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Hurricane Sandy: Fee Relief for Business Recovery

To help New York City businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy, a new local law waives and refunds various City fees required for rebuilding, recovery and operation of businesses.

How long will fee refunds and waivers be provided? Refunds are available until May 31, 2013. For new applications, a business must apply for a fee waiver by October 31, 2013 and may have fees waived until December 31, 2013.

Who is eligible to receive a fee waiver or a refund? A business may be eligible to receive a fee waiver if:
1) The business was open and operating on or prior to Hurricane Sandy (October 26, 2012).
2) The business is:
a. A City-licensed or permitted vehicle rendered inoperable as a result of Hurricane Sandy, OR
b. Located in space within a building:

How does a business owner apply for a waiver or a refund? Business owners must apply to the Restoration Business Acceleration Team (RBAT) for certification of eligibility for the waiver or a refund. The application is available here.

Complete this application and return it to RBAT:
By Email: sandyrelief@nbat.nyc.gov
By Fax Number: (212) 312-1015
Mail or In Person:Restoration Business Acceleration Team (RBAT)
100 Gold Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10038

SBA Extends Deadline to April 13, 2013 for Hurricane Sandy Survivors in New York

ATLANTA – The U. S. Small Business Administration has extended the deadline for Hurricane Sandy survivors in New York to return applications for physical damage to April 13, 2013.

Survivors are encouraged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 and return completed applications to the SBA before the deadline. Homeowners and renters unable to obtain an SBA low-interest disaster loan may be referred to FEMA for grant consideration.

SBA's Customer Service Representatives are available at the recovery centers located throughout the area to provide one-on-one assistance to survivors in completing their applications.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Additional details on the locations of Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is April 13, 2013. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 31, 2013.

Deadline Extended to February 27, 2013 for application of an SBA disaster loan

Incident: Hurricane Sandy - Occurring:
October 27, through November 8, 2012

For the Counties of Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester; and for Economic Injury Only the contiguous counties of Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess and Greene in the State of New York; contiguous county of Fairfield in the State of Connecticut; contiguous counties of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Sussex in the State of New Jersey; and contiguous counties of Pike and Wayne in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Click here to

The U.S. Small Business Administration and FEMA are Here to Help after Superstorm Sandy

Attention Brooklyn-area Chambers of Commerce:
Please distribute this information to your members affected by Hurricane Sandy.

In the effort to keep New York thriving after Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing low-interest disaster recovery loans to homeowners, renters, business and private non-profits of any size to rebuild their lives. The bottom line is we are here to help.

· Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000.00 for physical property damage at rates as low as 1.688%
· Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000.00 for personal property including automobiles at rates as low as 1.688%
· Businesses and private non-profits (churches, care facilities, etc.) for physical damages and economic injury can borrow up to $2,000,000.00 at rates as low as 3% for private non-profits and 4% for businesses
· Applications are available online at www.sba.gov

To begin the process for disaster assistance please register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance grants at www.disasterassistance.gov or 1-800-621-FEMA (3326).

Afterwards, please apply with the U.S. Small Business Administration for the disaster assistance loans mentioned above at www.sba.gov or 1-800-659-2955.

Please see the attached documents for more information and visit www.disasterassistance.gov to find your nearest Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) or Business Recovery Center (BRC).

Thank you,
Andre R. Ledgister
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Small Business Administration

FREE Storage for Hurricane Sandy Victims

U-Haul Storage is currently offering a 30-days-free self-storage assistance program to victims of Superstorm Sandy.

In addition to the 30-days-free self-storage assistance being offered, people who need boxes can take advantage of the U-Haul Take a Box, Leave a Box Program. The program enables customers to return their reusable boxes and allows others to take them as needed - FREE.

