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National Grid launches emergency grant program

By ANNA MEILER

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) – National Grid is launching a $2 million emergency grant program for its small business customers hit by the severe flooding.

Businesses across the Mohawk Valley have been hit with a double whammy, suffering tens of thousands of dollars in damage and forgone income.

“We have been cleaning up and reconstructing for a month,” said Dr. Francis McHugh of Herkimer Dental.

Like many, he says the response has been a roller coaster ride.

“Originally I found out the first weekend even though I have insurance, nothing’s covered because of the flood. FEMA originally said yes, then they said no and now I’ve applied to the governor’s program and we'll see what happens,” said Dr. McHugh.

The president of National Grid New York said they’re launching the program to help fill gaps for businesses and get local economies back on their feet.

“It gives the customers a chance who don’t get enough support elsewhere, who are not eligible for other need to use the National Grid funds,” said Ken Daly.

National Grid will be going door to door to small businesses starting next week to speak to business owners, find out the extent of their damage and their financial need. Then, they will try to tailor the program toward their specific business situation.

Main Street businesses and agricultural businesses can receive up to $50,000 towards repairing their energy rooms.

“They need to rebuild their entire business, but the first step is rebuilding the energy equipment, the gas, the electric, the other utilities. So if the cost of that is too prohibitive, they’re never going to go the next step. Our grant is meant to defray that cost to help them get back up and running so they can go out and get more inventory, they can hire back their workers, they can rebuild their shelves, they can reopen their stores. The first step is getting their energy room back open that’s why we think our grant is so important,” said Daly.

“Every little bit will help,” said Dr. McHugh.

Applications are being accepted up until Dec. 31.

 

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