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Post-Sandy Help for Business Owners: Sunday Evening Update
 

Looking for assistance after Hurricane Sandy? Start here.

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As part of Inc.'s ongoing coverage of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, we are monitoring sources of useful information to business owners about business recovery services and resources in the New York area. 

Check back regularly for updates. What you're reading was updated at 7 pm Monday.

RECENT UPDATES

The Small Business Adminstration has set up a disaster recovery center at 900 Lafayette Avenue in Bridgeport, Conn. For more help available from the SBA, see below.

AT&T is offering charging and cell phone service at 16 locations in New York and New Jersey. Find them here.

Two FEMA centers will open tomorrow at 8am in New Jersey, one at Cape May Courthouse, the other at Drum Point Elementary School. Another center has opened at 11331 Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway, NY. More openings to come. In addition, FEMA is accepting financial aid applications from residents in the eight NJ counties hardest hit by Sandy: Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union

 The federal government is providing about 200 buses that will be used to take commuters from emergency park-and-ride locations in New Jersey to ferries in the Hoboken area, as well as directly into lower Manhattan.

Con Edison said approximately 156,800 customers were without electricity, out of an estimated 950,000 affected. That includes 3,500 in Manhattan, 40,800 in Queens, 22,800 in Brooklyn, 15,000 in Staten Island and 6,700 in the Bronx. You can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at www.conEd.com. You also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633)

In Westchester County, the company reported 68,000 customers out of service. Approximately 150,700 customers had their service restored.

Con Edison expects to have the vast majority of those impacted by the storm restored by the weekend.

The company also said it was focusing on steam restoration for the next few days. In addition:

  • The entire Fulton network should be completely restored by the end of today.
  • ConEdison’s weekend goal is to restore power to as many schools and voting places as possible.
  • Projection: Most customers will have power by November 11th.
  • ConEdison said that the Greeley network should be restored by the end of today.


Airbnb is waving its fee for hosts in Sandy-slammed areas. The company is also subtly encouraging discounts in affected areas by making it easy for hosts to lower their prices by 50%, making rooms with power and heat available to those who don't have either. Check out the latest update on the Airbnb blog.

Red Cross

Follow the organization’s tweets for updates on deliveries, hot meals, etc. https://twitter.com/RedCross.

 Here is its updated list of food spots in New York: 

http://newsroom.redcross.org/sandy-fixed-feeding-locations/

The organization reported this afternoon that all 320 of its emergency vehicles are on the road in affected areas. As they should be.

 NJ Transit

Conductors will honor the October monthly rail pass until Nov. 9. In addition:

  • Limited service restored on three rail lines: The Raritan Valley Line, Main/Port Jervis, and North Jersey Coast Line.
  • The Atlantic City Line is up and running on a full service schedule.
  • The Northeast Corridor trains are back, but with an altered schedule. See it here.
  • The 603 and 613 line are now running, along with the 34 and 177.

MTA

  • Both Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North will be operating Monday on close to normal schedules.
  • The number 1 train subway service will extend south to 14th Street
  • The 2 train will go from the Bronx to Flatbush Avenue and the 3 train will run from 148th Street to New Lots Avenue.
  • The L train should be restored next week.
  •  The A will still make local stops through Manhattan and Brooklyn for Monday’s rush hour. C train service has resumed between 145 Street Station and Euclid Avenue Station. E train service has resumed between Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer Station and World Trade Center Station.
  • D trains will operate between 205 Street Station (Bronx) and Bay Parkway Station. It will make local stops between 125 Street Station and 59 Street Station. The F train service has resumed service between 179 Street Station and Avenue X Station.
  • M trains are operating between 71 Avenue Station and Metropolitan Avenue Station.
  • The 7 train is now running in both directions  from the Times Square-42 Street Station to the Flushing-Main Street Station.

Time Warner Cable

The cable provider has set up wifi and charging stations at Seaview and Quincy Avenues and 837 Father Capodanno Blvd on hard-hit Staten Island. For the location of other relief stations, see @TWCable_NYC

OTHER GOOD ADVICE

Small Business Administration

The SBA has comprehensive disaster recovery services available for business owners and non-owners alike.

Renters and homeowners, a group that includes most sole proprietors, can borrow up to $40,000 for repairs and to replace things like appliances, furniture, automobiles, and clothing. People who own homes can apply for as much as $200,000 for repairs to their primary residences. 

Business owners, whether private or not-for-profit, whose organizations are damaged in a designated disaster area, can apply for loans for up to $2 million for real property, machinery, and other equipment, fixtures, and leasehold improvements. The loans can be used for both uninsured and underinsured damages. 

The interest rate on both loans, for businesses that can't find credit from other sources, won’t exceed 4% and repayment terms can last up to 30 years. For businesses that can obtain other credit, the percentage on the loans will not exceed 8%. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA offers a host of financial assistance for things like housing, repairs, medical and dental care, clothing, fuel, damages to vehicles, and moving and storage expenses related to the disaster. 

FEMA has a page devoted exclusively to information about Sandy and services in its aftermath, as well as a smartphone app to help locate shelters, and get dsaster safety tips and first-aid information. There is also a blog you can check for updates.

FEMA also has a number of other services, like crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance, legal, and tax services.  

New York State

Start with the department of homeland security and emergency management's site for general updates on the hurricane and statewide conditions.

New York City

Entrepreneurs in the Big Apple have access to comprehensive services through the NYC Small Business Services department.

Here you'll find information about local programs to help small businesses, including financial assistance and other storm-related help.

ConEdison

Power outages have left millions of ConEdison customers in the dark. Check here for updates about when power will be restored to your area.

MTA

Subway and bus system service has been massively interrupted. Check here for daily updates as service is restored.

Neighborhood Updates

On a very local level, check Facebook and Twitter for information about neighborhood-by-neighborhood initiatives. For example, this Facebook page has job openings related to the storm in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

If you're looking for places to recharge or to temporarily set up and work in the five boroughs, check out this crowdsourced map of locations to do so.

Meals

Looking for a warm meal? Letsordernow.com is offering free meals to anyone working in Long Island or Manhattan affected by the storm. If there is a restaurant open and serving in your area, simply email orders@letsordernow.com, mention the NYC Startup Mixers newsletter, and they will cover costs.

New Jersey

For general information about the state’s recovery efforts start with the state's official website.

Public Service Electric and Gas

If you are one of the millions of people without power in the Garden State, check the Public Service Electric and Gas for updates about power in your area.

New Jersey Transit

Check here for the latest on NJ trains and buses..

USA.gov

If you need general information about shelters, assistance, health, and safety you'll find it here. The site also has links to information about federal efforts toward power restoration.

Red Cross

You'll also find all kinds of useful information here about staying healthy and locating your loved ones displaced by the storm.

 

We at Inc. wish you a fast recovery. We know there will be a lot of work to do in the weeks and months ahead. Please feel free to email us suggestions for other post-Sandy resources that will help entrepreneurs.

Last updated: Nov 3, 2012

JEREMY QUITTNER is a staff writer for Inc. magazine and Inc.com. He previously covered technology for American Banker and entrepreneurship for BusinessWeek.
@JeremyQuittner




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