New York-based small businesses that are recovering from Hurricane Sandy can now apply for up to $25,000 in loans through a new $10 million emergency loan program, according to a Wednesday announcement released by the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Recipients can use the funds to cover equipment and facility costs or as working capital, the release noted. Companies with fewer than 100 employees and located in the regions declared as disaster areas are eligible for the program, established by the New York Bankers Association and the New York Business Development Corporation.

For the first six months, the loans will be interest-free and payment-free. Then recipients will be charged 1% interest during the following two years.

“This loan program will help those businesses who were hit hardest by the storm get the resources they need to repair immediately, allowing them to continue to provide jobs to our communities and strength to our economy," Cuomo said.

To receive funding, companies must have filed 2011 business tax returns and have experienced direct damage or economic hardship due to Sandy. Applications will be available within the week and businesses will receive funding five to seven days after submitting the required documentation. 

Sandy-struck businesses can also seek help from the Small Business Administration, which offers disaster assistance programs and low-interest loans in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.