U.S. Small Business Administration Makes Loans Available to Help New Yorkers Recover from March 26 Disaster
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted his request for a Physical Disaster Declaration for New York County and the contiguous counties of Bronx, Kings, and Queens following the March 26, 2015 explosion and subsequent fire at 121 Second Avenue in Manhattan’s East Village. The blast killed two people and injured several others. As a result, individuals and businesses affected by the fire may be eligible for low-interest small business loans to replace real estate, personal property, and other losses. Governor Cuomo requested that these loans be made available in a letter to the SBA on April 22.
“The East Village explosion was a terrible tragedy – one that cut short the lives of two young men and disrupted the lives of many other New Yorkers – but today we are continuing to recover and build back stronger,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage anyone who was impacted by this explosion to visit the Disaster Loan Outreach Center and seek whatever help they need.”
SBA loans are often helpful when eligible homeowners, renters, businesses, and others need financial support following emergencies or weather-related disasters. A damage assessment performed by the SBA and New York City Emergency Management found that 20 homes and five businesses sustained major damage, in addition to nine homes and 16 businesses affected by minor damage. In the case of the East Village explosion and fire, the following groups may be eligible for help from SBA loans for the following:
- Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate
- Homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property
- Business owners: up to $2 million for the replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses
- Businesses and non-profits: Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster
The SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) at the Community Board 3 District Office located at 59 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003. Representatives from SBA will be available to assist with the application process. The DLOC will be open from Tuesday, May 5 until Thursday, May 14, 2015. Weekday hours will be 9:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m., and hours on Saturday, May 9 will be 9:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. The DLOC will be closed on Sunday, May 10. The DLOC does not take appointments and operates on a walk-in basis only.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “The March explosion in the East Village robbed two New Yorkers of their lives and devastated dozens of people who lived and worked in the area not only tore down buildings, but an entire community. It is important for survivors to know what help is available to them as they work to rebuild their lives, and I hope they will take advantage of this opportunity for assistance that Governor Cuomo and the SBA have made possible.”
"Although nothing can undo the damage done by the March 26 explosion, these funds from the Small Business Administration can help," said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, who represents the 12th Congressional District, which includes the East Village blast site. "Individuals and businesses affected by the explosion and fire will now be eligible for low-interest small business loans to help with the recovery. I have worked for years to bolster the Small Business Administration's loan program, and I applaud Governor Cuomo for working to put it to good use."
“Whether it’s a tragic explosion or a natural disaster, it is government’s responsibility to step in and help residents, businesses, and communities recover, rebuild, and move forward,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I thank Governor Cuomo and the Small Business Administration for acting quickly to make this loan assistance available to individuals and businesses who suffered losses in the East Village blast.”
Interest rates can be as low as 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for non-profit organizations, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
Individuals and businesses may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Individuals and businesses may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 29, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is January 28, 2016.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.