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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?
A business must apply for a fee waiver by October 31, 2013 and may have fees waived until December 31, 2013.  As of June 1, 2013, refunds are no longer available.

Who is eligible to receive a fee waiver?
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:
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Brooklyn Queens Waterfront Red Hook Sunset Park Impact BRZ Map
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Southeast Queens Howard Beach BRZ Map
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Staten Island Tottenville BRZ Map 
  • inspected by the Department of Buildings during the Department’s structural damage assessment and for which a red, yellow or green plaque was issued. 

3) The business:

a. currently occupies or intends to re-occupy space in the same building that it occupied prior to Hurricane Sandy; OR
b. has relocated or is relocating to space within the same Business Recovery Zone; OR
c. intends to replace a City-licensed or permitted vehicle rendered inoperable as a result of Hurricane Sandy. 

Note: A building is not considered a business for the purpose of this program. 

Which fees will be waived?
The City will waive fees related to repair and reconstruction of space occupied or to be occupied by the business. Fees will be waived for the alteration or repair of systems serving only the business space and that are owned by the business. 

City agencies participating in the fee waiver program and some of the fees that may be waived:

  • Department of Buildings
    Application, permit and inspection fees for plumbing, scaffolds, sidewalk sheds, fences, signs, boilers, demolition, elevators, construction, limited alteration application and after hours variances
  • Department of Consumer Affairs
    Special Sales License, Tow Truck Replacement Inspection, Pedicab Inspection

  • Fire Department
    Inspection and testing of liquid motor fuel dispensing system installations; acceptance testing of fire protection systems, including fire alarm systems, fire extinguishing systems and fire pumps; review of design and installation documents for liquid motor fuel dispensing systems and fire protection systems.

  • Department of Environmental Protection
    Asbestos Review Tracking System, Boiler Registration, Certificate of Operation, Demolition Registration, Registration to Operate a Portable Generator, Gasoline Dispensing Sites, Spray Painting Requirements

  • Landmarks Preservation Commission
    Certificate of appropriateness and certificate of no effect.

  • Department of Small Business Services
    Waterfront construction work, equipment use permit, mooring permit, fill work permit and certificate of completion.
  • Department of Transportation
    Street opening permits, building operations and construction activity permit, debris container, sidewalk construction permit, vault permit and canopy permit.

  • Taxi and Limousine Commission
    Replacement vehicle license plates, replacement medallions, transfer of vehicle licenses and for-hire vehicle inspections

How does a business owner apply for a waiver?
Business owners must apply to the Restoration Business Acceleration Team (RBAT) for certification of eligibility for the waiver. 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)
         110 William Street, 2nd Floor
         New York, NY 10038

If you are eligible for the fee waiver, RBAT will return your certification to you in the manner requested. You can use this form to have your fees waived at each agency.

Can a business owner receive a refund of fees already paid?
As of June 1, 2013, refunds are no longer available. 

Questions? Need other assistance with rebuilding? Contact RBAT by calling (212) 788-6722.