In response to the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) is partnering with One Flushing Community Economic Development Center and Assemblyman-Elect Ron Kim to provide assistance to small businesses in accessing aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Center will be open Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM, to help applicants register for FEMA and SBA assistance in English, Chinese, and Korean.
The Center will assist small businesses and residents in registering for loans from FEMA and SBA. Problem areas covered by these loans will include: structural and property damage, replacement equipment, and operating costs such as meeting payroll. Other forms of assistance are also offered by FEMA and SBA. These include help formulating recovery plans, recruiting new staff, and taking steps to prepare for future emergencies.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many small business owners and residents continue to be unaware of the resources available to them. For many, language barriers and the complex application process are impediments to accessing this assistance.
Assemblyman-Elect Ron Kim said: “I’m extremely proud to collaborate with AAFE and One Flushing to make sure we deliver the necessary services in these dire times. My office has been dealing with a number of problems facing small businesses post-Hurricane Sandy and we need this type of coalition to make sure that we protect the interests of small businesses.”
AAFE Executive Director Chris Kui said: “AAFE understands that small businesses have also been devastated by the hurricane. It is these small businesses, which are the economic engines of the community, which we seek to assist. Small businesses often take the lead in providing the means for families to recover during these hard times. Since the hurricane, we’ve been approached by small business owners with challenges in completing the FEMA and SBA loan documents primarily because of linguistic barriers and general complexity. AAFE’s assistance will be critical for the long-term recovery and sustainability of these businesses.”
One Flushing Director John Choe said: “Hurricane Sandy exposed some of the limitations of government assistance programs for small businesses, especially in immigrant communities unfamiliar with federal bureaucracy. Our new program seeks to assist any New Yorker whose business was damaged during this natural disaster, regardless of language or background.”
Affected businesses should contact Xiang Siow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646-820-5163. The Center is located at 39-01 Main Street, Suite 509, in Flushing New York.
Check out our coverage on NY1:
Asian-American Groups Help Immigrant Entrepreneurs Affected By Sandy
By: Agnes Chung
NY1 VIDEO: The group Asian Americans For Equality is collaborating with One Flushing and Assembly-elect Ron Kim’s office to create an Emergency Help Center for small immigrant business owners affected by Sandy. Organizers say they have already given out over $1.5 million in loans to qualified businesses and have helped hundreds register for FEMA. To reach their center, call 1-212-964-2288.