For more information about the 30-days-free self-storage assistance program, please contact one the following U-Haul regional offices in New York:

U-Haul Company of Long Island
Holbrook, N.Y.
(631) 244-7924

U-Haul Company of Manhattan, Bronx
Bronx, N.Y.
(718) 562-8700

U-Haul Company of Lower Hudson Valley
Newburgh, N.Y.
(845) 565-8585

For more information or if you would like to pass this info along to colleagues, friends, and family outside of the New York area, please refer to the press release http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/u-haul-continues-to-offer-30-days-free-self-storage-and-u-box-pod-moving-and-self-storage-to-assist-hurricane-sandy-victims-176480911.html;

Governor Cuomo Announces Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to Provide Assistance for Businesses Affected by Sandy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) and the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) have agreed to establish a $10 million small business emergency loan fund to provide immediate financial assistance for businesses impacted by Storm Sandy. Under the fund, businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to $25,000 immediately by going to www.esd.ny.gov or calling 1-855-NYS-SANDY.


As the recovery from Hurricane Sandy continues, the Health Department urges New Yorkers to protect themselves from health and injury risks during cleanup. While Sandy has not caused problems with outdoor air quality, indoor dust, mold, fumes from temporary heating sources and the use of strong cleaning products can be irritating to the eyes, throat, and lungs. Dust can also be produced by repair and debris removal. In addition, debris removal and repair work can lead to injuries of various types. To help you and your family stay safe, the Health Department recommends the following:

Keep Yourself Protected
• Wear waterproof gloves and boots during cleanup. Remove and wash clothing when finished.
• Use a dust mask and safety glasses if cleaning will produce dust.
• Wash hands and face with soap and water before eating or drinking.

Safety Precautions
• Open windows and doors to ventilate as much as possible while cleaning to prevent irritation from dust and strong cleaning chemicals.
• Keep children and pets away from areas you are cleaning.
• Most surfaces and items can be cleaned effectively with soap or detergent and water.
• To disinfect materials and surfaces that came in contact with sewage, add one cup household bleach to two gallons water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
• If your belongings came in contact with fuel oil or other household chemicals, wash them thoroughly with detergent and water. Do not put contaminated clothing in a dryer until all oil is removed.

Preventing Mold
• Clean with soap and water. Do not use full strength bleach or mix bleach with other cleaning products. Use diluted bleach sparingly and only on areas that require disinfection.
• Dry out affected areas of the home as soon as possible. Open windows, use fans if available, and remove and discard porous building materials that got wet. Wallboard should be removed at least 6 inches above the watermark along with any insulation that soaked up water. Leave walls open until they dry out to prevent sealing in moisture.
• Exteriors of homes seriously affected by flooding need to be assessed for water damage as well; siding should be removed to check for damage, and to assist with full drying.
• Walls, siding, tiling and other materials should not be reinstalled until all building materials are fully dry, cleaned and, if necessary, disinfected.
• For more information on preventing mold, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/epi/mold.shtml.

Handling Debris
Wear heavy duty work gloves, boots, long sleeve shirts and jeans or work pants. Clear pathways for carrying out debris.
Residents working on cleanup projects should check to make sure they have been immunized for tetanus within the last 10 years, and obtain a tetanus booster if they have not. If a person is unsure about the date of their last tetanus shot, they should receive the booster as well. The Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis) vaccine is preferred over Td, when available.


November 12, 2012
No. 418

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today signed an emergency order to waive all Department of Buildings application and permit fees for repair work to buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy. To help New Yorkers affected by the storm, buildings with significant structural damage in need of demolition, alterations or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived and all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived for any building damaged by the storm until further notice. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Department of Buildings has been performing rapid assessment inspections of buildings damaged by the storm. Under this process, the agency has inspected approximately 80,000 buildings citywide and these inspected buildings and blocks have been tagged with green, yellow and red placards based on their condition.

To further help owners whose buildings were damaged by the storm, the Department of Buildings has created a series of guides and handouts on how homeowners can get back into their homes and helpful information for licensed professionals performing storm repair work. These guides and handouts along with more information on the fee waiver for damaged buildings can be found online at www.nyc.gov.

