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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 9, 2006


CITY DROPS INTEREST ON EMERGENCY LOAN PROGRAM FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY THE QUEENS POWER OUTAGE TO ZERO PERCENT

Beginning today, the City – through the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) – is dropping interest to zero percent (0%) on the emergency loan program announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg two weeks ago. Other terms of the loan program remain unchanged. All businesses that have already had their loan applications accepted through this program will also have their terms adjusted to reflect the 0% interest.

“We are determined to continue to do everything we possibly can to assist small businesses in the affected communities, and to make it as easy as possible for businesses to get back on their feet,” said SBS Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. “Making these loans available at no interest is another step in this process. We will also continue to go door-to-door to affected businesses to make sure they have all the support they need.”

Loans are available for the amount of lost revenue up to $10,000 to qualified businesses and not-for-profit organizations. The loans have a two-year term, and the program employs a simplified and expedited application process, including a three day turn-around from the time an application is completed to decision.

“Our goal is to help businesses recover from the recent blackout as quickly as possible, and, with our partners at SBS, we will continue to assess their needs and look for things we can do to help,” said Interim EDC President Joshua J. Sirefman. “I’m pleased we were able to find a way to make the emergency loan program even more useful to companies by dropping the interest to zero percent.”

To qualify for a loan, businesses must be located in the affected areas of Northwest Queens and must have lost power during the recent outage. Business owners must complete an application and provide copies of both their 2005 tax return and one utility bill (not-for-profit organizations should provide a 990 form). Intake Centers, staffed with representatives from SBS and Seedco Financial Services, the program administrator on behalf of the City, are open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City and Commerce Bank in Astoria. If business owners have any questions they should call the Emergency Loan Hotline at (212) 994-2741 or 311.

Queens Emergency Loan Program Centers
Drop-in hours are from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

LaGuardia Community College
Small Business Development Center
29 -10 Thomson Avenue
Building C, Room C916
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101

Commerce Bank
31-04 Ditmars Boulevard
Corner of Ditmars and 31st
Astoria, NY 11105



  Contact: David Garlick (SBS) (212) 513-6318
Andrew Brent (EDC) (212) 312-3523