State announces $5 million in grants for small businesses hurt by flooding

Staff Reports Posted 24 May 2017 at 10:02 pm

Up to $20K for repairs to small businesses or replacement of damaged property

Provided photo: Captain’s Cove is shown flooded after the big downpour on May 1. The business’s docks and marina building have all been flooded by rain and a high Oak Orchard River.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced up to $5 million in grants available for small businesses that have experienced physical damage or loss as a result of the flooding in communities along Lake Ontario.

The program provides up to $20,000 to small businesses to support the repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed real property and other tangible assets, including equipment, furniture, fixtures, supplies and inventory. Funding will be provided through Empire State Development and applications will be made available in June.

Governor Cuomo also announced that DEC permitting offices and the state’s Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers will offer weekend hours throughout the summer to assist residents and businesses.

“We are doing everything in our power to help New Yorkers impacted by flooding,” Governor Cuomo said. “Small businesses are the backbone of communities across the state, and these grants will help businesses and residents rebuild and get back to their everyday lives. By offering weekend hours at our Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC permitting offices, we are also making it easy for impacted communities to access information and resources at their convenience.”

The grant program is open to eligible applicants in the counties identified in the Governor’s state of emergency declaration announced on May 2: Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wayne counties. Grants will be provided for flood-related costs that have not or will not be compensated by any other federal, state or local recovery program or any third-party payers.

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced $10 million in state funding will be available to assist eligible local municipalities that have been impacted by the recent flooding.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul meets with members of the National Guard during a visit in Kendall on May 11 when she also saw some of the shoreline erosion.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, “During my visits to the affected Lake Ontario communities over the past few weeks, I have seen the devastation to property as well as to the livelihoods of countless small businesses. This $5 million in small business grants will hopefully bring much needed relief to alleviate the damages and assist in recovering their losses. I was also proud to announce the $10 million Governor Cuomo provided to assist municipalities with infrastructure repairs. We are committed to continuing our ongoing support to the affected communities.”

To continue the state’s efforts in helping residents and businesses recover from flooding and damage, the NYS Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC permitting offices will offer weekend hours throughout the summer, starting Memorial Day weekend.

In addition, those who are not able to visit the Emergency Response Mobile Command Center can call the Lake Ontario Flood Assistance Hotline at  1-866-244-3839, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. for help with insurance-related issues, assistance with flood mitigation measures such as sandbags, and for technical guidance regarding on-site repairs to their property.

The NYS Emergency Response Mobile Command Center will be back on Orleans County this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Carlton at the Orleans County Marine Park, Point Breeze Road (Route 98).

As part of the Lake Ontario Rapid Response Team, DEC staff will be available at the Mobile Command Centers to help answer questions in addition to deploying a team of experienced coastal engineers to Lake Ontario to meet with property owners, conduct site visits and offer technical assistance. DEC’s engineers stand ready to work with property owners so that protective structures can be repaired and homeowners can take appropriate actions expeditiously. To date, DEC has issued 286 permits.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, was pleased to see the state make grants and resources available to businesses hurt by the flooding and erosion.

“While thousands of residents have been affected by this terrible flooding and weather as of late, we mustn’t forget our local campground, marina and yacht club owners who will struggle to survive this summer,” Hawley said. “These businesses rely on tourism and traffic as their lifeblood during the warmer months, and helping them repair and recover is one of my top priorities. I look forward to helping business owners access these funds when applications become available and I encourage them to contact my office with questions and concerns.”

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