The City has also launched NYC Rapid Repairs, a new program to send teams of contractors and City inspectors into neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy and quickly and efficiently make necessary repairs to damaged homes. Under the typical FEMA process, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to arrange for and carry out the repair work, but this new system will allow repairs to happen more quickly and efficiently. Beginning Tuesday, homeowners can sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs on www.nyc.gov or by calling 311. Homeowners will need a FEMA ID number, which can be obtained by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

A copy of the Mayor's emergency order is available on www.nyc.gov
Contact: Marc La Vorgna / Kamran Mumtaz
(212) 788-2958
Tony Sclafani / Ryan FitzGibbon (Buildings)
(212) 566-3473

NY Job Opportunities Post Sandy FEMA is hiring

Clean up crews for NYC: FEMA is hiring $9.50/hr working in areas affected by the aftermath of Sandy. For more information contact Neighborhood Assistance Office 201-249-2490.


(900) Safety Site Inspectors stationed in every borough. Duties to include placing yellow safety tape around areas with downed trees ensuring that the public stay away from trees or downed lines. Candidates must have their own vehicle, clean driver's license and work boots. Shifts from 7AM – 7PM, and 7PM – 7AM paying $25 per hour. (Company will waive background checks).

Bi-Lingual Customer Service Reps (any language plus English) stationed in Brooklyn to answer and field incoming calls. $17 per hour. These positions are open to the public at large. Resume and cover letter required---please carefully proofread your letter and resume before submitting.

Email resumes or letter of interest to: dsullivan@winstonstaffing.com

$27M Federal Grant to Hire Workers to Clean Up Areas Impacted by Sandy & Disaster Unemployment Insurance

Governor Cuomo today announced that New York State has received $27.8 million in federal Disaster National Emergency Grant funds. "This federal grant will provide funds to hire much-needed extra workers to help clean up and recover communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and put unemployed New Yorkers back to work." To be eligible, workers must be unemployed as a result of Hurricane Sandy or unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits or other types of income support. Workers interested in this program should call 888.469.7365 or contact local Disaster Recovery Centers, Workforce1 Career Centers, or the Coalition.

Governor Cuomo also announced that federal disaster unemployment assistance is now available to all New Yorkers who lost their jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy. This assistance will supplement New York's existing unemployment insurance system and will expand eligibility to include individuals who might otherwise not be covered.

Anyone unemployed due to Hurricane Sandy is immediately eligible and can submit a claim to the Department of Labor. The criterion for collecting disaster assistance is broader than for collecting regular unemployment benefits:

Injured in the disaster and unable to work, whether the person is an employee or self-employed.
Workplace is damaged, or destroyed, or the person cannot work because of the disaster.
Transportation to work is not available because of the disaster.
Cannot get to work because must travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster.
Planned to begin working, but cannot because of the disaster.
Derived most of income from areas affected by the disaster, and business is closed or inoperable because of the disaster.

To apply for unemployment benefits or disaster unemployment assistance call 888.209.8124 to apply by December 3, 2012.


Dear Nationals and Friends,
The power and all communication lines have not yet been restored in the office building on 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038.

Updates will continue to be posted on this website and facebook. Please spread the word to other Trinidadians and Tobagonians who may not have power at this time or access to the internet.

Those nationals who have missed appointments for passport or other consular services will be contacted when the appointment can be re-scheduled. Please be patient as we work with the local authorities to get our office operational once more.

For emergency consular services please contact:
- Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington, D.C. at
e-mail: ttembwash@gmail.com or Tel- 202-204-0812 ext. 1009 or 1018
- Consulate General of Trinidad and Tobago in Miami at e-mail- consulate@ttcgmiami.com or Tel.- 305-374-2199 ext. 114 or 300/320

Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam
Consul General


Our thoughts are with everyone affected by Superstorm Sandy in the northeast, and particularly, New York and New Jersey. To help you rebuild and get back on track, we have put together a list of resources and contact information from various governmental agencies. If you are a small business owner that has suffered losses as a result of this storm, we encourage you to read on and contact these agencies for assistance. Of course, you can also contact us and we will be glad to assist you in any way we can. We are here to help you during this time of need.

