Low-Interest Loans Were Made Available to More than 500 Home and Business Owners Impacted by Winter Storm Elliott in Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara and Wyoming Counties
Total of $15.8 Million in Federal Assistance Builds on Presidential Major Disaster Declaration Secured by Governor Hochul to Help New Yorkers Impacted by Devastating Storm
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration provided more than $15 million in low-interest loans to New Yorkers impacted by Winter Storm Elliott in December 2022. Eligible home and business owners in Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara and Wyoming counties were able to apply for federal assistance in the form of SBA loans after the storm devastated most of the Western New York region with sustained blizzard conditions, strong winds, and extreme wind chill. The low-interest loans include $13.5 million for residents, nearly $2 million for businesses, and more than $700,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans aiding a total of 531 businesses and homes.
“Western New Yorkers are some of the most resilient people I know, but this storm was devastating by every definition,” Governor Hochul said. “My thanks go out to President Biden and the Small Business Administration for offering this much-needed assistance to help New Yorkers get back on their feet, rebuild and recover from this historic storm.”
Following emergencies or weather-related disasters, SBA loans are often made available when eligible homeowners, renters, businesses, and others need financial support. Following Winter Storm Elliott in December 2022, staff from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and Erie County conducted a thorough assessment of the damages related to this storm, which unlocked SBA assistance. DHSES worked with Erie County and the SBA to open two physical locations for Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to help New Yorkers apply in-person for assistance.
Groups eligible for the low-interest disaster loans included:
- Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair their primary residence
- Homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property
- Business owners: up to $2,000,000 for the replacement of real property, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses
- Businesses and non-profits: Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2,000,000 to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster
New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "Last December, Western New York was forced to endure a historic blizzard which devastated communities throughout the region. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Hochul and our federal partners, New Yorkers have been able to access nearly $16 million in low-interest loans that have played an essential role in helping residents and businesses recover.”
Senator Chuck E. Schumer said, “Winter Storm Elliott was a once-in-a-generation storm, bringing extremely dangerous conditions, severe damage to infrastructure, and mass power outages to Buffalo and communities across New York. That is why I fought non-stop to ensure that New York’s emergency declaration request was approved by President Biden to bring urgently needed federal assistance to the state, and why I’m proud that the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided more than $15 million in low-interest loans to New Yorker small businesses and residents impacted by the storm. I applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to providing Western NY and communities across the state hit by Winter Storm Elliott with the relief they need, and I will keep fighting to ensure that all New Yorkers impacted by this tragic storm have the resources they need to rebuild and recover.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Winter Storm Elliott was a devastating blizzard that affected thousands across Western New York. Following our advocacy to the Biden administration, I am proud that the Small Business Administration provided more than $15 million in federal funding to help residents and businesses in Western New York rebuild. I will continue to fight for communities impacted by the storm to ensure they receive the funding and resources they need to rebuild and recover.”
Representative Brian Higgins said, “Winter Storm Elliott devastated families, homes, and businesses across the Western New York community. Damage assessments and recovery efforts took weeks and months, and today our community continues to mourn the lives lost during this once in a generation storm. Support from the U.S. Small Business Administration built on the disaster relief funds provided by FEMA, allowing Western New Yorkers in greatest need to access the financial resources needed to address the storm damage impacting their homes and livelihoods. Thanks to these localized federal efforts our community has been able to focus on rebuilding, recovering, and healing together.”
Representative Nick Langworthy said, Winter Storm Elliott had deadly and devastating consequences for Western New York – I’m proud to work with federal and state authorities to ensure the hardest-hit communities have the resources they need to recover and thrive. This funding is a continuation of our unwavering commitment to ensuring that families and small businesses emerge from this once-in-a-century storm stronger than ever.”
U.S. Small Business Administration Director of Field Operations East Kem Fleming said, “Small businesses that suffered economic losses as a result of the disaster and want to apply for low-interest loans from the SBA are urged to do so before the Nov. 27 deadline.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, “Over 500 home- and business owners received much-needed financial assistance from the Small Business Administration following the deadly and destructive Christmas Blizzard, which was declared a Major Disaster by President Biden. I thank him for making that declaration and enabling this funding, and I thank Governor Hochul for her advocacy in getting this done.”
Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, “The historic December Blizzard had significant economic impacts on our community. As we continue to recover and plan for the upcoming winter season, it is critical that our community receives the necessary resources. I applaud Governor Hochul for working with the Biden Administration to bring relief to the businesses who need it the most.”
The SBA loan program builds on federal assistance already approved through a Major Disaster Declaration, announced by Governor Hochul in March, to provide federal assistance to communities impacted by the late December winter storm.
Under the Declaration, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, St. Lawrence, and Suffolk counties were designated eligible for the federal Public Assistance Program, which provides funding to support the restoration of publicly owned infrastructure. The declaration also provided federal reimbursement for snow removal operations in Erie and Niagara counties and, under FEMA’s Individual Assistance program, funeral assistance to those impacted in Erie and Niagara counties where 47 New Yorkers tragically lost their lives.
DHSES’ Disaster Recovery Office worked directly with counterparts at FEMA and impacted local governments to assess damages caused by, and costs related to, the disaster to obtain the Major Disaster Declaration.
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, find DHSES on Facebook, on Twitter or visit dhses.ny.gov.