March 5, 2013 – Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), the Partnership Fund for New York City (Partnership Fund), and local elected officials distributed grant checks to 27 local small businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy. This new program made $200,000 in grants available for New York City businesses South of Canal Street impacted by the storm. The grant program – paid for through the Partnership Fund – is administered by the Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, an affiliate of AAFE. The grants provide additional financial assistance for local businesses that received low-interest loans through Renaissance’s Emergency Loan Program. The Partnership Fund also announced an additional $100,000 grant that will be made available to this program.
“Superstorm Sandy had a disastrous impact on businesses and residents alike. Infrastructure is still being rebuilt and some employees are just now coming back to work,” said Maria Gotsch, President & CEO of the Partnership Fund. “Today, we are pleased distribute the first round of much-needed funds to some of our hardest hit New York businesses and to announce an additional $100,000 will be used for grants to businesses in Lower Manhattan that are still trying to recover.”
In November, the Partnership Fund joined the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to help fund a $5.5 million matching grant program for small businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Those funds, as well as the funds for today’s program, have been allocated from grants that were originally received from The September 11th Fund—created by The United Way of New York City and The New York Community Trust— in the aftermath of 9/11. Many of the original recipients were able to get back on their feet and repay their grants, replenishing the fund for the benefit of other small businesses in Lower Manhattan.
“Small businesses play a vital role in Lower Manhattan and across the city. We have a responsibility to make sure they get back on their feet as soon as possible,” said Christopher Kui, Executive Director of AAFE. “AAFE is appreciative to the Partnership Fund for providing additional funds that will go directly to local small businesses impacted by the storm south of Canal Street.”
Immediately after the storm hit, Renaissance announced an emergency loan fund for small business owners citywide. The fund provides loans up to $30,000 for small businesses that need immediate working capital for repairs, inventory replacement, and cash flow to stay in business. Loan checks were being cut as rapidly as two days after the disaster as emergency stop-gaps against longer FEMA and SBA turnaround times, and 160 businesses to date received $3.2 million from Renaissance. Clients have been coming from all over the City, particular Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.