FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNOR SPITZER SEEK FEDERAL DECLARATION TO HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY NEW YORK CITY STEAM PIPE EXPLOSION
Governor Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the State has requested a Physical and Economic Injury Disaster declaration from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) for businesses in New York City that were adversely impacted by last Wednesday's steam pipe explosion in midtown Manhattan. If approved, aid would be available to repair or replace damaged property and inventory of affected businesses.
"Since last Wednesday's explosion our top priority has been the safety of emergency workers and others in the area of the steam pipe break, but we also need to be mindful of the economic disruptions this incident has caused," said Mayor Bloomberg. "A federal Physical and Economic Injury Disaster declaration would go a long way to help these affected businesses get back on their feet, and also complement our Department of Small Business Services' $10,000 interest-free emergency loan program. I thank Governor Spitzer and his staff for the quick turnaround and their help in continuing the impressive progress we have seen around the site since clean-up efforts began."
"Last week's explosion not only resulted in physical damage to the surrounding area, but economic damage as well," said Governor Spitzer. "More than one thousand local businesses bore the brunt of the initial damage and the resulting traffic freeze necessary to ensure the safety of New Yorkers in the affected area. The SBA assistance we have requested would go a long way to help those businesses recover. I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's effort to expedite the assessment of the damages suffered so that we could be in a stronger position to seek federal assistance. We remain committed to providing any and all assistance possible to restore the community's economic vitality."
The Governor formally requested SBA assistance after receiving a request from Mayor Bloomberg. According to federal guidelines, a local government must certify in detail that a threshold number of affected businesses have sustained documented economic loss before the SBA aid can be extended to small businesses in the area.
SBA's low-interest economic injury loans provide capital to eligible small businesses to help cover losses caused by a disaster or emergency such as last week's steam pipe blast. Such capital can help repair or replace damaged property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, and inventory.
Since last Wednesday, the State Emergency Management Office has been working with the Mayor's Office, the City Office of Emergency Management and the City Department of Small Business Services to document the economic loss caused by the initial explosion and by the resulting traffic freeze zone in midtown Manhattan.
The State and City agencies completed its collection of detailed information yesterday, which showed that at least ten businesses surveyed have had a gross revenue loss of 100 percent, when compared to the same period last year, and more than 1,000 businesses suffered severe economic damage.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Christine Anderson (Governor’s Office) (212) 681-4640