:

Changes to CB1 Calendar for next week will be sent out tomorrow.

Electricity Update:

Southbridge Towers now has power. Battery Park City has power excluding 400 Gateway Plaza and the Ritz. Power has been restored to most of the Financial District west of Broadway.

Click here for an update provided by Con Ed: http://www.coned.com/newsroom/news/pr20121101.asp

MTA update:

LIRR and Metro-North Railroad are partially opened. Subways are open with limited service. There is no subway service below 34th street in Manhattan. Trains running with partial service are 1, 2, 4/5, 6, Shuttle, A, D, F, J, L, M, N and R. Trains not running are 3, 7, B, C, E, G and Q. A ‘bus bridge’ connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. MTA expects to add service each day. Three of the seven East River subway tunnels have been pumped and are free of water.

Click here for updated MTA subway map: http://www.mta.info/sites/default/files/pdf/HurricaneRecoveryMapOct312012.pdf

Water:

Tap water is safe to drink, reports the Mayor

Department of Environmental Protection update: “Due to flooding and power related shutdowns caused by Hurricane Sandy, wastewater treatment plants and pumping stations have discharged untreated wastewater into New York City waterways. The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene advises that direct contact with the Hudson River, East River, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay and the Kill Van Kull for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, or any other water activity that would entail possible direct contact with the water should be avoided until further notice.”

Public Schools

City Public Schools remain closed for the remainder of the week. Teachers and administrators are to report on Friday, if possible.

Battery Park City Update:

BPC updates are being provided on the Battery Park City Block Party website. See link:http://www.bpcblockparty.com/

Downtown Alliance Update:

http://www.downtownny.com/node/13580?origin=2012-10-29&mini=calendar%2F2012-10

State Senator Daniel Squadron has set up a useful blog with helpful information:

http://www.nysenate.gov/blogs/2012/oct/30/sandys-aftermath-what-expect

NYC Service

There will be various ways to volunteer to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – Want to Volunteer? Please email nycservice@cityhall.nyc.gov with your name, email address and borough. There will be ways to volunteer today and over the next week as opportunities arise.

Additional ways you can get involved in the recovery process:

The Red Cross expects this to be a large and costly relief response across several states, one that continues for several days, and they need your help now as they work on opening up and maintaining many shelters for those who were forced to evacuate their homes. So donate to or volunteer for the Red Cross.

There are a few recovery organizing sites that allow people to offer/request assistance, and are coordinated by the folks at Occupy NYC and community organizations on the ground including Lower East Side Recovers and Astoria RecoversRed Hook Recovers and Staten Island Recovers.

You can sign up to volunteer at the NYC Public Advocate’s Office.

Craig Newmark of Craigslist and CraigConnects is matching the next $25K in donations to help Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and United Airlines Foundation will contribute upto $50,000 to match donations to the American Red Cross, Feeding America or AmeriCares.

You can also donate blood via the NY Blood Center.

And the NY Tech Meetup and New Work City are organizing volunteers with technology skills to help with relief efforts and help New York-area businesses and organizations get their technology back up and running after Hurricane Sandy. Here is the signup form.

Sandy Update – 11/01/12

According to the 600 doorman, electricians are working in the 400 building today, but no power yet.

Breakfast was set up for 400 residents in the 600 lobby this morning; dinner will be set up around 6pm tonite.

BPC resident Michelle L. Dozois posted a great update to BPC services yesterday on her blog; here is an excerpt:

In “Goldman Alley” (between Murray St and Vesey St):

Shake Shack: Re-opened this afternoon. Sign said they would stay open till 8ish.
Harry’s Italian: Opened at 5 today.
Vintry Wines: Open.
Battery Place Market: Open.
Beans & Greens: Open & taking credit cards.
Pick a Bagel: Was open this morning, mobbed.
Regal Battery Park Stadium: Open. (Enter on North End Ave.)

Around the corner:

Blue Smoke: Open.
North End Grill: Opened at 4 today.

World Financial Center:

Rite Aid: Open.
PJ Clarke’s: Open

Starbucks: Update: Open as of Thursday morning.
Financier Patisserie: Open.
Devon & Blakely: Open.

