Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Contact: Catherine Tenuta, SBS Press Secretary-, 212-618-8768


A Total of Over $345,000 in Grants Have Already Been Awarded to Over 115 Small Businesses Operating in Flood Zones

Monday Marks the Sixth Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy

New York - NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced nearly 1,000 participants in a program aimed to better prepare small businesses for hurricanes and other emergency events. The initiative, called Business PREP (Preparedness and Resiliency Program), helps business owners citywide develop an emergency preparedness plan and provides free on-site risk assessments and emergency readiness grants to businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Since the program launched in 2015, 290 businesses have already received a risk assessment and over $345,000 in grants have been awarded to over 115 small businesses. The program has helped an additional nearly 700 small businesses citywide develop emergency preparedness plans. Applications are open for more small businesses to receive assessments and grant awards of up to $3,000 each.

Monday, October 29th, 2018 marks the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New York City. Peak hurricane season for the city runs from August through October. Devastation from extreme weather events has become increasingly more common in recent times as evidenced by Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Maria, and Hurricane Harvey.

“With Hurricane Sandy, we saw the paralyzing effect that weather emergencies can have on our local economy,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “It is imperative that, through programs like Business PREP, the City equips small businesses with the education and tools they need to withstand emergencies and continue powering our economy.”

“New Yorkers depend on small businesses for their everyday needs. When disaster strikes, they need those businesses even more,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “Preparing small businesses for extreme weather events is one key part of New York City’s comprehensive resiliency strategy. Through the Business PREP program, we’re providing small businesses with the tools and know-how to protect their assets and operations in case of emergency.”

Business PREP risk assessments and grant awards are open to businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy and continue to operate in the neighborhoods most vulnerable to extreme weather events. As part of the program, a team of emergency planning and insurance experts will visit businesses and review physical space, operations, and insurance coverage. Consultants will offer recommendations to help businesses reduce risks in the event of a disaster or disruption. Businesses that receive an assessment will be eligible to receive a grant of up to $3,000 to purchase resiliency-related items recommended during the assessment.

Business PREP also offers free emergency preparedness in-person workshops and webinars to business owners across the city to educate them about reducing loss and maintaining control during any disruption.

Business PREP is funded by federal dollars awarded to SBS via the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

Visit or call 311 for more information, to apply for a risk assessment and preparedness grant, or to register for an upcoming workshop or webinar.

Business PREP Success
Cuisine by Claudette, a family-owned business based in Far Rockaway, Queens, opened just six months before Hurricane Sandy devastated the community and flooded the storefront. Claudette Flatow, owner of Cuisine by Claudette, was one of the first business owners to apply for a Business PREP risk assessment and grant. Through the program, her business received a free assessment that helped her to identify risks and vulnerabilities in its operations, insurance coverage, and physical location. Ms. Flatow used the $3,000 Business PREP grant to implement operational changes based on the assessment. This includes purchasing portable electronic devices and installing a new point of sale system which automatically backs up valuable customer and financial information in order to provide protection and operational oversight. Business PREP has enabled Ms. Flatow to ensure that her business will be a resilient and thriving cornerstone of the community in the years to come.

About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.