Here are some resources for business owners who need help:

1. Low Interest Loans for disaster recovery: Both the SBA and the USDA provide low interest loans to business owners to help them repair and replace property and equipment that have been destroyed by the hurricane. Disaster assistance is available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) http://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-assistance

2. Economic Injury Disaster Loans: These loans are available for businesses that suffer "substantial economic injury." http://www.sba.gov/content/economic-injury-disaster-loans

3. Free Legal Services: There are free legal services available for your business through FEMA for areas the President declares a disaster to help provide you legal assistance with filing insurance claims, landlord issues, etc. Additional information on this can be found at: http://www.fema.gov/additional-assistance and http://www.disasterlegalaid.org/

4. Tax Relief: For areas that the government federally declares a disaster, business owners can apply for tax relief, which allows for expedited refunds or delayed tax filings. Additional information on these programs can be found at: http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Disaster-Assistance-and-Emergency-Relief-for-Individuals-and-Businesses-1

5. Online Questionnaire and Application for Assistance: Business owners can fill out an online questionnaire to see which types of assistance you qualify for, and fill in an online application by going to: http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

6. Instructions on Cleaning Up after a Hurricane: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided instructions on cleaning up your office after a hurricane, such as how to remove drywall, clean surfaces, etc. This can be found at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/cleanupwater.asp

New York Statewide Clergy Sandy Relief Effort Updates

God be praised!
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good and his mercies lasts forever. Amen. Praying that all is well with you, family, and those around you. I wanted to provide a quick update as to our progress and ways you can help.

Since last Wednesday prayer conference call with the New York Statewide clergy (not a group), we have decided a few important plans that have been carried out and are rolling nicely already. Last Thursday, we raised $381 at Rev. Denis Dillon's event and pledge to support families who lost so much in the storm. Over the weekend, your church was asked to raise a love offering that will go toward CUSH, Hurricane Relief Fund. If you did collect funds, please make your checks out to CUSH, earmarked Hurricane Relief Fund and send to Pastor Derrick Allen, CUSH, 1071 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225. If you any questions, please call 718-284-4375 if you would want to drop it off instead.

From last Wednesday to today, we've raised over $1000 and it is growing. A webpage have been set up for national donations last night and $100 in donations came in. If you would like to donate now please visit CUSH Relief Effort to help serve another 1000 meals this week. Please find creative ways to use this webpage to help us raise donations for our relief efforts.

Weekend Relief Update
• 2300 meals served
• 20 basement pumped
• Another 1000 meals to be served today & Wednesday (thanks to Times Square Church donation)

Supplies Needed
• Blankets, blankets blankets
• Hand/Feet Warmers
• Flashlights and batteries

Our drop off locations as of today will be the Christian Times Building on Atlantic Avenue and Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day, in East Flatbush. We are asking pastors to seek donation of blankets from your denomination headquarters relief centers. Have them deliver to you and then our teams will deliver to Far Rockaway and Breezy Point residents. Help can't wait, and we must move quickly. If your church is already helping, please report back to us, so we can document all the great work that the New York clergy is doing during this disaster and clean up effort.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach Pastor Gil 718-755-3418. Again, thanks for all you do.

Without gas, but still moving,
Pastor Gil
Sandy Disaster Assistance


Volunteers Coordinated by the City are Going Door to Door to Address Medical Needs of Those Remaining in Homes

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that mobile medical vans staffed with primary care providers who will be able to provide medical care and distribute commonly prescribed drugs are now at several of the City's Disaster Assistance Service Centers in the Rockaways and Coney Island, as well as two additional high-need locations in the Rockaways.
There is a particular need for pharmaceuticals in the Rockaways because of a limited number of pharmacies still open and able to fulfill prescriptions. Starting tomorrow, the medical vans will also be in Staten Island. Volunteers working through the City's volunteer operation, NYC Service, have been knocking on doors to check on and address the medical needs of those who remain in their homes, often without heat and power. In addition, the Human Resources Administration, along with FEMA search and rescue, have targeted our most high risk households and will continue this effort until power is restored. The Mayor also thanked sponsoring organizations Urban Health Plan, Acacia Health Network, Refuah Health Center and Children's Health Fund in collaboration with the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia Public Health.