South End Ave:

Au Bon Pain: Open.
Cafe Express: Open.
Battery Park Pharmacy: Open.
Gristedes (315 S End): Open, taking credit and debit (and giving up to $20 cash back).
Bull & Bears Winery: Open.
Picasso Pizza: Open.
Hudson Produce: Open.
Benvenuti: Open.
Gristedes (71 S End): Open — though this one’s cash only.

Need a way to charge your phone in Lower Manhattan?

According to Gizmodo:

Duracell, that company you used to buy batteries from, is sending out two giant charging trucks, allowing you to power up your mobile devices and use free computer terminals if you’re still out of Wi-Fi. The company sent us the details:

Tomorrow, Nov. 1, the Duracell Power Forward Community Center will be in Battery Park. Right now they are setting up at Battery Place and Little West St. (map). Open hours as of now are 9am-6pm.

Post-Sandy Update – 10/31/12

Transportation: I received a question earlier about accessibility of BPC — yes, the West Side Highway is open and the streets here are all clear. The City has said the FDR is open, but the underpass coming from the FDR to West St. is completely underwater, so you would have to go around the Ferry and Bowling Green and come into BPC from the south.

400 Gateway: Roseanne from Gateway Management told me that they had workers go door-to-door in the building this afternoon to see who was there. Although the power is still off, they are going to try and pull power from another building (I was told) to get one elevator running. This may or may not work — I will post an update on Thurs. when I hear either way.

Food: We had a lot of food for the 400 building residents in the 600 lobby this evening, and gave out  water and batteries, in addition. On Thurs. at 8am, we will be setting up coffee and some breakfast food (muffins, croissants, etc.) in the 600 lobby; then we will be setting up dinner there again around 6pm — we have asked our neighbors to contribute food, so there should be more than enough for anyone from 400 who wants to share a meal.

Supplies:We gave out some water, as well as C and AA batteries this evening in the 600 lobby; we will continue to do so tomorrow morning and evening. Also, we will check with the doorman in 400 after 12pm to see if anyone has left a request for specific items they need, and hopefully can help you with.

Feel free to email me (Honey Berk) with any questions, and I’ll try and get you whatever answers I can.

Take care.

Post-Sandy Info for BPC Residents – 10/31/12

We are going to start posting info for BPC residents that need to know the status of the neighborhood post-Sandy — particularly residents of 400 Gateway Plaza, which is one of the only two buildings (the other being The Ritz and associated residences) that has no power.

A group of Gateway residents representing the BPC Neighbors Network, BPC Cares and BPC Cert met earlier today to make a plan to help the residents of 400 Gateway. The first step was to try and assess if there are people staying, or if most people have left to stay elsewhere. It seems as though, from the residents we spoke with in the lobby, that there are a lot of people staying for the duration.

First, we know this is a stressful situation but pls. try to keep calm. There are a lot of us who care and who are trying to advocate on your behalf and make sure your situation is secure and your needs are taken care of, so know that we’ve got your back!

Power: Last written update from Gateway Management stated that it could be 3-5 days before power returns to the 400 building.

Electronics Charging: There are power strips set up in the 600 building for cell phone and laptop charging. If you need something printed or some other tech need, pls. let us know.

Bathrooms: There are a number of vacant apartments in the 500 and 100 buildings that have been designated for resident use for toilets and showering. The most current list is posted in the 400/500 lobby.

Supplies: Volunteers have gone to Costco to pick up some water and other supplies, and we have asked other residents (with power) to donate their flashlights, batteries and candles. If you can donate, there are collection bags with the doorman in the 400/500 lobby. If there is something in particular you need, pls. leave a note with the doorman.

Food: If you would like a hot meal this evening, pls. join us for a pot luck supper in the lobby of the 600 building at 6pm (Weds., 10/31). If you live in a building with power, pls. bring food to share with your neighbors!

Stores: Both Gristede’s are open, as is Battery Place Market on Battery Pl., Bulls & Bears, Picasso Pizza, Inatesso. Gigino’s is delivering, according to a flier in the 600 lobby. Vince Smith hair salon is also open.

Pets: The Battery Park City Veterinary Hospital is open, though their phones don’t work. Just go down there if your pet needs any sort of medical attention. Le Pet Spa is also open.

Elderly/Disabled: We are concerned that there may be elderly or disabled residents who may need help, so if you know of anyone on your floor or in the building, pls. try and check on them, and let us know so we can make sure their situation is monitored.

Email us at info@bpcblockparty.com.