FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL INITIATIVES TO ASSIST QUEENS RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced two additional initiatives to help residents and small businesses in Northwest Queens recover from the power failure: certification to the United States Small Business Administration that Northwest Queens meets the threshold for federal assistance small business loans, and a request for a 20-day extension from the State and Federal government so that eligible residents can get new food stamps to replace those they already used to purchase food that later spoiled in the blackout.
“New York City took every step possible to keep Northwest Queens safe during the power outage of the last week,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our first step after power was restored was to help affected businesses and residents through new City programs and initiatives. Now it’s time for the next step with help for small businesses from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and help for recipients of food stamps from State and Federal public assistance officials.”
Mayor Bloomberg today asked Governor George E. Pataki to certify to the U.S. Small Business Administration that businesses in Queens impacted by the power failure qualify for Federal assistance available for small businesses, including low interest loans. This Federal small business assistance will be available to supplement the emergency loan program announced on Wednesday by Mayor Bloomberg – a $10,000 low-interest loan program developed by the Department of Small Business Services, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Seedco Financial Services. According to Federal guidelines, a local government must certify in detail that a threshold number of affected businesses have sustained documented economic loss before U.S. Small Business Administration aid can be extended to small businesses in the area. New York City officials completed their collection of detailed information yesterday, which now allows Governor Pataki to request Federal help for affected businesses in Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Long Island City, Hunters Point, and adjoining neighborhoods that sustained economic losses due to the power outages.
Mayor Bloomberg also announced today that his administration is seeking a 20 day extension from the State and Federal officials so food stamp recipients in Northwest Queens can apply for replacement food stamps if they used their original food stamps to purchase food that later spoiled during the week long power failure. According to Federal guidelines, without the waiver residents will have until August 4th to apply. Mayor Bloomberg wants to give residents until August 25th.Residents can request replacement food stamps at their food stamp office or job center, or can apply for food stamps at any of the 27 food stamp offices throughout New York City. To learn the location of these centers call 311 or the HRA Infoline at 877-472-8411.
Stu Loeser / Paul Elliott (212) 788-2958